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Everything You Need to Know About TikTok’s Genius “Paradoxical Intention” Sleep Hack

Everything You Need to Know About TikTok’s Genius “Paradoxical Intention” Sleep Hack

Everything You Need to Know About TikTok's Genius "Paradoxical Intention" Sleep Hack

Source: Quora

If you find yourself still struggling to sleep by 1 am and your mind full of worry about the ruined day ahead, you aren’t alone. This is the dilemma of the hundreds of millions of people who battle with sleeping difficulties globally.
However, a popular hack on Tiktok has prescribed a simple solution that should get you dozing off faster than you normally would.

The Quest for Sleeping Solutions

Source: Quora

Falling asleep, a phenomenon that many find pretty easy, is a luxury for others. Over the decades, psychologists and health and wellness experts have scratched their heads in search of a perfect solution.
Lavender-scented pillow sprays and white noise machines are two of the most popular solutions that have emerged from this quest. But a new hack is stealing the spotlight.

It is called “Paradoxical Intention”

Source: Quora

If you are deeply familiar with the word “paradox,” you might have an inkling of what this sleeping hack suggests. It’s about intentionally working against a desired outcome in order to achieve the outcome.
If you’ve ever heard people say that you are likely to find the love of your life when you aren’t searching, then this paradoxical intention idea will be easier to understand. It’s pretty similar.

What is Paradoxical Intention?

Source: Quora

According to the American Psychological Association’s Society of Clinical Psychology, Paradoxical intention “is a cognitive technique that consists of persuading a patient to engage in his or her most feared behavior.”
Basically, this means facing your fear. For many people, especially those with high-stakes plans for the day, the outcome of sleeping late is pretty dreadful.

An Expert Explains the Concept

Source: Quora

Just in case the definition hasn’t done justice to the matter, hear Dr Katharina Lederle, a reputable sleep scientist, break it down even further.
“In paradoxical intention, you set out to do – or wish for – the thing you’re trying to avoid, thereby breaking the fear cycle. So, by doing this feared or disliked behavior, you eventually reduce the anxiety around it,” she explained.

You Sleep Faster When You Disengage Your Fears

Source: Quora

As Dr. Lederle continued to explain, your inability to sleep is worsened by the accompanying anxiety. Here are her exact words.
“If we fear something, we do everything we can to try and avoid it – and while we’re doing these things, we keep looking over our shoulder to see if the thing we fear is going to happen. As a result, we feel more anxious, and the thing we’re trying to avoid ends up happening. It’s a vicious cycle.”

“You Cannot Will Yourself to Sleep”

Source: Quora

One truth about sleeping that our anxiety blocks from our minds is the fact that we can’t will ourselves to sleep. Sleep is an involuntary action that the body embarks on.
Therefore, irrespective of the time we spend trying to force ourselves to sleep, the body will only take that break when it wants to. In fact, studies confirm that the more we try to sleep, the more difficult it gets.

Here’s How to Practice Paradoxical Intention to Sleep

Source: LinkedIn

As Dr Lederle further explained, the way to engage in paradoxical intention is to desire to stay awake. “You might keep your eyes open while lying in bed, comfortable and quiet, even telling yourself: ‘Just keep your eyes open a moment longer.’”
“By giving up on the aim to fall asleep, you stop putting in the ‘effort’ to fall asleep, and that means the pressure to ‘perform’ (i.e. fall asleep) disappears,” she elucidated.

…Or You Can Try Out this Six-Step procedure

Source: Quora

Alternatively, there’s a 6-step process you can try out. Firstly, ask yourself what a good sleeper does to fall asleep. The answer is “nothing.” No good sleeper puts in work to fall asleep so why should you?
Secondly, free your mind from the expectations for sleep. Thirdly, retire to bed at your regular time and let your eyes open.

“Just a Couple of Minutes”

Source: Quora

Fourthly, the procedure says to decide to stay awake by not forcing yourself to sleep. Next, talk to yourself. Tell yourself, “I’ll remain awake for just a few minutes.”
Lastly, don’t stimulate yourself in any way. Just continue to lie on the bed maintaining the intention to stay awake while the fear and stress wear out. You will experience more calmness.

More Than a Social Media Trend

Source: Quora

Another expert, Dr. Shelby Harris, director of sleep health at Sleepopolis, the paradoxical intention hack should be seen for what it really is, a therapeutic approach to combating sleeping disorders and not just a TikTok trend. If taken seriously, the hack will do wonders for the sleep health of a lot of people. However, Harris added that the technique may not produce results for people with chronic sleep problems.

Better Than the Other Methods?

Source: Quora

According to user feedback, the paradoxical intention is easier to implement than other sleep hacks. Other techniques require effort such as meditation and even musical gadgets.
The paradoxical intention hack is way easier and absolutely free. In addition, it’s also relevant beyond your bedroom and can be especially useful while on a trip. So, how about giving it a try?