Sleep and its Lessons
By Thomas B. Cox · 1 minute read
I'm coaching a client (call him Chris) who has wanted to improve his sleep for years. It's been exciting to watch him make enormous progress in the past month.
This is someone who has struggled with sleep for over a decade, with no success.
In his case, the key to Chris's progress has been that he's taking it on as a serious project, and, he's being mindful and curious.
His first step was just for him to write down every day in his journal: when did he actually fall asleep (as best he can tell), when did he actually wake up, and what he thinks contributed to that particular instance of sleep, both positive and negative.
We didn't even set any goals to change his sleep, just goals around noticing and recording honestly and without blame (towards others, himself, or his circumstances).
I'd already had him using the techniques in Positive Intelligence, which were helping dampen his old instincts to get upset easily when his goals were thwarted. This meant he was calmer and more relaxed overall.
After a few weeks of simply being curious and aware, Chris started noticing he was sleeping better. He started making small adjustments like journaling at bedtime, and reducing and ultimately eliminating his alcohol intake.
Other changes followed effortlessly.
My takeaway was, Chris needed to stop trying so hard, and start relaxing and noticing what small things were making a big difference. Being too goal oriented can make us tune out the very clues that will lead us to our destination.
Relax and bear witness to yourself.