When we struggle to fall asleep, our thoughts tend to go into some dark and damaging health blankets. Even if you recognize (loosely) the pranks your brain can make, when you lie in bed and can’t fall asleep, you still become preoccupied and stuck in them.
Fortunately, with the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy, we can reduce the power of these thoughts because, usually, the first step in this type of treatment is to identify the source of negative thoughts.
Below we have the most common beliefs about sleep that we should not take into account:
1. I won’t be able to concentrate tomorrow
Most people who struggle with insomnia worry that lack of sleep will drastically reduce their productivity for the next day. Many people fear that:
- they will not be able to focus their attention on two-day sessions,
- will fall asleep during a discussion,
- also will feel disconnected all day and will not be able to carry out their tasks from the office to the end.
There have been links between insomnia and lower productivity for specific tasks. The effects of lack of sleep are much smaller than we sometimes imagine.
Most of us report that after a tumultuous night and not at all resting, the second day could be a little more complicated, but in no case is the disaster we would expect.
2. I have to change my plans
The concern that the plans for the second day must be changed becomes pressing. It happens especially when meetings and activities are postponed. This emotional exhaustion can even worsen and prolong insomnia. Usually, we can take part in the plans we have the next day with little (sometimes even unobservable) impact on feelings of joy or performance. On the contrary, we can also relieve the pressure from the night before if we keep our plans.
3. I need 8 hours of sleep every night
If you’ve ever been lying in bed, you’re most likely checking your phone to see what time it is. Maybe you have started calculating how long you will be able to rest if you fall asleep within minutes.”If I fall asleep now, I can still sleep 7 hours”.”I think I can cope with only 6 hours of sleep”. “If I do not sleep now, I will get to rest only 5 hours. I won’t be able to do anything tomorrow. “
The ideal sleep duration for an adult varies between 7 and 9 hours per night (also recommended by The National Sleep Foundation), and some people can work at optimal capacity with only 6 hours of sleep.
4. I have to recover my lost sleep
When we have a night full of insomnia, we usually try to recover our lost sleep the next day through a nap at noon. To change the alarm from 07:00 to 08:00, or to sleep earlier at night.
These tactics are, in fact, counterproductive. In this way, we get to lay more in bed. We try to fall asleep and worry that, again, we will ail.
Even if you have various beliefs about sleep, it is advisable to stick to your regular sleep schedule so that you do not aggravate your insomnia.