How Felicity transformed her relationship with sleep by practicing new sleep habits, being kinder to herself, and living life independently of sleep (#35)

Listen to the podcast episode (audio only)

Felicity had struggled with sleep, on and off, for her entire life. Usually, her sleep would get back on track after a few months of sleep disruption — however, when sleep issues returned due to some big life changes, Felicity’s sleep didn’t recover.

In an attempt to make sleep happen, Felicity started to spend a lot of time researching sleep. She gave up coffee, she experimented with medication and supplements. She even booked herself into hotels because sleep seemed so impossible in her own bed.

Fortunately, Felicity was able to get her sleep back on track and change her mindset about sleep by implementing behaviors that created better conditions for sleep. She practiced self-care and did things that helped her continue to move toward the kind of life she wanted to live, independently of sleep.

Felicity did get frustrated with her progress — she felt improvements were not occurring quickly enough. However, because she committed to techniques that help set the stage for sleep and because she was ready, willing, and able to explore her relationship with sleep, Felicity’s sleep did improve.

Perhaps most importantly of all, though, Felicity’s entire mindset around sleep changed — she stopped identifying as an insomniac, she started to be kinder to herself whenever difficult nights occurred, and she learned that sleep doesn’t require any effort and doesn’t respond well to effort.

Sleep is no longer something that gets in the way of Felicity’s life — she lives her life independently of sleep and, as a result, she is sleeping well and living well.

Click here for a full transcript of this episode.

Martin Reed:
Welcome to the Insomnia Coach Podcast. My name is Martin Reed. I believe that nobody needs to live with chronic insomnia and that evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques can help you enjoy better sleep for the rest of your life.

Martin Reed:
The content of this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. The statements and opinions expressed by guests are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by Insomnia Coach LLC. All content is provided “as is” and without warranties, either express or implied.

Martin Reed:
Hi, Felicity. Thank you so much for coming onto the podcast today.

Felicity Jackson:
Thanks for having me.

Martin Reed:
It’s great to have you on. Let’s start right at the beginning, as always. Can you just tell us when your problems with sleep first began and if you’ve got any kind of idea what triggered that sleep disruption?

Felicity Jackson:
Yep. So, I’ve had issues on and off with sleep my whole life. So, I found, on your podcast, there’s two types of people. There’s the people who’ve had a short term event that’s created their insomnia, and then there’s the other people, like me, who’ve struggled with it on and off your entire life. So, I identified with that.

Felicity Jackson:
I remember as a young kid we had a family holiday house. All the kids slept in the same room, just stare at the ceiling and irritated by little noises. And then, I’ve had, during university exams or moving house or sleeping in hotels, I’ve always struggled a bit with having short term insomnia, but it always recovered itself.

Felicity Jackson:
In my mid 20s I went through period about three or four months of having insomnia, and that was after my pop passed away and I moved in with my grandma, and it was a hard time for our family. But that passed and I was pretty much, I guess, symptom free, if you wanted to use that word, for about eight or nine years.

Felicity Jackson:
And then the pandemic hit last year. And I was actually moving to the US in the March of last year, and I was literally ready to go the next day, had sold up, packed up and everything, and then I had to… I had decided not to go because it was so unstable and the situation in the US wasn’t looking good. So, I ended up moving in with my parents, and luckily, my job took me back.

Felicity Jackson:
I slept absolutely amazingly living with my parents in my old bed, but I wanted a life change. And Australia’s a big country. I was living in Victoria, which is in the south and I thought I can still have a new adventure. And I’d asked work if I could move to Queensland, which is at the top of Australia. It’s got a better climate. We’ve got good beaches and everything.

Felicity Jackson:
And the way they’ve handled the pandemic here is they’ve shut state borders. So the state, I’m in Queensland now, still has its border shut to half of Australia. So I was waiting until the border opened for Queensland, but I saw the situation was getting worse in my home state and I thought, I’m not getting stuck here any longer. So I packed a suitcase and I literally flew out to Sydney the next day. And over the next 12 weeks I worked out of hotels. I lived in 12 hotels, I think.

Felicity Jackson:
I was monitoring the situation every single day waiting for the border to open in Queensland. And I didn’t really know where I was going or where I was going to end up, but it came back pretty much straight away when that started. I didn’t let it worry me too much, because I knew that I was in a high stress situation. But then when I settled in Brisbane, which is the city I live in now, I expected it all to go away because a lot of the stress had gone away, but it didn’t go away. It just continued on and on and I was trying to ignore it, and I was…

Felicity Jackson:
I thought that I was settled, but in reality I was in a new city, I was in a new office. My relocation wasn’t actually approved, so that was a little bit of a thing with work. And then I decided to get on the dating apps. So I was out living my best life drinking and having a good time and pretending I was 25 again, and it wasn’t improving at all. And then consequent things that have happened over the last 12 months were just perpetuating it so bad that that’s when I ended up reaching out to you.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. So, what were those nights like more recently when you did that relocation and you found that those sleep issues returned and they seemed to be a bit more stubborn this time and not be going away? Was there a typical night? Was there an average night?

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. I’ve gone everything from going to sleep instantly and waking up early, to spending hours trying to get to sleep but being able to sleep in but waking up a lot. I’ve gone through the full gamut. But during that time it was that I would go to sleep pretty fast and I would wake up multiple times.

Felicity Jackson:
So, I was just accumulating sleep debt. And one of the other times I’ve had insomnia in the past I got very depressed because of it. So when I got it this time I was determined not to do that, so I still was out. I never canceled any social things, but it just wasn’t helping. Going to bed at midnight one night and 8:00 PM the next night, obviously, that wasn’t helping either, but it was just those early morning wakenings and just the constant aching of my legs and headaches.

Felicity Jackson:
Also, I came from a city where it’s like a late night, late morning place, to living here where the suns rises at 4:30 in the morning. So, my normal sleep was I’d go to bed at 11:00 and I’d get up at 7:00. But then here I’m going to bed 11:00 and then I’m waking up at 4:30 and it’s broad daylight. And so I was almost in this jet lag state, and then I can’t get back to sleep when it’s broad daylight. It’s just against your body clock. So, I go to bed at like 8:30 now. So I’ve adjusted, but yeah.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. So, back before you reached out to me, what kind of things… Were you doing anything? When you moved, you relocated, this insomnia came back, the struggle seemed to happen again. What kind of things did you try to do or to change to try and fix the situation that now you’re able to look back on it, probably weren’t that helpful?

