All my life I have been a light sleeper.
I stopped daytime naps at a very early age. In fact, I can remember talking to my nursery teacher whilst the other children slept.
I like to have the space in my bed to lie diagonally across it.
I like it to be dark in my bedroom. In fact, I like it pitch black.
I like my bedroom to be a little chilly so that I can snuggle down under the covers all cosy and warm.
But these days, it doesn’t matter what I like. Because I have children.
Two little girls who are heat seeking missiles, attached to whatever part of me they can be as long as it’s close.
Two little girls who like to take up as much of my bed as they can – one either side – with me caught in a pincer like move in the middle.
Two girls who like their night-light, so even when they come into bed with me, they insist on having some form of light on.
One who has only just stopped snoring like a truck driver following her tonsillectomy and the other who with chronic night time cough barks away next to me throughout the night.
As a sleep deprived mum I tried to convince myself that I’d get my 8 hours back soon enough.
I used to think “it’s just for tonight”
I used to tell myself “I can’t sleep’ and “I can’t do this much longer’ and “I can’t sleep with the light on / this hot / without space” etc
Then last night I discovered something.
I can. I can sleep.
Between one girl coughing and the other intermittently shoving her knees into my kidneys.
And do you know why?
(No it’s not through sheer exhaustion)
It’s because I started to tell myself “I can sleep anywhere” ” I sleep deeply and soundly” and “Sleep comes easily to me”.
I changed the language I use with myself around this behaviour. Around my beliefs about how and when I can sleep.
And it made me realise that I had been telling myself the same story all most all of my life about how I cannot sleep unless “x” happens. I’ve been telling myself that I cannot sleep unless certain conditions are met.
On trips abroad for work, running leadership programs, NLP training and retreats I would tell myself “I can’t sleep in hotel rooms”
And guess what? I didn’t.
In fact, my friends and family will tell you I’m not a good sleeper. That I don’t need a lot of sleep. That I can ‘survive’ on very little sleep each night.
And so I decided to change it.
To change my identity and my story around sleep.
I am writing this at 5.30am sandwiched between my two slumbering girls and I thank goodness that they are great sleepers too.
You can change the habit of a lifetime. You can change your beliefs. You can change your story.
What story do you need to change? Comment below and let me know.