Ep. 080 SLEEP 🎧 The Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B - Pahla B Fitness

Ep. 080 SLEEP 🎧 The Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B


Here's The Scoop

The mic is on as I hold an unrehearsed, no-holds-barred coaching session with my friend Janet, who has been struggling with SLEEP💤 for years.

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Do you have problems with your SLEEP🛌?  And are you curious about what a ONE-ON-ONE COACHING SESSION with me sounds and feels like🤔?

The mic is on🎙️ as I hold an unrehearsed, no-holds-barred coaching session with my friend Janet, who has been struggling with SLEEP💤 for years.

I know those two things might not seem related, but Killer Bs, this is a podcast UNLIKE ANY I’VE EVER DONE BEFORE🤩!  

The mic is on🎙️ as I hold an unrehearsed, no-holds-barred coaching session with my friend Janet, who has been struggling with SLEEP💤 for years.  Our talk today peels🍌 away some of the layers on this problem that many of my beautiful Bs🐝 experience.

And the super🦸 interesting part of our discussion?  The approach we take can be used on ANY OF LIFE’S PRACTICAL ISSUES✅! 

Join me now as we discuss how SWEET DREAMS🍬😴 are a possibility for all of us!

(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)

Find this episode on YouTube (video below) or on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play.

https://youtu.be/Y3jv0Uu3o4A

Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Y3jv0Uu3o4A

RELATED RESOURCES:
Ep. 009: Facts vs. Opinions:  https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions/
Ep. 076  Being REALISTIC:  https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-076-being-realistic/

Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group:  https://pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal/

Thank you for listening!  Be sure to SHARE the podcast and leave a RATING or REVIEW!  💛

SLEEP (Full Transcript) 

Pahla B:
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B., and this is episode number 80, “Sleep.” You guys, I’m cracking myself up, as I do. I was trying really hard not to sound dramatic, and instead, I sounded just really adamant. Sleep! I am so excited about this episode. This is completely different from anything I have ever done on the podcast before, and that is sort of the theme of my month. I’m actually going to talk about that quite a bit more next week. But anyway, right now I am treating you to a behind the scenes look of what it’s like to be coached one-on-one about a particular issue that bothers you in your life. This one I love because it sounds on its surface like such a practical issue.

Pahla B:
My friend Janet, who volunteered for this coaching, was talking about how she has a hard time getting the sleep that she wants to. That seems like it’s going to be such a “here’s how to make your room so dark and quiet and lovely, and here’s how to set your alarm” kind of talk.  It sounds like it’s going to be super practical, and yet, you know this is coming. It’s a mindset issue. Everything is. I hope you get so much out of this episode. I’m going to let you just listen to it, here it is. This is Janet getting coached. Enjoy.

Pahla B:
Well, hello, hello, my friend. Looks like you are connecting to audio. Let’s see here. All right. Are you alive on your audio?

Janet:
Can you hear me?

Pahla B:
I can.

Janet:
Hey. I guess if I wasn’t making any noise, you wouldn’t be able to. You can tell I’m a pure novice with this.

Pahla B:
You’re funny. Well, hello, my friend. How are you?

Janet:
I’m having a good day. I was just listening to part of your Q&A from last Friday. It’s always so interesting to see where people come from, and the things that you have to say. Starting it out with the rules. Yep, it’s a good one.

Pahla B:
Good. I’m really glad. So I have a couple of interview questions for you before we start coaching. I mean, this is for the podcast audience. I wanted to know, have you ever done any kind of coaching or been coached by a life coach before?

Janet:
Yes. Mm-hmm. As I told you, I’m friends, not close friends, but I’m acquainted with a lady locally. Her name is Susan Hyatt, and she is a life coach. She’s just an amazing, fun person to be around, and I went to her book launch, and she had several programs where I won some free coaching sessions. One, actually, I paid to do extra coaching. I wanted coaching to lose weight, and it actually took a totally different direction. We were talking about problems I was having with my son at the time, and it was so incredibly helpful. It was way more helpful than some therapy I’d gone to earlier in my life. I strongly recommend people consider coaching. I just thought it was really good.