Felicity Jackson:
So, I gave up coffee, which I loved and still love and also didn’t drink excessively. I would have one in the morning. I was on an endless research project to the point where I was studying brain scans from scientific studies and I was research… And obvious, when you read that having insomnia is going to give you basically every degenerative brain disease there is, that doesn’t help.

Felicity Jackson:
I would avoid sleeping in my own bed, so I would book hotels a couple of kilometers away from me just so that I didn’t have to sleep in my own bed or I’d go home to see my mom to sleep in that… I call it the magic bed where I had nine hours sleep every night. Oh, what else did I do? Going bed early, going to bed late, and then I tried all the herbs.

Felicity Jackson:
I tried sleeping pills. So they didn’t… I mean, they don’t work. So every little thing I tried that I mentioned worked briefly, and then it stops working. So the herbal ones, and then I even tried anti-depression medication, even though I don’t have depression. And what I found with that was that rather than having racing thoughts I just had no thoughts, but I still wasn’t getting to sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
So it was, I just try. Even during my recovery I’ve gone through phases of wanting to sleep in the same bed as my partner, to not wanting to sleep in the same bed as my partner, to just so many different little vices that I tried and they just had this short term or no effect. It’s actually really hard to get sleeping medications and stuff in Australia, so it was a bit of a… you need to have a long term relationship with a doctor, and you need to show that you’re getting therapy and stuff, and I didn’t have that here.

Felicity Jackson:
So when I moved to Brisbane getting sleeping pills stopped really becoming an option for me, which was probably a positive, because I found that, yeah, I might get seven hours sleep with a sleeping pill, but I’m dealing with this hangover of the pill as well, so I might as well just take the five hours and no pill side effects, than the seven hours where you’re feeling groggy and crap.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. Exactly. I think it’s quite ironic the way you described those side effects, because often a lot of our concern about sleep is based on how we feel the next day during the day when we’re awake. It just feels really unpleasant. We can feel groggy and maybe confused, that brain fog, and yet at the same… so we reach for a medication or a supplement or something like that that oftentimes can come with those very side effects that we’re taking them for to try and avoid. That’s why they can become such a double edged sword.

Felicity Jackson:
I used to suffer from really bad jet lag, so I might get somewhere in a really different time zone and it might take me a week of my holiday to recover. And I found that one time I did take sleeping tablets and it was just a game changer. I took them for a couple of nights and I was back. But when you’re on holidays you’re not researching sleep, right? You’re out enjoying yourself and-

Martin Reed:
Yeah. And just that change of environment as well. We can easily just associate our own beds or our own sleeping environment with that struggle. And so we can feel really sleepy, ready for sleep, and then we go into our bedroom and the brain is like, uh-oh, this is where bad things happen, wakey, wakey time, whereas when we go on vacation or, like you described, go into a different environment, a different hotel room, or go to your parents’ house, sometimes we can sleep.

Martin Reed:
But I think it’s one of those things that can sometimes be helpful in the short term, but over the longer term it’s one of those things, it worked at first, why is it not working now? And the reason it’s not working over the longer term is because it doesn’t really get to the root of the problem.

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. Well, actually, all of my things failing, particularly the hotel one was the most stubborn, because that was something that I was doing a lot, which is quite expensive! Also, because I don’t like any noise or any traffic noise, so I’m like, you have to go five star basically to get that, but during my recovery the more that stuff stopped working, I think, the closer I was to coming good, because I thought… The first night that I couldn’t sleep in a hotel I was like, oh, well, that’s gone now, I might as well persist with my own bed.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. That’s a great way of looking at it. And I think we’ve opened this discussion really well, because I think a lot of people are going to identify with different aspects of everything you’ve described. A lot of people recognize that they would sleep on and off, have some little patches of sleep difficulties for as long as they can remember, whereas other people don’t. They’re like, this insomnia just strikes. Both are equally normal, so to speak.

Martin Reed:
But then we get this time where the sleep disruption occurs and, for some reason, it doesn’t disappear, and that’s where we are most likely to get caught up in the struggle. And that’s when we start doing all those things to try and fix the problem, understandably, and they all make sense when we’re doing them. I want to get more sleep, so I’m going to go to bed earlier, for example.

Martin Reed:
All these things that we do to try and fix the problem, but they backfire on us and they actually perpetuate the problem. That’s like filling up an oxygen tank, putting the mask onto insomnia, putting insomnia into intensive care, and looking after it saying, “Never leave me. Stay with me forever.” That’s the effect it can have.

Martin Reed:
And so, what we look to do in terms of effective long term solutions is to just address those perpetuating factors, so changing our behaviors in a way that helps create better conditions for sleep and exploring all those thought processes that we have about sleep, our relationship with our thoughts, not necessarily trying to dispute them or to push them away, but just to change the way that we live our lives with the brain broadcasting all those thoughts in the background.

Martin Reed:
And so, basically, that’s the more theoretical side of it, which you’ve just explained perfectly in practical terms. There was some sleep disruption every now and then, it stuck around, I gave up coffee, I started to book hotels, I did this, I tried supplements, I tried sleeping pills, all those changes, and over the long term they’re not helpful. And then we end up worrying more because all these things we are trying are not proving to be helpful. It just becomes such a vicious cycle, doesn’t it?

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah, that’s right. And just things like the sleepy time tea, and if you look at the ingredients of that, it’s just like chamomile and something else. And you just, I’m like, that does… I reckon a lot of those things, they help a good sleeper have an even better sleep potentially, even though that might be placebo as well, but when you’ve got chronic insomnia it’s, yeah, they work for a couple of days and then your anxiety gets even worse, because then they’ve stopped working, and then you just think nothing’s going to work. I’m going to be trapped in this hell forever.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. It is difficult. Although we don’t see sleepy time teas, for example, listed as something we see included in these sleep hygiene rules and rituals, they’re pretty much just another one of those things. Maybe they can be helpful if you’re already sleeping pretty well, you’re just looking for a little bit more optimization or a little bit more relaxation or something like that. But by the time we are dealing with the more entrenched insomnia, the sleepy time tea or supplements or things like that probably aren’t going to make much difference.

Martin Reed:
And that’s another area where we can get trapped, is adding those rituals, for example, sleepy time tea, but also, taking things away from ourselves that we enjoy. So like, for example, you said you really enjoyed coffee. That was one of the first things you gave up, I’m going to give up the coffee now.

