I hear a lot of people say ‘maybe I just need to accept the fact that I will never be a good sleeper’.
It is something that I hate to hear and that provokes a pretty passionate reaction from me. Here’s my thoughts:
Often, giving up on your sleep comes from feeling that you have ‘tried all the things’ – you have taken the medications and supplements, you have limited your screen time, you have changed your diet and perhaps even tried therapies like acupuncture – and nothing has worked.
Some people tell me that they have been told by their doctor that they will never be a good sleeper.
For others, I think it can be quite self protective to give up on sleep and accept you will never sleep well, because its hard to keep hoping when nothing is helping.
I feel really passionate about this because I have seen so many people get really good sleep after going through the sleep therapy process, even when they may have given up on themselves long ago.
Before you give up on your sleep, there are 3 questions I want you to ask yourself:
1) Do you feel like you are getting enough sleep? Does your body and mind honestly feel good on the amount of sleep you are getting? If not, you need more. Your body and mind are designed for you to get the sleep that you need but sometimes things get in the way of that. Once you remove whats blocking it, you can do what you are designed for and get the sleep that you need.
2) Do you sometimes have good spells of sleep? Perhaps good weeks at a time, perhaps a few days or even just the odd night. The fact that this can happen sometimes shows that you are fully capable of it and this can be built on.
3) Can you fall asleep in front of the TV? Or on a bus or a train? Or on a beach? If the answer is yes, this is a really good indication that you can sleep well. You can fall asleep in these places because your guard is down and you are not overthinking it. You are relaxed and you can just fall asleep.
If your answers to these questions suggest that you do need more sleep and that you are capable of it then it is about going deeper to address the problems at the right level – the strategies mentioned above only scratch the surface.
It is about addressing the fundamental mechanics of sleep and helping your mind and body to re-learn how to sleep and how to sleep well.
My overriding feeling when someone tells me that maybe they just need to accept they are not a good sleeper, is wanting to shout ’Nooooo, don’t do that’. I see people all the time who get their sleep sorted after years of believing it was impossible.
Invariably these people say they wish they had reached breaking point and reached out for serious help sooner because they feel they wasted so much time living with sleep deprivation.
So, please don’t settle.
Feel free to reach out for support from me to understand what is going wrong with your sleep and how it can be changed.
Please feel free to click the links below to find out more about how I can help you.