Janet:
Then I won a couple of other coaching sessions, and I was helping out a couple of coaches who needed a practice session. So it’s not my first rodeo, but still. I don’t think you can become a professional person who gets coached. I think it’s always a learning process.

Pahla B:
That’s funny. So that’s super interesting. I was wondering about that just in general. I mean, I know that you’ve told me the Susan Hyatt connection before, but I didn’t know that you had actually coached with her, because she is . . . 

Janet:
Let me rephrase that. My coaches were people that worked for her. I think her forte is certifying coaches. That’s what she does, and so she does have clients. But usually they’re coaches, and she helps them grow their business and things like that. So I did not get coached from her personally.

Pahla B:
Oh, okay. But still, because she learned how to coach from Brooke Castillo, just like me, though, right?

Janet:
Actually she was coached, taught, however you put it, by Martha Beck. But Susan worked with Brooke Castillo. I think they called it The Weight loss School, and they collaborated on some other projects along the way. But she wasn’t coached by her. Well, she may have been, but she didn’t get her certification by her.

Pahla B:
Oh, okay. Well, then. I had all my information wrong. So never mind on that. Okay. Okay. So you have been coached before, and actually I wanted to touch on that thing that you said about how you go in for one thing, and it always leads to something else. This is the thing that I’ve noticed every time I get coached, every time I coach somebody else. We think we have one problem. I’m super excited to talk about your issue today because I’m so curious where it’s going to go. Because I know it won’t be just where we think it’s going to. I love that.

Janet:
I’m a little nervous about that too, but hey. I’m in, and this is something I really want to work on. I’m going to be 100% clear on this too. When I mentioned that I won a coaching session, I had won a session from a woman, and I was coached on this very issue. But we must not have gotten to the core of what the issue was. I think it was more of a byproduct that we talked about, and nothing has changed.

Pahla B:
Interesting, okay. Okay. That means that this one’s thorny, and I love that because on its surface, just the little bit you and I talked about already via email, it sounds so simple, and yet, nothing ever is. I mean, that’s the thing about our brains. Nothing ever is. So I’m super curious what we’re going to uncover today. So go ahead and set us up. What are we coaching on today?

Janet:
I want to tell your listeners, just assure them that I am a real life person. I am not an actress. This isn’t staged in any way. I know the overarching topic that we’re going to talk about, but I certainly don’t know any questions that are going to be asked or where this session will go. So that’s how I was thinking it could start.

Pahla B:
Yeah. Oh, for sure, because this is the fun part about coaching. You never know where it’s going to go. Even if I had given you a list of questions that I was going to ask you, you still never know where it’s going to go. Just like me as the coach, and this is the part that I find so fascinating too. When we started off with the email, and you had a broad topic, I was like, “Oh, I have no idea what questions I’m going to ask you. I have no idea where this conversation is going to go.” This is the thing that I love about coaching. What you say and how you present it tells me what I need to ask, and where your brain goes with my questions tells me what else I need to ask. So let’s dive in. What are we coaching on today?

Janet:
Okay, I’ve got two things that I’d like to see improvement with. One of them is that I have a hard time falling asleep, and I’ve been having this problem since I was about 14 years old, so it’s nothing new. Right now I’m taking a half of a small dose of Ambien every night, and I’d like to get away from that. So that’s number one. Number two is that I tend to stay up too late at night, and that I sleep in the next morning and start my day very late. I would like to get on a more traditional schedule and start my day just a tad earlier so that I can end my workday at a decent hour and have an evening with my husband and so on, because it’s really not like that right now. I’ve tried some things in the past. I don’t seem capable of making myself go to bed consistently at night. I’m a night owl. I get my second wind at about 10:00 P.M., but the reason I stay up late is not because I’m getting a lot of constructive things done, it’s just that I’m reading or watching Netflix and things like that.

Pahla B:
Okay. So do you think those two things are related?

Janet:
No, I don’t.

Pahla B:
Interesting.

Janet:
I don’t. Well, I mean, not consciously, anyway.

