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Jordan Peterson’s advice for people who have sleeping problems
Question: I’ve recently developed a nasty case of hypnophobia and generally suffer from anxiety surrounding sleep. It’s become a significant negative force to my life. Cause, unknown. I’m rather well put together and successful across many domains. Any advice?
Jordan Peterson: Yes. Go to bed later. One of the things that happens to people when they’re having a hard time going to sleep and their sleep is disrupted is that they tend to go to bed earlier to catch up on their sleep. That works at counter-purpose to what they’re trying to attain. What you want to do is delay your sleep until you’re really quite tired. So stay up much later. Get up at the same time each morning, eh? Move your sleep time later. Maybe half an hour per night until you actually do fall asleep.
The other thing that you could look into is that there are relaxation exercises that behavioral therapists offer but I’m sure you could find one online. Also breathing exercises.
What you do is you imagine you’re laying in your bed and you’re nervous. So what you do is you concentrate on your feet and you flex your toes and then you breathe in and out and relax them. Then you flex your ankles or the soles of your feet and breathe in and out and relax. Do that with every muscle group all the way up your body and remember to breathe deeply and regularly. That can help alleviate your anxiety.
So I would say stay up later until you’re clearly tired. The other thing you might try is sleeping in a different room. The final thing is there are pretty effective sleep medications like zaleplon which is pretty effective. If you’re really having a hard time sleeping you could try something like that and see if it helps. You don’t have to try it forever.
The simplest thing to do though is go to bed later because you’ll be more tired and more likely to fall asleep then. It’s really not going to cause you any trouble so that’s what I’d recommend.
About Jordan Peterson
His YouTube lectures have been viewed millions of times and he gives speeches in cities around the world. He’s been on podcasts including the Joe Rogan Experience and Jocko Podcast. He’s dedicated to improving society by strengthening the individual and has been spreading that message to countless thankful fans for years now.
Learn more at jordanbpeterson.com.