If you find yourself counting sheep, watching late-night TV, swingin from branch yo branch in your thoughts, or working into the night because youo can’t sleep, consider your need for perfection or control.
While a perfectionist may be successful in many situations, this isn’t useful in the realm of sleep and relaxation. a controlling nature may also set the stage for long struggle when it comes to difficulties sleeping.
“We found that certain aspects of perfectionism are elevated in people with chronic insomnia,” says Vincent. “People who expect a lot of themselves and who don’t meet their own personal standards are more likely to have insomnia.” A perfectionist approach to sleeping itself – like an exagerated sense of one’s ability to control things – can cause problems.
“If you believe that youa re responsible for most outcomees and then you don’t have succeess in one area, there is a tendency to engage in elf-blame and self-depreciation, ” says Vincent. This produces greater anxiety, which makes it even harder to fall asleep.
To break the cycle, recognize that there are only some aspects of your sleep environment that you can control. “We use a cognitive-behavioral approach and talk about what parts of sleep are controllable.” says Vincent. “you can’t control when you get sleepy but you can control whether you have a lot of coffee in the evening and the amount of light in the bedroom.”
If you struggle with insomnia, begin with recognizing your limits and accepting them as normal part of life. Focus n the positives of your day as you prepare for bed, and you may find that sleep comees easier.