Pahla B:
Okay, okay. Well, because when you present with, “I have a hard time falling asleep,” and then you tell me that you stay up too late. I mean, don’t you think you stay up too late because you’re telling yourself that you’re going to have a hard time falling asleep, so why bother? I mean, that’s the first thing I heard.

Janet:
Possibly, that makes a lot of sense to me. I guess, being honest, I have thought of that before. But I don’t know if there’s a strong correlation there or not. Even when I know I can sleep as late as I want the next day, I still have a hard time falling asleep. Even when, for example, just last night, I looked at the clock. It was one o’clock in the morning. “Oh, just one more episode of this show. Just one more chapter of my book.” But I still have a hard time getting to sleep, and I tell myself, “I better go to sleep because I’m already going to be sleeping late enough. I don’t want to push it off any later.” It seems like a vicious cycle. I’m not sure how to get out of it.

Pahla B:
Well, one of the ways to get out of it is to notice what you’re telling yourself. So let’s go into that. So last night, it was literally last night. Or technically this morning.

Janet:
Literally last night.

Pahla B:
Technically speaking, it was this morning. Okay, so it’s 1:00 A.M., and were you reading or were you watching Netflix, because you said a little bit of both.

Janet:
I was reading at that moment, when I started thinking about, “I’m going to have this conversation with Pahla tomorrow, and we’re going to be talking about this very thing.” So I wanted to put a little bit more attention into what I was thinking. Just a blank screen. Staying up late feels so decadent, and it feels like a treat to be able to stay up as late as I want. I love that time, and I don’t want it to end. Maybe that’s part of it.

Pahla B:
Oh, it totally is. I mean, it totally is. So, okay, let’s stay in the moment though, really quickly. You were reading a book, and you thought to yourself, “It’s 1:00 A.M., but I’m going to read one more chapter.” Or what was that?

Janet:
Yes.

Pahla B:
Okay, okay. So it’s 1:00 A.M.

Janet:
This is really interesting. I also thought, “Pahla’s going to tell me that this book is going to be there tomorrow morning.”

Pahla B:
Oh, how funny.

Janet:
And she’s probably going to ask, “Why did you feel like you had to finish the chapter last night, when nothing really changed, and it would be there tomorrow morning too?” I just thought, “Whatever.” And I kept reading.

Pahla B:
I love that you had a conversation with me in your mind, even though I will tell you, that’s not what I would say at all. I am really curious though. What was it about reading one more chapter? Even when you say, “I want to read one more chapter.” Is that what you thought to yourself? I want to, or I’m going to. Do you remember?

Janet:
I don’t remember. That’s a very interesting question. Probably, I’m leaning right now to thinking, “I’m going to.”

Pahla B:
Okay, okay. So it wasn’t even a question in your mind.

Janet:
Right, right, right, right. I know myself well, and it doesn’t really have to be a book. It could easily have been a show on Netflix too.

Pahla B:
We’re going to stick with last night just because it’s so illustrative of what you’re talking about. So you said, “I’m going to read one more chapter.” So how does that make you feel when you think, “I’m going to read one more chapter.”

Janet:
I remember feeling last night, “Thank goodness I have a job where I can set my own hours and get up as late as I want, every day if I want, and so I’m going to take advantage of that.”

Pahla B:
Well, but that’s a whole other thought. Just the thought, “I’m going to read one more chapter.” Which, let me clarify. Do you understand that that’s a thought that you had?

Janet:
I really didn’t think of it like that. It’s just such a natural thing that comes into my mind, and I guess I subconsciously knew it was a thought. But I didn’t give a lot of thought to the thought that it was a thought.

Pahla B:
This is why it’s so illustrative. You said to yourself, you thought, “I’m going to read one more chapter.” When you think it right now, what feeling does that bring up for you?

Janet:
It brings up a weird mixture of gratefulness and happiness and maybe just tinged with guilt and the fact that I know this isn’t where I want to go.

Pahla B:
Guilt is from something else. Guilt is the thought that you had afterwards. Guilt is totally the thought that you had afterwards. Just the thought, “I’m going to read one more chapter.” It’s pleasurable, right?

