What if I said: Words stop you sleeping! Would you believe me?

Well, it’s true and I can prove it, through neuroscience and my own experience as a transformed chronic insomniac.

The words you use send messages to your brain. Saying: I can’t sleep! tells your brain to be alert to this fact and to stop your body from sleeping. You don’t sleep, and you worry about not sleeping. You have created your own stress. Unknowingly, of course.

But – and you might be surprised to hear this – it doesn’t have to be unknowingly. You can know about it. You can be aware of how your mind interferes with your body’s sleep. You can select your own messages to the brain. You choose whether to call yourself an insomniac, or not.

I had a lightbulb flash. I stopped being an insomniac. I switched to being an Ex-Insomniac. I even made up my own word for it!

Hey, hold on a minute!

I can hear you calling out:

What difference does it make anyway? You’re still sleep-deprived after a bad night’s sleep. You feel awful whether you call yourself an insomniac or not! Don’t you?

Well, no actually. You don’t!

You see, when I ditched the name Insomniac, I ditched the Stress. Here’s how:

Words are not just words.

Words are Messages to your brain.

The messages turn into body sensations.

Stress sensations are why you feel awful.

So, I changed the words I used.

This changed the messages to my brain.

No stress was produced.

And I didn’t feel awful.

Simple as that!

By the way, I ditched the words ‘sleep-deprived’ and ‘a bad night’s sleep’ too!

And you know what, I’m still watching out and using only those words and messages I want my brain to have. Negative words are so ingrained into our language, you meet them all the time. So, is extreme vigilance required? No, not really. I’d say more like: Gently observe your words. That will do it!

Nicki Gillard, Ex-Insomniac

Published by Hove StressBusters
May 2019


Further Reading:

Stress and Sleep

No More Insomnia: Discover Skillful Resting