Jealous of those who can sleep!

Q:  When I see somebody sleeping I get so jealous because I can’t do that.  Even worse, normal people sleep without having to take medication.  I am so frustrated and angry.  Why can’t I sleep?

A:  You can’t sleep?  Nonsense.  Of course you can.

Everyone sleeps.  Every animal.  Birds, fishes, every human being that ever lived.  So unless you have reason to believe you’re somehow different than every other mammal that ever existed, then rest assured you do in fact sleep — to at least some extent.

The truth is we as human beings can’t not sleep.  Maybe not as good as we like, but we do.

So perhaps what you really mean is you’re not sleeping as well as you’d like.  That makes more sense.  This idea is more realistic, and not only because it’s more accurate, but because this implies you have the capacity to make it better.  And you can.

Let’s also look more closely at the emotion of jealousy.  Everyone feels this at one time or another.  Jealousy is just part of the human experience.  But it’s very important to understand that intensely negative emotions like jealousy, hatred, envy, guilt, shame, frustration, and anger are doing you no good.  It wouldn’t be at all surprising if stewing on negative feelings like jealousy and anger are in fact perpetuating your sleeping problems.

There are a number of simple things you can do to make this better.  First, as always, if you haven’t had a recent checkup with your doctor it’s a good idea to get one.  This will enable you to either treat or rule out any underlying medical issues that could be causing or contributing to insomnia.

Second, learn to control and manage these intensely negative thoughts.  There are effective, drug-free ways to do this.  When negative thought patterns recur, they often underlie and cause anxiety.  And anxiety in turn is a potent fuel for insomnia.

You will also help yourself a lot by learning some basic fundamental facts about sleep, such as this:  our physiologic requirement for sleep is far stronger than insomnia.  Sleep for us all is at some point irresistible.  You can use that fact to your advantage with sleep timing methods.

Good sleep hygiene, such as a consistent sleep-wake schedule, daily exercise, avoidance of caffeine later in the day, and early morning exposure to bright light also help.

So rest assured there are good, effective methods to improve sleep that do not involve drugs.  Be determined to help yourself.  You can make this better.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fear, Health, Insomnia, sleep

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