Episode 16


Pavlov's Bed

When the bedtime bell rings, your mouth should be dripping with the readiness for sleep. 

In this episode, I discuss the importance of the association - both conscious and unconscious - between your bed, and your sleep.

You've probably heard of Ivan Pavlov and his famous dogs - in the first couple years of the 20th century, he paired a dinner bell repeatedly with feeding dogs so that eventually the sound of the bell itself (in the absence of any food) triggered the salivation response. Ideally, you can have the same response to your bedroom - when your physical presence in the room is so tightly paired with the act of sleeping due to repetition, then sleeping starts to become an automatic response to the condition of being in bed. Wouldn't that be great?!

This kind of sleep on demand is no fantasy, but the result of conditioning. And accomplishing this feat is rather simple: when you are in the bed, you are sleeping; when you are not sleeping, you are not in the bed. That means if you are in bed and can't sleep, simply remove yourself from the bed and be awake elsewhere, and return when you feel ready for sleep (feeling ready for sleep is not the same thing as wanting to sleep). Over time, when the vast majority of the time you spend in bed you are truly asleep, the stronger the association between that environment and sleep, and the stronger the unconscious impulse to sleep once you are in that environment!

Then once you get into that bed, like the magic of a dinner bell, you'll find yourself automatically asleep!


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