So, what is a paradox? A paradox is something that doesn’t seem to make sense, okay? And there are things that a lot of people think makes perfect sense to solve their sleep challenges that actually don’t help, and there are things that you think would not really help you that actually do help. So, in this video I’m going to be sharing with you about a few of those paradoxes and how you could start to understand them so that you could start to get out of them.
So, the first paradox I want to talk about is the paradox of trying to force or control sleep. Really important. Sleep is a natural biological process that happens when we allow it to happen. So, trying to force it or control it or will it actually makes it more elusive. It actually pushes you into a stressed state, which keeps your body dripping cortisol and adrenaline, which then keeps your mind going, which then keeps you up. So, it’s really important to understand that if you’re in a place right now where you’re not sleeping, and you’re trying everything under the sun, you’re trying all the things that you’re reading about online and they’re not working, chances are you’re trying to force and control sleep, which is one of the reasons why you’re not able to sleep or sleep as well as you would like to.
So, how do you get out of this paradox of trying to force or control sleep? Well, step one is actually understanding that you’re in it. Until you can actually understand and see clearly that you’re in this paradox, there is no chance of you being able to get out of it. So, once you understand that you’re in this paradox, you are trying to force and control sleep either through sleep hygiene or supplements or buying things, gadgets, whatever it is for you. Once you actually see it clearly that you are trying to manipulate and force and will sleep, the next step is to understand the thinking that is keeping you stuck in this paradox.
Now, unfortunately, that is a much longer detailed process that can take several weeks to really unfold what gets stuck in our minds that causes us to stay in this paradox. But the first step really is to begin to practice acceptance. And acceptance is one of those things, it is very simple, but it’s so simple it’s actually hard to really truly practice. But that’s really the first step to getting out of that paradox.
Another paradox that doesn’t seem to make sense in sleep is if you’re not sleeping well, well, you spend more time in bed. This makes perfect sense, right? If you’re not getting enough sleep, if you’re not sleeping well, well, being in bed longer would actually help. The opposite is actually true. When you’re not sleeping well and you’re spending more time in bed or you’re taking naps because you’re not sleeping well at night, that actually can keep you from fixing this challenge.
And the reason is because we have two sleep systems that control our biological sleep. The two systems are sleep pressure and circadian rhythm, and those two systems get out of sync when we’re spending too much time in bed not asleep. You’re also anchoring your bed and bedroom with wakefulness or hyper arousal.
So, really important to understand that if you’re having challenges sleeping, spending more time in bed and trying to catch up on sleep, which you really can’t do through napping, is actually decreasing your sleep pressure, which is one of the systems, which isn’t allowing that sleep pressure to build up so that at night it can be released and it’s also messing with your circadian clock. Really important to understand that. So, spending more time in bed actually can do the opposite of really solving the problem.
And again, it doesn’t seem to make sense. A lot of things that we think would help us specifically when it comes to solving insomnia really don’t seem to make very much sense. So, that’s what I have for you guys today. I hope that was valuable. If you like this video, please like it. If you have a question, leave it in the comments and I’ll see you in the next one.