Martin Reed:
So, it’s probably not going to have any influence on your sleep unless you’re drinking 12 gallons of it a day all the way up until midnight. But what it is doing is it’s training you, well, first of all, we’re taking away something positive from our lives, we’re taking away a plus, and second of all, we’re training ourselves that sleep is having a negative influence on our lives. I’ve got to sleep, because if I don’t sleep now, I’ve taken coffee away, what else am I going to have to take away? I’m going to have to take away going to the gym, or I’m going to have to take away going out with friends.

Martin Reed:
And before you know it, it’s just completely taken over your life and you’re just sitting in your room not doing anything. And that in itself still doesn’t help. It’s like our brain wants to do a deal with us, do this and you’ll feel better. So you do it. You might feel a little bit better right away, but then over the longer term it’s not really helping you feel any better.

Felicity Jackson:
Oh, I also got into a really bad habit of the lunchtime nap. And when we went back to the office after the… when they all opened up again, I was on this roster of one week in the office, one week not in the office. And I got to the point where, when I was in the office, I was sneaking home at lunchtime and things like that, and I just thought, oh, this is just not…

Felicity Jackson:
And then that would increase my anxiety. I’m like, what if my boss notices and I’m not there? I was lying and saying there was a tradesman coming over when there wasn’t, and I was like, this is just not helping the situation at all. And as a 35 year old woman, having a daytime nap’s just not acceptable. Well, I’m not living in Spain and running a late night restaurant having a siesta.

Martin Reed:
Yeah, it’s interesting that… talking about the naps, they can really be tricky because if we are someone that’s always had these short naps in the day even before we were struggling with insomnia, then maybe we don’t necessarily have to give them up if it’s one of those things that we enjoy. But the reason why we usually suggest trying to resist that urge to nap during the day is because when we nap during the day, if we sleep, we are relieving some of that sleep drive.

Martin Reed:
So if we just imagine sleep drive is like blowing air into a balloon, every minute of wakefulness we’re blowing air into that balloon, and the idea is when that balloon is really full we go to bed, it bursts, and we sleep. If we nap during the day we are letting air out of that balloon. By the time we go to bed then we got a floppy saggy balloon, probably not going to help with sleep.

Martin Reed:
But then, if we try to nap because we’ve had some bad nights, going through a bad patch of sleep, not got any sleep, and then we still don’t sleep, then we get even more worried because now I can’t even nap, so what is going on?

Felicity Jackson:
And you put your focus on the nighttime sleep, you have to get that good sleep, and then you don’t.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. Exactly. And where we can get tripped up then… I think where I see people with chronic insomnia often getting tripped up in terms of the daytime naps is people with chronic insomnia nap because they want to sleep. They’re desperate for sleep. They want sleep to happen. People without chronic insomnia nap because they’re sleepy. They’re actually finding it hard to stay awake.

Martin Reed:
And that might sound interesting to say, and people might be listening to this thinking, well, of course I’m sleepy, I’ve got insomnia. But the interesting thing with people with chronic insomnia is, we use this phrase, tired but wired, which has more to do with fatigue.

Felicity Jackson:
100%.

Martin Reed:
So we can be really tired but our brain is wired, it’s keeping us going. And so, conditions aren’t usually right for napping for people with chronic insomnia. Most clients that I work with, when they try to nap, they’re not usually very successful at generating sleep. And I think it comes down to that intent, which is the second part of what I wanted to just quickly touch upon. What is our intent with anything?

Martin Reed:
When our intent is sleep, whether it’s listening to a relaxation session, if our goal is sleep, if we are napping because we want sleep rather than because we’re sleepy, if we are taking a supplement because the goal is sleep, all these things are unhelpful because they’re sleep efforts and they imply that we can control sleep. We can’t control sleep. We can definitely create better conditions for sleep, but we can’t wave a magic wand and make sleep happen. Nothing can do that.

Martin Reed:
And whenever we engage in a sleep effort, we’re also telling the mind, okay, I’m trying this, let’s see if it works. And so the mind is always a few notches higher now to see, okay, so tonight we took a melatonin at seven o’clock, we did a sleepy time tea at 7:23, we took a bath, the bath temperature was 98 degrees Fahrenheit, not Celsius, we used this certain brand of smelling salts, let’s see if that’s the secret sauce. And that increases the arousal and often just creates less favorable conditions for sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
I remember one day I fell asleep on the beach. I was so relaxed, which was extremely rare for that time, and I emailed you and I said, “Oh, I just ruined everything. I fell asleep on the beach.” And you did say, you were like, “Well, if it happened, it just happened.”

Felicity Jackson:
And I take that now that, say, it’s a Saturday and I’ve got up really early, and I’ve gone to the gym, and I’ve been at the market, and I’ve got something on that night, and I think, oh God, I just love to lie down and relax.

Felicity Jackson:
And sometimes I do indulge in a bit of a nap like that, but I always make that intention… I always think about what my intention is, and if my intention is to catch up on sleep, then I will not allow myself to have a nap. But if the intention is to just relax and just have a… when I’m actually feeling sleepy, I’ll do it.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. And I think that’s an important distinction to make, right, because when we are in the throes of insomnia we tend to find that a lot of our behaviors are centered on that intention of making sleep happen. And when we get to this point where we can move away from those sleep efforts, that attempt to control sleep, that attempt to make sleep happen, we can definitely start engaging in some more experiments and becoming a little bit more relaxed around it.

Martin Reed:
As our mindset changes, our behaviors can also change. And, like you said, I think a lot of it does just come down to our intent. And all of these techniques I talk about on the podcast and when I’m working with clients, these aren’t necessarily things that we are looking to be implementing for the rest of our lives. They’re just a way of getting us back on track, being aware of how our behaviors can influence sleep and how our relationship with our thoughts can influence sleep.

Martin Reed:
Once we’ve got that knowledge under our belt, we typically start to sleep a lot better or feel a bit more comfortable about our sleep. And then we can start, what’s the best term for it, just getting back to not having concern about sleep rule our behaviors. But we’ve always got those skills in our back pockets, so if ever we find ourselves struggling again, we can just pull them back out and just start implementing them again.

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. 100%. And you do over and over and over again. Even on a weekly basis you’re pulling out those techniques just to bring you back on track, and just always having that.

Felicity Jackson:
Another thing you said to me was that you’ve never seen a unique case of insomnia. And I just thought that I found that so helpful that if you could basically see an improvement in everyone, even some of the people you’ve had on your podcast have been suffering within insomnia for like 20 years. And I thought if someone like that can… or, number one, I’m like, how terrible that they didn’t have the treatment options available to them.