Janet:
Right, right.

Pahla B:
Yeah. Yeah. It feels happy. It feels cozy. Maybe even a little, I mean to me, that always sounds a little bit determined. I’m very certain. I’m going to read one more chapter. Of course I am. So when you’re feeling that kind of happiness and coziness from one more chapter, you read one more chapter, didn’t you?

Janet:
Of course. Yeah, yeah.

Pahla B:
Yeah. Because you announced to yourself that you were going to, so you did.

Janet:
Mm-hmm, yes. Good follow through, right?

Pahla B:
Well, exactly. This is the thing that we don’t always realize when we have these kinds of thoughts that we think are so innocuous. “I’m going to read one more chapter.” There’s no epiphany there. There’s no self-sabotage. This doesn’t have anything to do with your childhood or anything else. It’s just, “I’m going to read one more chapter.” What if you had thought something else, like, “I’m going to turn off the lights and go to sleep now?”

Janet:
I can’t even imagine that, to be honest with you. I can’t. I don’t know if this actually fits right here, but I’m fully capable of going to bed earlier if I need to get up for something. An early flight, a meeting, whatever, but when I don’t, or even when I do, I stay up too late. But when I don’t have to get up for something specific, I just seem to not be able to force myself to turn off the lights. Like I said, I can’t even imagine saying to myself, “You’re tired. We’re going to turn off the light.”

Pahla B:
Well, not even that you’re tired. Just, “I’m going to go to bed now.”

Janet:
I’ve never done it. I’ve never told myself that, I’ve never thought that, so I have no idea how that would feel, to be honest.

Pahla B:
This is what I suspect. When you’re telling me that you have a hard time falling asleep and you stay up too late, everything that you described when you were talking about staying up late, you were describing as facts. “Oh, I stay up too late. I just do.” Have you ever questioned that?

Janet:
No. Well, I think part of why I haven’t is because . . .  I know what you may say here. I know that my body clock is set differently than some other people’s maybe. I am certainly a night owl. I feel the most energy and creativity at night, so I’ve never questioned that. It’s just part of who I am, so it’s never been a question for me. I wish that I could be more in tune with typical people, if that’s the right way to say it. People who have a more normal bedtime, and get up at a more typical time.

Pahla B:
So listen to what you are saying. You are describing yourself as though that is impossible to change. You say I have more energy at night. I love to stay up at night. You think you are describing facts, but you are describing your thoughts. You’re telling me your thoughts. You’re 100% capable of going to bed at 7:00 P.M. You’re capable of it.

Janet:
Yes.

Pahla B:
That wasn’t really a question. It was a trick question because you are capable of lying down in bed, turning off the lights, and probably putting up some blackout shades, because it’s light out. Because that’s what I do. I mean, this is what I do. I go to bed at 7:00 P.M. so you are capable of going to bed much earlier than you do. But what you’re telling yourself is, “I’m a night owl. I feel creative at night. I love it.” Why in the world would you go to bed earlier if you are telling yourself that you love staying up late?

Pahla B:
Everything that you said about typical people. I don’t know if you noticed. I’ll send you the video of this afterwards if you’d like to see it. For podcast listeners at home, there was cringing involved.

Janet:
Well, I was going to say normal people, but I thought, “Pahla’s going to jump all over that word,” so I picked typical or traditional. I’m not sure what word to use, but you know what I mean.

Pahla B:
Either one, your physical reaction. You backed away from that word. Typical people, traditional schedules. Even though you didn’t say normal, your body language says as much as anything else about what you think about a typical schedule. What do you think about a typical schedule? Tell me what you think about going to bed at 9:00 P.M., let’s say. That’s probably not typical for people either, but let’s just start there. Let’s be a little bit outrageous with this. Let’s say, what do you think about going to bed at 9:00 P.M.

Janet:
I feel that I would be cheating myself. Depriving myself of something I really enjoy, if I force myself to go to bed at 9:00 o’clock. That’s what I feel.

Pahla B:
Okay. So tell me again why you want to?

