The average person loses an astounding 15 days’ worth of sleep every year due to poor sleeping habits. Here are the mistakes you may be making:
❑ Believing a good night’s sleep equals sleeping right through: Don’t stress about waking in the middle of the night. Even if you think you slept through, chances are you woke up close to 10 times without realizing it. This sleep-wake cycle evolved for our survival and safety; we come into a semi-conscious state to check that all is well and then slide back into sleep. Waking is normal. Don’t fixate on it.
❑ Checking the time: We’ve all been there! Can’t sleep, so you check your clock to see how late it is, then you can’t sleep because you’re worrying about how late it is. This is the single biggest disruptor of sleep. Don’t look at the clock. (You know the routine: You look at the clock and calculate how many hours of sleep you would get if you fell asleep RIGHT THIS MINUTE….)
❑ Believing only eight hours will do: While it’s important to get enough sleep, there is far too much significance placed on the holy grail of eight hours. Everyone’s sleep requirements are different. The key is that if you wake up feeling refreshed after five hours, you’re probably getting enough sleep for you.
❑ Thinking you can ‘catch up’ on sleep: this belief could be seriously damaging your sleep pattern. While you can catch up to some extent, you can’t fully recover. Instead, get into a good, regular routine if you want to really reap the healing benefits of sleep.
❑ Believing that sleep only happens when your eyes are shut: Have you ever sat in a meeting with your eyes open, but glazed over, and been completely oblivious to what’s being said? This is a vital relaxation state that allows you to consolidate information, learn, and refresh your memory, enabling you to stay sharp and focused, but slipping into this trance-like state during the day, you could affect your ability to fall asleep at night.
❑ Believing your insomnia is inherited: No such insomnia gene exists. The first step to sorting of your sleep problems is to stop thinking they are unsolvable.