Felicity Jackson:
But also, yeah, if you can help someone who’s had it for 20 years and who’s having multiple nights of no sleep every single week, then it will work for me. And knowing that was really comforting as well.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. I mean, I think it is comforting because… especially if we are one of, going back to what I was saying earlier, if you’re one of these people that have never struggled with sleep disruption before and then suddenly it just appears out of nowhere and it just seems to stick around, it can be really worrying. You can easily believe that there’s something uniquely wrong, that you are the only person with this issue, but there are many, many people out there going through exactly what you’re going through.

Martin Reed:
Everyone’s individual circumstances are probably unique, but the behavior of insomnia, how insomnia works, the influence it has, the way it affects our sleep, the way it affects our daytime lives is virtually identical from person to person. And like you said, I’m still waiting to work with a client or to receive an email from someone who tells me something I’ve not heard before, because…

Martin Reed:
That’s definitely not to belittle what people with insomnia are going through. It is just to reassure that, from person to person, insomnia is pretty much identical. And that means that if insomnia from person to person is identical, these techniques that have helped other people with the same insomnia as you are almost certainly going to help you too.

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah.

Martin Reed:
So let’s talk about some of these techniques. So we got a lot of the background stuff out of the way. When we were working together, what kind of, let’s start with the behavioral change side of things, what kind of new behaviors did you implement and find were particularly helpful for you?

Felicity Jackson:
I found the most helpful technique, and it’s something that I practice now, was the stimulus control. So the getting out of bed. Just to break that stimulus of… or break that association of having a frustration with the bed. And I still probably use this technique every week. If I’m thinking that, oh, I’m feeling anxious and I get out of bed. And it works nine times out of 10 that you go back to bed, or you might have to do it twice, and then you go straight to sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
So, that was the most helpful, and that was not something that I was doing at all. But then the sleep restriction, I think that helped because I was going to bed at such erratic times. That really helped, even though I was religiously waking up at 4:00 every day annoyingly, but I was going to bed all these different times and just having that rigidity of not having to worry about, am I going to get eight hours, am I going to get nine hours, am I going to get 10 hours, even though getting 10 hours is not something I’d ever done. All of a sudden I was striving to get this 10 hours.

Felicity Jackson:
And yeah, so probably I’d noticed small changes every week, and this is something we were going to talk about about how I didn’t see instantaneous results, which is what I like. And my personality as well is… and I’ve got friends who are in similar roles to me, so I’m in sales, which is already a stimulating job. You’re doing sales, you’re losing sales.

Felicity Jackson:
I run a big team of 30 people, and I speak to people with personalities like mine. And so many of them in the corporate world, we’re all the same, this kind of personality that’s like always on. I open my eyes and I’m there and I don’t have any sleep inertia and stuff. Yeah. So probably not having to worry about that timing of going to bed and getting awake and waking up, knowing when I was getting up.

Felicity Jackson:
That alleviated a bit of the anxiety of it, because I wasn’t striving for sleep anymore. I was just saying, well, I’ll get this much sleep or I won’t, and I’m going to get up and enjoy my day. And yeah, I expected really quick results. I probably just… I saw small incremental improvements every single week.

Felicity Jackson:
And I was on your forums thinking, why haven’t I had this magic cure that some of your other guests, this is probably just my assumption because you make an extraordinary number of assumptions as well when you have insomnia, is that the program worked in six weeks for some people, I’m five, six weeks in and I’m still… I might have gone from, say, four and a half, five hours to like five hours and 45 minutes or six hours, but I was still… I expected a miracle cure. I wanted fast results.

Felicity Jackson:
Normally, if I don’t get results in something I just, fail fast, move on, but this was not the technique that I could use. I had to persist. I had to have faith and… Yeah.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. It’s funny you said that, because I was working with a client recently, and here’s what I find in my own experience, is the clients that come to me expecting this to take time tend to get results the quickest, the ones who start working with me and they’re quite understandably really keen to get faster results, things to turn around really quickly, they’re the ones that tend to struggle a little bit more and it takes longer for them to get the results.

Martin Reed:
And I think it just comes down to the effort again. It’s our natural human inclination to put effort into a problem to fix it, but the problem is sleep doesn’t respond well to effort. We cannot control sleep. It’s like with any goal. We cannot make ourselves reach a goal, but we can control our journey toward that goal.

Martin Reed:
So, I might want to be… When I was a kid, let’s say this, when I was a child I wanted to be a pilot of Concorde, the supersonic jet liner that’s not around anymore. So it turns out I made a good choice abandoning that. But anyway, I had that goal, but I couldn’t make myself become pilot of Concord, but I could go to school, I could join the air cadets as a teenager. There are all these things that I could control towards that journey, but I couldn’t control the actual goal, reaching that goal, that outcome, and it’s like that with sleep and within insomnia.

Martin Reed:
We can control our behaviors in terms of making sure we’re not spending 10 hours in bed when we are averaging four or five hours of sleep. We can try and go about our days as normally as possible, try and avoid those safety behaviors. We can control all these actions, but we can’t control sleep itself.

Martin Reed:
So if we can focus all of our attention on the actions, on the process side of things and just leave the outcome to just do what it’s doing, that’s when we tend to get the best results, and actually, ironically, the faster the results, because we are not focused on what we cannot control. We’re more focused on what we can control.

Martin Reed:
And it does take time though, at the same time. And I think the fact that you’ve identified stimulus control as being one of those really helpful techniques is a good illustration of that, because for people not familiar with the technique, what we often see, as we touched upon right at the start of this episode, was we can learn to associate our beds with unpleasant wakefulness, tossing and turning, anxiety, stress, and worry. And so our brain is like, all right, bed no longer equals sleep, relaxation, coziness, bed equals danger, risk, there’s going to be… It’s almost like when you’re a kid, is there someone hiding under the bed? And you start to freak out.

Martin Reed:
So what we want to do is just… the good news is that’s learned, right? It’s learned association. So it can be unlearned or we can relearn the original association of bed equals a nice place to be. And we can do that by just doing whatever it takes to make being awake in bed or just being awake at night a bit more pleasant.

Martin Reed:
And just as it took time to learn that the bed is not a nice place to be, it does take time to relearn that the bed can be a nice place to be. Although, it’s usually not… doesn’t take as long, it still does take time. So I think we do have to have realistic expectations too.

