The anti-hero of sleep

In the realm of sleep, there exists an unlikely anti-hero: sleepiness. Often misunderstood and villainised, sleepiness is viewed as a negative consequence of poor sleep. It’s only natural to associate daytime sleepiness with a lack of restful sleep during the night, especially for people with insomnia who struggle with poor sleep. However, let’s challenge this perspective and try to see sleepiness in a different light.

Think of sleepiness as the anti-hero, a necessary force that plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep. Yes, it can make us feel groggy and hinder our daily activities when we’re excessively sleepy. But as we spoke about in the last session, building up our sleep drive is necessary to fuel Process S. When we feel sleepy, it’s a sign that our sleep drive is building up, preparing us for restful sleep.

Now, you might not often feel “sleepy” at the moment and it may even feel like your body has forgotten what sleepiness is. But over the next few weeks as we put in place the behavioural changes necessary to fix your sleep pattern, our goal is to build up your sleep drive and thus, you are likely to feel more sleepy. So, instead of dreading sleepiness, let’s embrace it as the necessary catalyst for a balanced sleep-wake cycle. By recognizing sleepiness as the anti-hero, we can appreciate its role in driving us towards a healthy and consistent sleep routine.