Is Our Obsession with Sleeping Stopping Us From Doing So?

Maybe it’s because we’re pressured to sleep? This might sound a bit confusing, but hear us out. We can’t sleep because we’re thinking about it. 

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Many of us are obsessed with keeping track of how many hours of sleep we are getting. Some have tried to extend their hours of sleep, from meditating to valerian root supplements to moon milk, and have had no results. 

At some point, their obsession with ensuring they get a lot of sleep becomes an immense pressure on their psyche. Having a tracker can add to the pressure, especially with people emphasizing the need to sleep. 

Did they get any sleep? Sadly, no. According to a 2017 case report in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, there is a term for this phenomenon, called orthosomnia, the condition refers to people who obsess over their sleep. The researchers further explain why people get this disorder, “because the perfectionist quest to achieve perfect sleep is similar to the unhealthy preoccupation with healthy eating, termed orthorexia”.

While not being recognized as a disorder, Dr. Nicola Barclay, lecturer in sleep medicine at the University of Oxford, believes otherwise. “Orthosomnia is a genuine condition and a real worry, especially as people rely increasingly on sleep trackers, most of which are wildly inaccurate, giving a very poor estimate of your real sleep. If your sleep tracker tells you you’ve had four hours of poor quality sleep — even if the truth is far from this — the chances are this will psychologically impact your mood, energy levels and productivity the following day. It’s this reliance that creates a vicious cycle and will negatively impact on your sleep,” she explained.

Image credit: Ivan Oboleninov

Source: neatorama

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