Martin Reed:
Let’s say you had insomnia for like 10 years, 20 years, you’re probably not going to turn it on its head in four weeks. It’s probably going to take longer. And I have clients that I finish working with them at, say, around eight weeks, there’s been some small improvements, and then I hear back from them in a month’s time or three months later and they’re like, “I kept on going and I got my transformation.”

Martin Reed:
So, it really can take a long amount of time. And I think if you come into it with the assumption that it will take time, that these changes can be difficult, especially in the short term, and although we can’t control the outcome, we can control the process, I think that can be really helpful.

Felicity Jackson:
I found that it did get worse at the start in terms of I was getting even less sleep. And even though I knew that I’d discussed that with you and you said that that’s normal, it’s just hard when you’ve got that every day and you are going to work and trying to not cancel on plans or anything. But when you’re just, yeah, getting those headaches and those body aches.

Felicity Jackson:
And then I ended up taking paracetamol and things like that. And then you wonder if that’s going to erode your liver. And you just got all this constant, even though I don’t think it does if you take two paracetamol a day. It’s just a bit of a myth. But I actually, it was only really about two months ago that I really started to be able to shift from associating a bad night’s sleep with having a sleep disorder, to associating anxiety about sleeping more to things that are going on in my daily life that actually have nothing to do with sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
And what that brought that on, and it’s just an extension of everything I’d learned from you, was that I did this leadership course, and it was three days. It was two nights staying at this hotel, which I was looking forward to because… This was actually when the hotel vice stopped working for me. And part of the leadership course was on the self-limiting identities. And this could be anything in work, right? This could be, I’m not smart enough, I’m not confident enough, I’m not good looking enough, whatever you are.

Felicity Jackson:
And I started to think about how I identified so strongly as an insomniac and how that was, I think, holding me back from really being able to move forward properly. And because I couldn’t help myself I ended up researching. I put insomnia identity in Google, and it came up with this study that said that people who had participated in this study had identified as insomniacs. And what this study found was over a third of them didn’t even have insomnia. Medically, they couldn’t even be diagnosed with it.

Felicity Jackson:
And I thought, oh, I’ve had three bad night’s sleep out of… in a fortnight, I don’t even have insomnia, I’m walking around saying I’m insomniac and I’m actually not. And I had a bad night, really bad night’s sleep that night at the course and I was just going down the spiral again, it’s going to come back, I’m going to go back to that hell, it’s all been for nothing, I’ll never get better, all the other people on the podcast got better, but I won’t.

Felicity Jackson:
And interestingly, the facilitator of the course, so there were 15 people doing the course, and she said, “Who had a good night’s sleep last night?” In the meantime, I’d just verbal vomited to her about my insomnia that morning. And two people put up their hand, out of 15. Two people had a good night’s sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
And I looked around, and I go to bed at 8:30, the course went until 9:30. It was talking about your self limiting beliefs and all of this real introspection. And I just looked around and I thought, I’m the only one spiraling out of control here, but I didn’t have a worse night than anyone else here. And they were just looking at it as a one off event. I had a bad night’s sleep last night, how shit, whereas I’m like, oh, I’m just going down this spiral of these negative thoughts. And after that I started to think that…

Felicity Jackson:
So I’ve just moved house a couple of weeks ago, and there were a couple of nights where I thought I’m not going to have a good night’s sleep, but I was able to say, well, you’ve just moved house, you’ve just moved in with your partner, I’m sleeping in a bed with him every night now, I’m sleep in a different bed, we’re still settling in, there’s boxes everywhere, yeah, you might have a bad night’s sleep, you probably will, but it’ll pass, just like it has the other times.

Felicity Jackson:
And even if it does, yeah, it’s not a permanent thing. And now that I’ve had that mental thing that I’d actually don’t… I’ve recovered from my sleep disorder, I can really disassociate that from any anxieties that I’d be feeling in the day.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. I think that’s a really interesting topic, how the role of insomnia identity plays into everything. There was a study that I recently read and it found that people that identified as insomniacs, that in itself was more predictive of what we call daytime impairment, more difficult days, than poor sleep was. So, just to repeat that, just having that insomnia identity was more predictive of daytime impairment than how you sleep.

Martin Reed:
So, I think there’s definitely something to having this identity, which we naturally as human beings, we’re going to form that identity, especially when we’ve had insomnia for long periods of time. But that means that it’s like this lower hanging fruit that maybe if we can tackle that and give ourselves a new more helpful, more constructive identity, that that can be helpful.

Felicity Jackson:
I kind of think of it as a bit like, say if you’ve had a history of a bad depression and you have one bad day where you had a shitty day, you think, oh, my depression’s coming back, whereas with me I’m like, I had a bad day, I’m going to get a pizza, I’m going to get some chocolate, I’m going to watch Netflix and think about my… drown my sorrows in this ice cream and tomorrow I’ll have a great day. I don’t think of it as anything that’s going to stick around.

Felicity Jackson:
And I’m trying to think about that a bit like looking at insomnia like that. Yeah, I had a bad night’s sleep. It was just a bad night’s sleep.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. And that’s the thing. I think, especially if we can remember a time in our past when we had some sleep disruption and it didn’t really affect us but all of a sudden now it is, often it does come down to our interpretation of what it means to have those difficult nights.

Martin Reed:
Back in the past maybe insomnia didn’t stick around because, precisely because we didn’t really pay much attention to having some difficult nights. But of course, we’re all human, when those difficult nights stick around, then we are going to start to get a bit more worried about them, and then that can feed into that negative cycle.

Martin Reed:
But really all these thoughts mean… I think we need to recognize that all these thoughts, whether they’re constructive or not, they’re all just our minds looking out for us. So when the mind’s like, if you don’t sleep tomorrow will be awful, you might lose your job, you’re going to get fired, you’re never going to make it through your day, you’re going to be a bad mom, you’re going to be a bad teacher, whatever. These are all our brain looking out for us, being…

Martin Reed:
It’s like having that really over enthusiastic really intense friend that’s just always calling you up, “How are you doing? How are you doing? How do you feel about that?”, just over and over. And our minds are like that. Our mind is trying so hard to give us the best life possible that it’s actually getting in our way. So we can’t control those thoughts because our brain is always going to want to look out for us. None of us will be alive today if it wasn’t for our brains wanting to look out for us.

Martin Reed:
But where we can make a difference is how we respond to those thoughts. Do we let those thoughts take over all of our actions and all our behaviors and move us away from the life we want to live, or do we recognize those thoughts as thanks, Brian, you’re looking out for me, doesn’t make me feel good but I realize you’re looking out for me, taking a step back, maybe you’re taking a moment, and then deciding how to respond.

