Have you ever dreamed of becoming a private investigator? Someone looking to uncover clues and find evidence revealing that indeed, it was the butler! If so, know that when you struggle with sleep, the type of work that you dreamed of can serve you really well.
When you experience insomnia, you know that this is not a struggle that is isolated to the night. It is a 24 hour problem because how you feel during the day is always completely dependent on how many hours and minutes you slept the preceding night.
Or is it?
Time for detective work! And remember, the most valuable clues may be the most difficult to find. Before you start, ponder for a minute what you are looking for and how this work will help you.
Consider first if you would sleep better if you were very pressured to sleep, let’s say someone had offered you a big sum of money if you could sleep for 7 hours starting now (!), or if there was no such pressure.
You would probably agree that the more imperative it becomes to sleep, the more elusive those zzz’s become. In fact, studies have shown that when incentivized with money, we sleep less.
Now there are other things than money that can be used for pressure or incentive, like work performance. Or mental clarity. And how about just overall wellness?
Imagine the pressure to sleep that comes from thinking every aspect of your day depends on you getting the maximal amount of shuteye. It can become pretty intense!
This is why your detective work is so important.
You are looking for pieces of evidence that contradicts the thought that your days are entirely dependent on your night.
That time you slept very little and you still did well on your exam, hold on to it. That time you slept fine but still felt groggy all day, take that down in your notepad.
When you look at all the clues you have unearthed, a new picture emerges. Yes, when you sleep better, you do feel better in general, but sleep is not all that matters!
And now you can take your investigative work a step further.
Look for what else makes you have a good day. What are things you have more control over than sleep that makes you feel energized and happy?