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  • Martha Lewis

How to rewire your brain to sleep better: the model for sleep

What you think determines how you feel which determines what you do which leads to a result

Circumstance→Thought →Feeling→Action→Result

Brooke Castillo from the Life Coaching School came up with this concept. She calls it the “thought model” and it’s a powerful tool for rewiring your brain. 

If you want to change your results, you start by changing your thoughts about circumstances.

All circumstances are neutral. They are facts. They are things that happen to us that we can’t always control. 

Your thought about a circumstance makes it good or bad to your brain. 

As an example, let's say you slept 3 hours last night. That’s a neutral circumstance, believe it or not! Sometimes people choose to sleep 3 hours (newly in love, reading a book, partying) and it’s not a big deal.

Your default thinking:

Circumstance: slept 3 hours

Thought: Oh no, I only slept 3 hours. I feel terrible! How am I going to make it through the day?

Feelings: anxious, frustrated, exhausted and stressed.

Actions: worry and think about sleep all day; tell everyone how miserable you are; sabotage your sleep by feeling anxious, eating poorly, not exercising, etc.

Result: you won’t sleep well that night again.

And so you’ll continue to not sleep well.

BUT you can change your thought: 

Circumstance: slept 3 hours

Thought: No big deal. I’ll get through the day just fine and sleep better tonight.

Feelings: calm, hopeful and in control.

Actions: not think about your sleep, rest when you need to and focus on work or family

Result: sleep better that night

The point isn’t to eliminate negative thoughts completely- that’s impossible. Our brains tend to focus on the negative to keep us safe; it’s called a negativity bias (and it has helped us survive as humans by focusing on the one poisonous plant instead of 20 edible ones). The idea is to start becoming more aware of your negative thoughts and the impact they’re having on your day and work to shift the balance to more positive than negative thoughts.

Right now, the neural pathways for negative thoughts have been reinforced over and over again. They’re like highways in your brain. Changing your thoughts is hard because it’s like building a new road from scratch. But the more you focus on positive thoughts, the smoother and easier those neural pathways will become. This is how you rewire your brain and change your thinking. This is how to use your mind to sleep better. This is one way we help our clients deal with stress better.

If you can’t sleep, there are imbalances in your body that are keeping you awake. 

But negative thinking also affects your sleep and so you need to address it as well.

You need to look at both and the mind to sleep better permanently. 

This is what we do at the Complete Sleep Solution. 

We find everything that is keeping you from sleeping normally and we give you a simple plan to correct them.

Book a consultation to get started so you can finally get the sleep you need!

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