Martin Reed:
Are you going to respond in a way that moves you away from your values, now I’m going to cancel that night out with friends, or are you going to still go out with friends, live according to your values, even with that megaphone in the background, your brain, looking out for you?

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. There was one podcast you did, Celia, and she really kind of… I resonated with her, and she was someone who’d had sleep issues her whole life.

Felicity Jackson:
And she said a couple of things that really resonate with me. The first one was that her husband says to her that things are so much better than they used to be. And I think about that all the time when I’m like, oh, I’ve had a couple of bad nights, which is fewer and far between now. I always think that it’s so much better than it used to be. And the second one she said was that she had an obsession with being cured. So, I mean, this program is going to cure me, and once I let go of that…

Felicity Jackson:
It was funny that day that you released the podcast with Celia because I’d had quite a bad run of a couple of nights, and then I woke up and I looked at my phone and I think you’d sent an email saying that there was a new podcast and with Celia and I thought, I’ll listen to that.

Felicity Jackson:
And, yeah, just so many of the things she said was just… it was just like that serendipitous timing where… But the obsession with being cured, I let go of that because I thought, I’ve had this for so many times, or I’ve memories of this sleeping stuff since I was about eight years old, I’m never going to be cured, it’ll probably come back at some point or even in a short term capacity. But I think the way that I react to it is going to determine whether it sticks around for a couple of days or a couple of months.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. Exactly. What I really liked when I was talking to Celia was she just completely changed her mindset and she was just like, look, there is no cure. She just changed her mindset so that, look, there’s no cure. And what I liked about that was, I think she had framed it in a way that was like, look, there’s no cure to sleep disruption from time to time, it’s going to affect… it affects every human being on the planet, it’s going to affect me from time to time.

Martin Reed:
There’s no cure for that. We cannot eliminate every single potential trigger for sleep disruption. There’s probably like 10 billion of them, probably more. We can’t live our lives trying to eliminate all those potential triggers, but what we can do is make sure that we are not going to feed them, we’re not going to be that oxygen tank for the insomnia to stick around for longer than it needs to.

Martin Reed:
And we can also do things, no matter how small. Even if we’re really struggling, no matter how small, we can take tiny baby steps towards living the kind of life we want to live, even when we have difficult nights, even over really sustained period of times. There are still tiny teeny things that we can do that give the middle finger to insomnia and say that, hey, even though you’re doing this to me, I can still do this for myself. And I think that is a big mindset change that can be helpful.

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. And I think if I’m going to have a job where for nine hours a day it’s full on, full on, full on and not stimulating, then I need to balance that out with other… and I think that’s where I haven’t done that in the past necessarily. And so, I look at it more as self care. I don’t look at it as things to stop the insomnia coming back. I just look at it as, well, I need to look after myself and, otherwise, I should get a more stress free job, even though I don’t know where that exists, but… And then, if I get a different job because of my insomnia, then we’re just back at square on that.

Martin Reed:
Right.

Felicity Jackson:
Letting it rule your life again.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. It can be really easy to end up getting caught up in that trap again, right, because it’s so easy to just suddenly be like… Well, I think what it is is because our brain is just so keen to look out for us. It’s always going to have those statements to give us like, oh, maybe if you stay home tonight, you’re feeling pretty stressed, stay home tonight, you’ll feel better and maybe you’ll sleep great, and it’s really easy to… Sometimes those thoughts can be really helpful when we listen to them and implement what our brain is telling us, but sometimes they can’t.

Martin Reed:
So it’s definitely a balancing activity. It can be tricky. And one of the things I see in clients that have really made that transformational change is they’re just less, what’s the phrase used, less reactive to the thoughts, better able to recognize that all these thoughts going on in the mind are thoughts and that we always get to choose how we want to react to them.

Martin Reed:
And we can react in a way that’s, going back to values, because I think it’s easy to illustrate, we can react in a way that’s not really aligned with our values or we can react in a way that is aligned with our values, even though our mind might be telling us not to go in that direction. Yeah.

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. Definitely.

Martin Reed:
One thing that I do just quickly want to just circle back on, because I know it’s something that you were also keen to talk about, was just how this process can take time, that it is a journey. We’re never going to change. We can definitely change our behaviors overnight, but we’re probably not going to get results overnight, but changing our mindset, that definitely usually takes a lot longer.

Martin Reed:
Can you just tell us a little bit more about what that process was like for you? I think you touched upon earlier that it was… you were seeing these incremental improvements over months and months, but it’s only now more recently that you feel you’ve really hit that real turning point.

Felicity Jackson:
So we started, I mean, I first reached out to you about 12 months ago, and I started the program. And we both decided that I should stop and wait until I was really ready to do it, because I was trying to do sleep diary but I was in the midst of my little dating experiment, and I had a lot of social things on that I was…

Felicity Jackson:
In that 12 weeks that I was moving up to Queensland, I was on my own nearly the whole time, and that was just… it’s not healthy as a human to be like that. But particularly as an extroverted person, it took a bit of a toll on me. And then when I got to Brisbane, I was just taking every social invitation. I was so excited to be there.

Felicity Jackson:
And so, that was when I was going to bed at 11:00 and then 8:00 and then I just couldn’t commit to it, and we decided that I would pause it. And then I picked it up at the end of January, and this was just a better time for me. It was much more calm. I’d settled in to where I was. There wasn’t all the Christmas social activities going on. And so, I could commit to the program fully then.

Felicity Jackson:
So I think that’s a really important part of just making sure that you’re ready to do it and that you’ve 100% committed, otherwise, it won’t work. But yeah, it was just such slow changes that just required so much persistence just to keep having faith that I would get results if I continued along the path. And yeah.

Felicity Jackson:
I actually did break the deal and do a little bit of research on recovery, insomnia recovery. And that also helped me as well, because it really said that you’re not really expected to have full confidence until probably six plus months after you’ve done a period of, I guess, cognitive behavioral therapy and the sleep restriction.

Felicity Jackson:
And I think that really helped me as well, because I thought, oh, I am tracking to a timeline of the recovery that I was just expecting to be cured within the eight week program, and having a bit of a… I ended up having a video call with you probably in June-ish, and that got me back on track as well, but I also got a promotion during that time, just to add another layer of stress, and a new relationship.

