Episode 30

habits insomnia wisdom Feb 23, 2021

Locus of Control

Why am I making sleeping so complicated? Can’t you just take a pill, use this tech, this one quick thing? Why so many “rules” and practice and all this talk about habits - can’t it be quicker? Isn’t there a shortcut?

In this episode, I defend my position for not promoting every little gadget, gizmo and gimmick to make you sleep. One of the main reasons? Because not only are the empty promises more disappointing than the prescription medicines discussed in Episode 25, but they rob you of your agency, of your ability to take center stage in your own life as the one in control.

So much of what we do in the management of insomnia is the removal of roadblocks getting in the way of normal, natural sleep. A major cause of suffering is when we don’t realize or intentionally relinquish responsibility for ourselves and our wellbeing, something intrinsic to ourselves - that we give up all hope and responsibility and place it instead onto some outside force.

To place the responsibility for your sleep - for something that will happen to you whether you want it to or not - a biological imperative - to put your hope and conviction for a night of rest on some outside force is not just entirely unnecessary, but disempowering as well.

Individuals with a sense of external locus of control are more prone to clinical depression. And they tend to feel stressed overall, more so than others. Individuals with an external locus of control tend to have worse physical health, worsen mental health, worse quality of life across a range of conditions, from diabetes to headaches to weight control. Difficulties with your sleep plus handing over accountability of your sleep to something else will only compound these undesirable outcomes.

For the 50% of adults who often complain of insomnia, or the 70% who have suffered sleep difficulty since the pandemic started - for most people unsatisfied with their sleep, the solution lies not in some silicon valley tech, or nature valley elixir. The locus of control for your sleep is not external. Recognizing your internal locus of control for your sleep will set you free.


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