Adapted rom Chapter 10, The Bitch at Night: Sleep Tight, Don’t Let The Bitch Bite, from The Bitch in Your Head: How to Finally Squash Your Inner Critic, by Jacqueline Plumez, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
Who hasn’t lain awake for hours, tossing and turning, worrying about how to pay the bills, how to find love or how a friend could say such a mean thing? No matter what The Bitch is torturing you about, as you thrash around you watch the clock, fretting about how exhausted you will be tomorrow.
But you can quiet The Bitch at night. Here’s how:
Never problem solve in the middle of the night.
The Bitch makes everything seems worse in the middle of the night. You are sleepy and tired, so your mind isn’t fully functioning and you believe “her” when she makes everything seem like an impossible catastrophe. Keep paper and pen by your bedside, so when you wake up and worry, you can write down your problems and tell yourself you will think about them in the morning.
Establish a healthy bedtime routine.
Many parents let their kids run around until they zonk — and teachers see them the next day too tired to be effective students. Instead, sleep experts advise parents to set a regular bedtime with soothing activities, such as a warm bath and calming bedtime reading before turning out the lights. Do the same thing for yourself that you would do for your child.
Put yourself in a no-lose situation.
When you wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning, The Bitch will try to convince you that you will be exhausted if you don’t get back to sleep. But that’s not the truth. Lying quietly in a calm state of mind is almost as healthy as sleeping. Tossing, turning and worrying is the exhausting enemy.
What to do
Here’s what The Bitch and the pharmaceutical: industry doesn’t want you to know: there are very effective psychological techniques for curing insomnia that should be tried before you resort to “sleeping pills” that are highly addictive. To supplement the advice above, read the chapter on sleep in The Bitch in Your Head before taking medication, and you will probably be able to cure yourself.