When you’re awake in the middle of night, unable to fall asleep, that’s frustrating enough. But knowing that not getting enough sleep is linked to a whole host of health problems including weight gain, anxiety, and cognitive function makes it even worse. While taking actions such as tweaking your diet, using a lavender-scented diffuser, or meditating may help, a new study highlights another habit you might way to try: changing your mindset.
According to sleep researcher Kenneth Lichstein, people who think of themselves as insomniacs are linked to having more health problems (including high blood pressure) than people who have trouble sleeping but don’t think of themselves as insomniacs, The Guardian reports, highlighting his research. Lichstein says that identifying as an insomniac sends a sort of “doomsday” message to your subconscious mind, which exacerbates the problem.
In fact, Lichstein even found that some people who called themselves insomniacs were actually getting what qualified as a good night’s sleep. Yet they still complained about being tired, anxious, and depressed because that was how they were self-identifying.
While pinpointing the reason why you’re not getting a restful night’s sleep can be complicated, maybe this is one time when denial might actually be beneficial?
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