Here's Why The Secrets of Well-Rested People Don't Work For The Rest of Us

Rebecca Stokes Rant

sleep It's never been easy for me to sleep. Even as a baby my mom describes how I'd fret and fuss for reasons seemingly unrelated to gas or teething. My issues with sleep have manifested themselves in million, irksome ways. I've had stretches where even the idea of falling asleep seems impossible. Other times, I'd fall asleep quickly and then wake up at two am, unable to fall back asleep no matter how tired I felt. 

I'm not alone when it comes to having a tough time of it. Load of other people in this country and beyond have issues with their sleep. We've all heard all of the things we're supposed to do to improve the quality (if not quantity) of our sleep. You know, drink warm milk, take a nice bath. Above all -- stop worrying about it. 

You know what's NOT helpful when you're worried about a problem? Having someone tell you that the key to solving it is to stop worrying about it. Not only is this impossible, but it makes you feel like a failure of the highest order. Because now not only are you sleepless, but it's your own darn fault. 

There are many lists describing the habits of well-rested people. They all have one thing in common. They describe a type of lifestyle that I can't imagine anyone I know living, not even the most type-A person. They suggest stuff like never sleeping in, staying active, eating all the right foods at all the right times, and, of course, not worrying too much about sleep.

Presenting a person who has a poor quality of sleep a list like this is akin to presenting a person who is having a hard time losing weight with a piece of paper that says "Just Magically Be a Supermodel Already". It's not practical, it's not kind, and it's frustrating. Never sleep in? What if I've been working late the night before? Eat at the right times? Who has a schedule that allows for this every single day without exception? I think the real key to high quality sleep is finding something that works for you and chucking all the how-to's out of the window. 

Do you have a hard time sleeping?

 

Image via Envision/Corbis

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energy & fatigue, emotional health, sleep