The other day, I was having a conversation with two friends.
One asked, “So, what’s new with you?”
I told her about my book and she wanted to know more.
“It’s called The Calm & Cozy Book of Sleep, and it’s going to be in bookstores in a few weeks. It’s kind of a compilation of all my best stuff, and it’s a really decorative book. I’m pretty excited.”
The other friend asked, “If I read your book, will it fix my sleep?”
I stood for a moment, taken aback by the question, then formulated this response,
“Well, that depends on you and if you apply what you’ve learned.”
He went on to tell me that he regularly wakes up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, but can’t fall back asleep, so he goes to the basement to play on his computer for a few hours. There were several things I had to say about that, but before I could give my two-cents, the conversation was over and they were gone.
It’s not unusual for someone to ask a big sleep question, then end the conversation abruptly. I guess the correct response to “If I read your book will it fix my sleep?” was supposed to be a resounding “YES IT WILL!” But that’s not the kind of answer I can give to anyone.
The most frustrating questions I am asked are from people who ask serious sleep questions in passing. They are not the people who are hunkered down in a chair across from me, wanting to know the answers. They aren’t coaching clients who have admitted they need to make some changes and are ready to work with me to make it happen. They are usually people who are eavesdropping on a conversation or interrupting a story I’m telling, to get a quick question in. And the question is always very broad, requiring a longer more detailed response than they are ready to receive.
It starts with a statement like, "I sleep terribly” or “I don’t sleep at all” and ends with a question like “Can you fix it?”
No. I can’t fix your sleep. But YOU can.
Sleep is complicated and it’s mysterious. There will never be one thing I can tell you that will fix everything. There will likely be a number of techniques and habit changes that you will need to apply long-term to improve your sleep. Interrupting my conversation with someone else to ask for one solution to your long-term sleep problem shows me that you’re not willing to put the time in.
You’re looking for a magic pill that you can take before you go back to your unhealthy bedtime routine.
The truth about poor sleep is - there are likely a number of habit changes that can be made to improve your sleep. It’s also possible that your sleep is being affected by an external source, like medication, other health issues, or mental health issues. In these cases, there are still small changes you can make in your daily and nightly routines that can help, but you need to see a professional about it. Your family doctor, a sleep doctor, a therapist. Get the help you need to find the cause of your unhealthy sleep. Be willing to work together with someone to find solutions and don’t expect to be fixed.
So to answer the question, "Will reading your book (or listening to your podcast, or reading your blog) fix my sleep?"
Nope. But it can give you the guidance you need to start making some small but important changes. And those small changes can eventually add up to the BIG life-changing results you’re looking for.
Join The Calm & Cozy Book Club whenever you receive your copy of the book, and work through it with me in a private Facebook Group! It's free and completely self-paced.