When you’re running and spinning and can’t sleep, the key is: Stop trying to fall asleep, Raj says in a TikTok video. “You can fall asleep trying not to fall asleep,” the surgeon explained. “This technique is known as ‘paradoxical motive’,” he said. “If I told you not to think of a polar bear, you would think of a polar bear first – your body works on the same principle.”
By not forcing yourself to sleep, take your mind away from gossiping about the fact that you can’t sleep. From there, he says, you actually want to stay awake with your eyes open and tell yourself you’re going to stay awake. “Your body will do the opposite and eventually you will feel tired and go to sleep,” says Raj.
And this technique tracks along with tips we’ve heard from other sleep experts, such as behavioral sleep therapists Shelby Harris, Sidi, DBSM. He previously explained to MBG that if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall asleep again, for example, he recommends getting out of bed, sitting somewhere and doing something quiet or comfortable (just don’t do that, look at any screen!), But yourself Than to fight with sleep.
The advantage of actually getting out of bed, he notes, is that you don’t start associating your bed with waking up. So, by the way, try Raj’s strategy once, and if you don’t think it’s working, move to a comfortable sofa or chair until you’re ready to get back into it.