I’ve been struggling to get enough sleep lately. I seem to be a person who can function pretty well without enough sleep.
(Sometimes I think the world is divided into two types of people: (1) People who can function “well enough” without taking care of their sleeping needs and (2) People who can function well enough without taking care of their eating needs.)
(Sometimes I think the world is divided into two types of people: (1) People who think that the world is divided into two types of people and (2) People who don’t.)
So even though I am used to functioning without enough sleep (by the way, I CANNOT function without enough food), I still feel pretty lousy when I get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. And getting 6 hours or more has been a problem for me lately.
I know a lot of people who struggle with sleep issues. It seems to me that this might be an epidemic — although I’m not an expert about sleep, by any means.
Speaking of being an “expert”, I plan on writing a future post about Experts — and the punchline for that post will probably be something like this: We Are All Experts, But Only of Our Own Experience.
So while I’m not a Sleep Expert, I am trying to access, right now, my expertise about Sleep and Me.
And expertise starts with looking at data and history.
So that means that, in order to improve my sleep, I might start by looking at my history of sleep issues.
But I’m resisting doing that right now.
That resistance probably has to do with my preference — or tendency — to focus on the present moment rather than focusing on the past.
That preference — for the present over the past — might have to do with several things, including my perception that I don’t have a good memory.
Pardon me while I indulge in a rather long digression about that thought: I Don’t Have A Good Memory. However, you might find this digression useful — since it will reference several Cognitive Distortions, all listed and defined here.
Digression about the thought that I Don’t Have a Good Memory.
This thought is probably an unhelpful piece of self-judgment, which seems to involve several cognitive distortions, including Labelling. Because what does “not having a great memory” mean? Does that mean I think that my memory is not as good as most other people’s? If so, that thought involves the cognitive distortions of Comparisons AND Mind Reading. Also, now that I think about it, I do have some data — from cognitive tests I’ve taken — that indicate that I have a Very Good Memory, although I seem to have trouble holding on to that data. (More proof that I have a bad memory?) (Kidding!) . Also, maybe I’m comparing my memory now to how my memory used to be when I was younger, another form of the distortion of Comparisons.
Shorter digression about the thought (expressed 4 paragraphs before) that I Tend to Focus on The Present Moment Rather Than On The Past.
It’s not all or nothing. (Wouldn’t you know it? This is related to yet another Cognitive Distortion.) That is, I don’t have to look at the past OR the present. I can look at both the past AND the present when I’m working on growth and healing (in myself and others).
Hmmm. I got pretty caught up in those digressions, where I noticed and challenged some cognitive distortions. Is it possible I can find my way back to The Topic of Sleep, and finish this post before I leave for work?
I think I can. Here are some things I know, this morning:
Most nights, I am not getting enough sleep.
I have had some resistance to looking at this issue.
I deserve to get enough sleep.
I would like to get enough sleep.
I can access my own experience and expertise about this issue.
I can also seek help — from people who have expertise about sleep — to work on this issue.
Wow. As often happens when I write a post, the post goes places I don’t expect.
However, where the post is ending up, this morning, relates to a wish I made as I was writing it.
I wish that I could get more sleep.
I think I’ve taken some steps — and identified others — in this post, which may help me move towards that wish.
Thanks for reading.