In this series of three posts, I’m exploring the 3 Fs of Sleep – Fear, Frustration and Failure. This powerful trinity work together to disturb your nights and drive away sleep.
In Part 2, I explored why, as a competent human being, you find it so frustrating not being able to crack your sleeping problem and suggested you tried another approach.
In this final part, I’m going to address Failure, in particular how a Failure Mindset stops you getting your sleep back on track.
When you’ve had night after night of unpredictable, poor sleep, it’s very easy to become resigned. Lack of restorative sleep undermines not only physical health but your cognitive and emotional functioning too.
With poor sleep comes a lack of energy. You just about get through the day and it’s no surprise that you don’t have the wherewithal to tackle your insomnia.
As the days go by, the process of attrition begins. At first you find yourself thinking Is this how it’s going to be now, for the rest of my life?
And in the absence of a reassuring answer, you gradually become resigned.
Yep, this is how it is. I’m a bad sleeper.
You have made the transition from
I don’t always sleep well or
At the moment I’m really struggling to sleep or
Something’s really been messing with my sleep over the last year or
The stress at work is stopping me sleep at night
I am a bad sleeper.
You have moved to a place where
- poor sleep is permanent
- the external contributing factors are forgotten
- your sleeping problem is part of who you are, how you see yourself.
With this mindset, it’s difficult to turn things around. You stop noticing how bad lack of sleep makes you feel. You give up hope of finding a solution. You compensate for lack of energy by altering your habits – more caffeine, less exercise, more booze, less socialising….
I was listening the other day to a running podcast given by the Head Coach at Nike and he said something very simple but relevant. In the context of running, he said, it’s important to measure success in as many different ways as possible. Just getting your trainers on is a success. Completing a run, however much you struggled, is a success.
But (and this is the part that really struck me as relevant) the Head Coach said
To have success, you first of all have to be open to it.
Simple but true. If you’ve resigned yourself and simply decided that you are a Bad Sleeper, you’re denying yourself the chance of success. You’ve stopped looking for it. And there’s absolutely no need to do that (unless you’re a masochist!) These are good days for insomniacs – with new, tried and tested strategies that are highly effective in the majority of cases.
When you manage your fears and frustrations and act proactively, you will overcome a failure mindset. You are then in the right place to get your sleep back on track – without resorting to medication. Get ready to sleep well!