Felicity Jackson:
And I got to the point where I’d reached the level of my stress, and I took a couple of weeks off work. I took three weeks off work, and that was just a huge benefit as well. I took it as leave, and that just allowed me to take one stimulating thing out of my life and get my stress levels down. And that really helped as well, because it was just… it was an uphill battle trying to control my insomnia when… or not control my insomnia. It’s a terrible way to put it. But to focus on my recovery from the chronic insomnia while having so many external stimulating things coming at me still, and I think just having those couple weeks off.

Felicity Jackson:
But I know that that’s not possible for everyone, but I took it as like, I’m going to have a holiday, I’m just going to do some things for myself and relax. And, as a result of that, the first couple of days got even worse, just like, I was still in the research projects and everything. But then I started to exercise again, which is another thing I’d given up. I started to exercise again. And I started to just do more calming things like having a few massages and stuff. And that got my stress levels down to a point where I could go back to getting up at the same time every day. And that really helped as well.

Felicity Jackson:
It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve just moved and I haven’t had really any bad… I’ve had a couple of slightly shorter sleeps, but I’m getting around the seven, eight hour sleep now. I had a couple of six night hours sleep, but… And I need that seven, seven and a half to feel rested. I’m not one of these lucky people who can sustain themselves on five hour sleep, but I haven’t had any of those periods where it just goes to having four hours then three hours then none and the spiraling despair.

Felicity Jackson:
It’s kind of, I’ve been able to bounce back, and I really just focused on that. Well, I’m still a little bit shaky about my confidence with sleep, but it’ll only get… Yeah. As Celia said, things are so much better than they used to be, and that’s what you just have to keep thinking and yeah.

Felicity Jackson:
I came across the techniques that you teach initially, because I started seeing a sleep psychologist here, and I ended up going with your program because he became progressively… the ability to talk to you every day, that was huge for me, just being able to say, “Oh, my sleep schedule is until 5:30, but what if I wake up at 10 past five, should I stay in bed another 20 minutes or should I get up, or what if I do this, or what if I do that?”

Felicity Jackson:
That was so good, just to have that constant support, because what I found with my sleep psychologist, and this is just a wonderful thing about the pandemic, is that he became so busy because there was such a big increase in insomnia during the pandemic that I couldn’t… I used to be able to get in with him once a week, and it got to the point where I couldn’t get in to see him for five weeks at a time, and it’s just not enough. It wasn’t enough support. And he even told me that it’s got a phrase, coronasomnia. And it’s just like an epidemic now.

Martin Reed:Yeah. So much good stuff there. I think what I liked was making sure that if you’re ready to make some changes, to create these better conditions for sleep, it’s important to recognize that some changes are going to need to be made, right, and sometimes life… we might not be ready for that, whether life is really hectic for us right now if we relocate and we’re just starting a new job or something like that, maybe now isn’t the right time.

Martin Reed:
So, choosing a time that’s appropriate to start, but also recognizing there’s probably never any perfect time. It’s kind of like choosing when to have of kids. If you’re someone that wants to have kids and you’re waiting for the perfect time, that perfect time is probably never going to turn up. But recognizing that it does require change, so am I in a place right now where I’m ready to make those changes and really commit to doing something new, something different?

Martin Reed:
And then taking time off work. I think that’s one of these potential double edged sword things, right? And I think it worked really well for you because you used it as a time to do good stuff. So you started to get back into doing all the stuff that was aligned with your values, that made you feel good. You didn’t spend all of that time just lying in bed, I need to sleep, I need to sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
No.

Martin Reed:
I need to sleep.

Felicity Jackson:
None of that.

Martin Reed:
And that’s a trap we can fall into. We think, oh, take a couple of weeks off work, then what normally happens is we just have a whole day of nothingness ahead of us. And when we got nothing to do we’re going to be probably less productive. The megaphone in our brain gets a bit louder because there’s nothing else for us to be focused on. So that could be a bit of a double edged sword, but it worked for you, like I said, because you filled it with your values, filled it with good stuff-

Felicity Jackson:
And my-

Martin Reed:
… some-

Felicity Jackson:
… partner-

Martin Reed:
… self care.

Felicity Jackson:
… he actually lost his job, well, he finished up at his job because he was starting to study full time. So, it ended up that we had this time off together, which we’d never really had. So we could do things together as well that, obviously, he’s not going to lie in bed all day. So that took that focus off, that we ended up going on a road trip and…

Martin Reed:
Nice. Yeah. So like you were-

Felicity Jackson:
It was fun.

Martin Reed:
… using that time to basically live life, right, which is way more important than sleep at the end of the day. When we’re really old and we are looking back in our lives we’re probably not going to be thinking of all the great sleep we had. We’re going to be thinking of all the great things we did when we were awake.

Martin Reed:
And just the final thing you touched upon was this whole new label that we’ve got of coronasomnia or whatever they’re calling it these days. I think we just have to recognize that anytime something stressful happens we’re probably going to go through a period of sleep disruption, and dealing with this pandemic is just another one of those things.

Martin Reed:
But we see it in the media and stuff, everyone likes to put a label onto something and then share all this information that probably ends up just freaking us out even more about sleep and that isn’t usually helpful, but it just proves, again, that if you want to call it coronasomnia or insomnia or anything else, it’s all the same thing, because from person to person, insomnia is the same. It really doesn’t matter what label we put on it.

Felicity Jackson:
Yeah. Yep. And where I am now we’ve been… just by some miracle, have had barely any COVID-19 here, and the way they’ve dealt with it is if they had one… I mean, they’re relaxed a bit now, thank God, but even if they had one case they lock everything down, tell you to go home. So you’re going in the office, then I’m not going in the office, then I’m being sent home from the office, then I’m working, then you’re not even allowed to have your partner over, then you can have your partner over.

Felicity Jackson:
And it’s also created a divide between… so I’ve got a team around Australia, and you’ve got people hit hard by it, and then you’ve got people, like in state I’m in, living your life like it’s normal. And so it’s created this real divide as well which has had to be managed. You’re managing not only your own kind of uncertainty, but all these other people who look to you for their support as well.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. You know what I think it comes down to, it just comes down to the fact that life is difficult, and life comes with pain, and it’s just a fact of life. And where we can get really tripped up is when we try and just eliminate the pain and eliminate difficult thoughts, difficult emotions and feelings. When we make that our focus, that’s when we can really get caught up in the struggle.

Martin Reed:
If we can move away from that, trying to eliminate all this potential painful thoughts and memories and feelings and emotions more towards our actions, just doing stuff that’s meaningful to us, then that has… usually has a far better outcome because we’re focused on what we have control over. And we can always control our actions no matter how difficult the circumstances we find ourselves in. But at the same time, we do need to recognize that life is difficult.

