It’s called ‘paradoxical intention', duh.
words Louis Staples
We’ve all been there: in bed, struggling to sleep and thinking about all the sleep we’re missing out on. Counting the decreasing hours, minutes and seconds of shut-eye we’ll get that night.
If you’re often in that position, don’t worry, because you're not alone. In fact, a recent study found that 36 per cent of UK adults struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis, which rises to nearly half on a monthly basis. And it’s hardly a surprise, because everywhere we look, there’s no shortage of things for people to feel anxious or stressed about.
Thankfully, it seems there might be a solution (or at the very least, a temporary bandaid) to this problem, from an unlikely place: TikTok.
Enter Karan Raj, a British doctor who has built up a pretty hefty social media following thanks to his informative and straight-talking approach to ho has built up a loyal following posted on the social media platform to share his doctor-approved sleep hack. He told his followers: "When I first started as a doctor, I struggled with insomnia."
He says he came across a sleep hack that he initially dismissed, believing it was just another silly trend. But when he gave it a try, he realised it worked. "Basically, you tell yourself. 'I'm not going to sleep' and you stay awake. You don't read a book and you don't go on your phone, no TV, nothing. You just lie in bed [with your] eyes open."
He continued: "You're forcing yourself to stay awake, tell yourself, 'don't go to sleep'. In many cases, you will feel tired and fall asleep. That worked for me."
So, really, it’s a matter of reverse psychology.
Well, sort of.
"By the way," he added in the comments section, "this is called 'paradoxical intention'. If I tell you NOT to think about a polar bear... guess what you think of first? Works the same way!"
Dr Raj said that, after suffering from insomnia, he has now mastered the art of a good night's sleep. This is just one of several of his sleep hacks which have gone viral on TikTok.
Needless to say, there are lots of different medical options when dealing with insomnia or any other sleeping problems. So please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional if you’re having issues. Because, really, everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. Insomnia found defeated!