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Bad Sleep? It’s Not “Them”, It’s You. (And That’s Empowering)

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo…

Each day we choose

in which direction to go.

We can opt for Netflix

or an Instagram scroll.

Or we can choose an activity

that is aligned with our goals.

No? Admittedly, making good decisions isn’t as easy as I make it out to be by a simple rhyme. But when boiled down to the bare basics, we always come back to the hard truth – most of what we are experiencing in our daily lives is a byproduct of our decisions.

Feeling chronically fatigued at the beginning/end of each day but refuse to upheave and pimp up our nutrition, workout-routine, screen time, work-related boundaries? The reason being that it is just so soothing to flop on the couch, smoke a joint and watch Netflix? Our decision.

Being frequently under belly-churning stress from interactions with people who disrespect us? The boundaries we choose to set or not are our decision. The amount of time we dedicate to resolving whatever issues these people throw at us? Our decision.

All of which, stacked up, put a lot of burden on our bodies and minds, not allowing our nervous systems to let go and relax into deep, restful sleep.

There are many caveats here. One of them being that you simply might not have the awareness (yet!) of what it is that you are actually doing. (And there is no shame to this, unawareness is not an excuse but it is symptomatic of how we live our modern lives. So be kind to yourself. Notice that you were blind, gently forgive yourself and move on smarter.) Other caveats: breaking the cycle of bad habits is difficult. It is by no means a stroll in the park. Not to mention, “these people” I speak of might be family members for which we care for or simply cannot extricate ourselves from.

However, let’s not outsource our power to others.

Netflix shouldn’t have the power to decide that you want to watch the next episode by auto-playing it within 5 seconds of one episode ending.

And others should not be given the authority to decide when we are going to be angry, anxious, sad or fretful. It IS within our grip to choose, at the very least, the little things:

· practicing humour in a conflict you habitually responded to with tears/resentment/being a doormat,

· getting the help of our family and friends to keep us accountable with, for example, not drinking alcohol,

· doing daily gratitude entries in a journal.

Big changes are overwhelming and we often don’t stick to them as they are too big of a bite to chew on. Small changes, on the other hand, are radically transforming (without us even realizing it).

Those 5 minutes of meditation you do every day before sitting down to work? Watch them slowly erode your grumpiness.

The 10 minutes you wait between feeling an unhealthy craving and actually indulging in it? Watch it dispel the craving completely.

The kind “no” you learn to say and embody when interacting with others? Watch it be the building blocks of your newfound self-esteem.

It’s really not “them”, it’s you. And if that’s not empowering, I don’t know what is.


About the author

Maša Nobilo, Sleep Coach

From first-hand insomniac to certified Embodied Facilitator with training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, the Feldenkrais Method and Embodied Yoga Principles, Maša is well-equipped to support you on journey to restful sleep.
Learn more below.

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