The best thing you can do to improve your sleep is to not give up on it!
I’ve been talking a lot about sleep recently with both print and radio journalists. When I’ve been reviewing the information I’ve given out, something that’s really stood out has been how simple the techniques are and how really, there’s not that much to learn. This might seem like a strange admission to make – surely insomnia must be really difficult to treat, right? After all, if about 1/3 of adults have problems with their sleep, surely the problem and its solution must be complex and difficult?
But it’s not. The techniques are actually easy enough to learn and to use. I’ve put the basics into a self-help book and it’s not a novel – to explain the ideas and how to use them takes only 50 pages! What throws most people is keeping going with the techniques - particularly when a technique doesn’t work like a magic wand and instantly make all your sleep problems disappear.
Have you ever heard this quote?
“80% of success is showing up”
What this means is that you can achieve a lot with your sleep (and in any area of your life, really) by being consistent with your practise. With regards to sleeping, this means continuing to use techniques like having a sleep routine, practising a relaxation exercise, and making sure you’re thinking about sleep in a helpful way – even if it’s 3am and you’ve been awake since 1am.
Think about sleeping like diet or exercise. You can’t just exercise once and expect to magically lose 5 kilos. You can’t eat healthily for just a couple of weeks and expect to see health benefits. You have to be consistent. You need to put in the effort most days of the week. You need to keep showing up, even though there’s rarely a big payoff, and more often than not it’s a lot of work for just a bit of improvement.
It’s not very sexy, is it? It sounds kinda boring and definitely like a lot of hard work. No wonder we’re so keen to buy sleeping pills, diet products and exercise machines that promise quick results for little investment!
The fact that most people struggle to do this work is why you can achieve success by simply showing up. Doing the work, day in, day out, is something that so many people struggle with that if you just do that one little thing (no matter your talent level, no matter where or how you start) and be consistent with your practise, you can be successful – because most other people won’t.
Sleep isn’t is a competition with other people. With something like sleep, the competition is with your bad sleep habits. Your success comes from practising your new sleep habits repeatedly. By ‘showing up’ through implementing the same basic techniques over and over again until those bad habits have been transformed into new, beneficial ones.
Some good news: Once you’ve done that work, success breeds success. Once you have new sleep habits which are helpful to you, then it’s easy to continue the habits. You can have a ‘cheat day’ and binge watch Netflix one night, and the next night, you’ll be back to your regular habit of a good sleep routine. It’ll be your new normal. You’ll still be ‘showing up’ and practising most days, but it’s no longer hard work anymore, it’s just what you do.
Would you like to start improving your sleep tonight? You can get a FREE copy of the first chapter of my book, ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Sleeping’ by clicking here. You’ll get instant access to techniques you can begin to implement this evening!
To read the articles on sleep I’ve been quoted in recently and grab some more sleep tips, click below.
‘Insomnia Tips for New Mums’ on Essential Baby
‘Sorry, Sleep Deprived Parents, But Caffeine Won’t Help’ on Essential Baby
‘Five Signs You’re Sleep Deprived’ on Australian Women’s Weekly Online
Lana Hall, Psychologist. Helping you to live your best life, using the power of psychology.