When we make a mistake, we often blame and point the finger at ourselves for what we perceive as a major personal short-coming. Within seconds our mind starts to beat us up, wielding an invisible measurement stick and complaining that “You should have done this better, you are simply not good enough! Who will like you? You are a failure!” And these might be some of the ‘nicer’ thoughts that your mind hurls at you. But even when we are not making mistakes, our critical mind, the inner bully, is constantly evaluating what we are doing and how well we are doing it.
Bedtime procrastination means that people don’t go to bed and sleep ‘on time’ although there is nothing preventing them from doing so. It’s an intention-behaviour gap. They intend to go to bed but then stay up for another while. What’s the big deal you might ask? Well, less opportunity to sleep and therefore more sleep deprivation and tiredness the next day at work.
It’s normal to wake up during the night, we all do it several times. Usually we don’t remember them because not only are they short, we also just roll over and slip back into sleep.
However, when you find yourself lying in bed around 3am or the witching hour, as some call it, unable to get back to sleep, quiet quickly your mind starts to get busy with thinking. Racing from one thought to the next with no end in sight, your mind can feel like washing machine stuck in the spinning cycle. Then there is this strong feeling of anxiety in your tummy or chest that suddenly pings up. Your heart is pounding loud and fast. You can’t stop tossing and turning wishing to be anywhere but here in your bed.
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I wrote Sleep Sense to share my fascination with sleep with all of you. To help you understand why sleep is important for every single one of us. My aim is to empower you to take steps that are right for you to sleep well.