Martin Reed:
We have to make some time for some self care too. Life isn’t easy. There are difficult times. And many of us are really good at being compassionate when friends are going through difficulties, but when we are going through difficulties we tend to tell ourselves off, you shouldn’t be feeling this way, you’re a failure, you should be doing this, you should be feeling-

Felicity Jackson:
What’s wrong-

Martin Reed:
… that.

Felicity Jackson:
… with me?

Martin Reed:
Yeah. Sometimes we need to turn this around and just imagine ourselves as our best friend, or what would I tell my best friend in this situation, what would I say to them? And sometimes just that in itself, giving ourselves that little bit of self-care can be helpful too.

Felicity Jackson:
And when I went to the doctor and I said, “Oh, I’ve got insomnia.”

Felicity Jackson:
And they say, “What’s your life been like lately?”

Felicity Jackson:
And I’m like, “Well, in the last 18 months I’ve lived in five houses, 22 hotels. I’ve moved states. I’ve had a new relationship, a new job.”

Felicity Jackson:
And they’re just like, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Go for a run.” I’ve had three doctors tell me to go for a run. “There’s nothing wrong with you.” is what they will say. I might just start believing it.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. When we’ve got that much on our plate I think it’s understandable to go through some sleep disruption. Not really much we can do about that, as I think your doctor’s, probably not with much compassion, shared with you. But it’s when we have adjusted to all these stresses or they’re no longer relevant and the insomnia’s sticking around, that’s when we can start to explore ways that we can create better conditions for sleep.

Martin Reed:
But, like you said, there’s always going to be times of sleep disruption. There is no magic cure. There’s no way of eliminating every trigger for sleep disruption. Living with some difficult nights from time to time is part of being a human being, but that doesn’t mean that we have to live with insomnia every night for the rest of our lives. There are definitely things that we can do to create those better conditions for sleep and to live the kind of life we want to live independently of sleep, and even perhaps in the presence of all those difficult thoughts and emotions that come along for the ride.

Felicity Jackson:
Well, one of the doctors I saw, he was an older German man, and he said to me in a heavy German accent, that, “The only thing wrong with you is that you don’t have your shit together.”

Martin Reed:
And so-

Felicity Jackson:
And so-

Martin Reed:
… did that-

Felicity Jackson:
… I just thought-

Martin Reed:
… transform everything for you? Was that a big insight and changed your life?

Felicity Jackson:
Well, he had a packet of cigarettes in his pocket, so I didn’t take too much notice of what he said.

Martin Reed:
Yeah. It’s difficult, isn’t it? Because it’s like when someone tells you, “Oh, cheer up.”, or, “Come on, don’t feel sad, don’t be angry, relax.” When we’re told how to feel or we’re told how we should be feeling, it’s never helpful.

Felicity Jackson:
Or you feel like punching someone in the face who says, “Have you tried melatonin?, or, “Have you tried listening to a meditation?” It’s like, yes, I’ve tried listening to a… Don’t tell someone with chronic insomnia that they should maybe have a warm bath and go to bed early. It’s just not helpful.

Martin Reed:
Yeah, exactly. You’re right. I think a lot of this stuff probably comes from the right place, from someone wanting to help, but I think everyone listening to this is going to know these things aren’t helpful. This is probably one of the things that someone listening to this is is going to come away and not end up researching, because they already know that bubble bath isn’t going to help, melatonin probably not helpful.

Martin Reed:
What is helpful is just making some behavioral changes to create those better conditions for sleep and just exploring the relationship we have with our thoughts, not trying to necessarily push them away and fight them, but maybe making a bit of space for them, and then making that decision to live the kind of life we want to live, even when they’re present.

Martin Reed:
So Felicity, I know I’ve taken a lot of your time, and I really appreciate it, but I would just like to ask you one final question, because I ask every guest it, and I would feel bad for you if I didn’t ask you the question too. If someone with chronic insomnia is listening, they feel like they’ve tried everything, they’re beyond help, they can’t do anything to improve their sleep, what would you tell them?

Felicity Jackson:
I would say that the natural techniques is the gold standard for treatment, that persistence pays off, and that you probably won’t get fast results if you’ve had… If you’ve got the predisposition you might not get the fast results, but if you persist with the techniques and reach out to you for support, Martin, then, just like every other case you’ve worked with, you should see a significant improvement and maybe not a cure, probably not a cure. But, yeah, I mean, if you’re watching these podcasts, you’re probably not in the greatest shape and it’s worth a try. That’s what I would say. Hang in there.

Martin Reed:
Great. I love it. Well, thank you so much again for taking the time to come out on the podcast today. Felicity, I know that-

Felicity Jackson:
No problem.

Martin Reed:
… this conversation is going to help a lot of people. Lots of people are going to identify with everything we’ve talked about. So, again, thank you.

Felicity Jackson:
No worries. Thanks, Martin.

Martin Reed:
Thanks for listening to The Insomnia Coach Podcast. If you’re ready to implement evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques to improve your sleep but think you might need some additional support and guidance, I would love to help. There are two ways we can work together. First, you can get my online coaching course. This is the most popular option. My course combines sleep education with individualized coaching and is guaranteed to improve your sleep. You will learn new ways of thinking about sleep and implement better sleep habits over a period of eight weeks. This gives you time to build sleep confidence and notice results without feeling overwhelmed. You can get the course and start right now at insomniacoach.com/online.

Martin Reed:
I also offer a phone coaching package where we start with a one hour call. This can be voice only or video, your choice, and we come up with an initial two-week plan that will have you implementing cognitive and behavioral techniques that will lead to long term improvements in your sleep. You get unlimited email-based support and guidance for two weeks after the call along with a half-hour follow-up call at the end of the two weeks. You can book the phone coaching package at insomniacoach.com/phone.

Martin Reed:
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Insomnia Coach Podcast. I’m Martin Reed, and as always, I’d like to leave you with this important reminder — you can sleep.

Mentioned in this episode:

Podcast episode with Celia

Research study on insomnia identity and reported daytime impairment

I want you to be the next insomnia success story I share! If you’re ready to improve your sleep using evidence-based techniques, click here to get my online insomnia coaching course. We can get started right now.

Share this page

4 thoughts on “How Felicity transformed her relationship with sleep by practicing new sleep habits, being kinder to herself, and living life independently of sleep (#35)”

Leave a Reply to Marga Cancel reply