Raina: Yeah. Number three is that you can just do sleep hygiene. You can do, you can focus on actions to try to recover rest, and that really, is a prevailing messaging out there when you go to different blogs or you’re listening to How to Get Better Sleep, even on popular daytime shows. And that is always the advice. Make sure your room doesn’t have any light. Make sure that you have enough melatonin or supplements that you like to take, avoid being on your device two hours before bed. All of those things are good. But there’s some deeper mindset issues at play that are really standing in the way of getting more rest, and that goes unaddressed by the prevailing advice surrounding sleep and insomnia these days.
Dara: Yeah, it’s kinda like with diets, right? People they’re telling you what to do and, but really if you don’t have the mindset on par, then it won’t make a difference.
Raina: Exactly. You’re exactly right.
Dara: Yeah. So what is someone to do when they do struggle? Like they have a hard time going to sleep, or they, like they can go to sleep okay but they wake up at like 2:30 or three o’clock. So what, what advice do you have for people in that situation.
Raina: Okay, so I’m gonna give some very broad advice, and a lot of people may balk at this because they’re like, okay, if I could do that, I would, and this is exactly what I help people with and clients with. When you wake up, take inventory of the first thing you’re thinking. Is it, oh no, what time is it? When am I gonna go back to sleep? All of those things induce panic. So my broader statement is, let’s get control of the panic, stop panicking. And what I mean by that is if the first thoughts that go through your mind are panic inducing, you feel fear, you start to look at your watch, you begin to do sleep math.
Sleep math is when you wake up in the middle of the night and then think, If I can only fall asleep in a half hour, then I’ll at least get two or three hours more before I need to wake up. All of that inner dialogue is not helping your mind to relax. It’s putting it in a state of fight or flight. And that is not going to help you get back to sleep.
So that is the main thing our brains wanna do. Totally normal. I did that every night for five years, wake up, immediately think, what do I do? What do I do right now? And it felt like the most natural thing was look at the clock. Okay, look at the clock. Then in order to avoid my panic and not feel it, then I’d start doing sleep math because, well, I don’t wanna feel the panic, so I want to be rational, So what makes the most sense? Well, okay, if I go back to sleep in half hour, As if I’m a machine treating myself, like I’m some type of machine that I can just flip on and off. If I go back to sleep in a half hour, then I’ll get three hours of sleep and then I’ll be okay. I’ll still have a hard day, but I’ll be okay. Well, what did that end up doing?