Janet:
Why I want to change or why I want to stay up?

Pahla B:
Yeah, why you want to change. Because you presented it as a problem that you stay up too late, and you want to go to bed earlier, but you don’t. I mean, you literally just told me. You don’t want to go to bed earlier because it’s depriving you; it’s cheating yourself.

Janet:
Maybe the 9:00 o’clock time could be switched to 11:00, and I could relate to it more.

Pahla B:
Okay. Okay, well, then let’s say 11:00 o’clock. Why do you want to go to bed at 11:00 o’clock?

Janet:
As I said earlier, I just want to get more done and be more productive during the daylight hours, and getting up earlier, starting my day. I think part of my issue is that if I have to be somewhere, I have to get up for something, I stay up too late. I get up at the very last minute, and I’m rushing around, trying frantically to get out the door to do everything I can, and I don’t like living that way. So that’s part of it. But part of it is just on a normal day where I don’t have to get up, I just want to get more done because right now I find myself sleeping late in the morning. I really don’t get started working until about noon, and I’m working till 7:00 or 8:00 at night sometimes, and I just don’t like that. I just want to be more productive during the day.

Janet:
Why don’t I like it? Well, I feel that if I keep sleeping late, then my body starts getting used to that schedule. I was invited to a baby shower the other day, and I had to be there at 10:00 o’clock, and then it’s really hard to switch over to that schedule when I’m used to another one so much. Like I said, I just really, even though my body language may not say this, I really do want to get up, say, by 9:00 o’clock in the morning, and I know for someone like you that probably seems very late. But 9:00 o’clock and stop my day around 5:00. Have supper, have a more relaxing evening than taking a shower at 10:30 at night, then getting in bed at 11:00 or 11:30, and then getting my treat time of reading or watching TV. I really do want to do this, even though I’m fighting it.

Pahla B:
Well, so here’s the thing. That has nothing to do with being productive. Literally nothing. So I’m curious why you equated those in your mind. Because you could be productive. You could leap out of bed whatever time you get out of bed, and you could be productive right away. So getting up earlier has nothing to do with productivity.

Janet:
Well, perhaps I’ve noticed that if I get up earlier, start my day early, on the rare times that I have, I do feel better throughout the day. I feel like at 5:00, I got all of this done, rather than 5:00 being, this is my midday. I’ve got several hours to go yet. Yeah. So I do think getting up earlier would cause me to, at least start my day earlier, and like I said, I’d really like to get on a schedule like everybody else has, more than what I’m doing now. It’s almost like I’m a second shift worker or something, and I don’t want to be that.

Pahla B:
But also you do, because you enjoy the nighttime. You feel more creative and more productive at night. So again, if you’re talking about productivity. Because here’s what you’re saying. I’m more productive at night. I’m more creative. I like being awake at night, but I want to be creative and productive in the morning, but I’m not. So these are things that you keep telling yourself. These are all thoughts. You can be productive anytime you want to. You can be creative any time you want to. You can get your second wind at 4:00 P.M., not 10:00 P.M. You can do any of these things, but right now you’re telling yourself something different. I don’t know if you’re telling yourself something different specifically about the productivity that is any kind of a real draw for you.

Pahla B:
Even while you’re talking about it, you don’t seem convinced that it’s something that you would enjoy. Just so you know, your brain will never allow you to do something you don’t enjoy, ever. That’s just how it works. When you have a thought. “If I get up earlier, I will get these things done,” but your brain is thinking, “But I love staying up at night.” Guess what you’re going to do?

Janet:
Yeah, right.

Pahla B:
You’re going to stay up at night. You just are.

Janet:
Do you think that maybe rewarding myself with reading or TV time or whatever in the morning would give me a reason to get up earlier?

Pahla B:
Rewards only work if you change your thoughts. If you’re rewarding yourself while you’re thinking, “Well, this is pretty lame. I don’t really like getting up this early,” you’re not going to change your behavior. I mean, truly. The thought that is keeping you up at night is, “I like to be awake at night.” It’s that simple. It’s a pleasurable thought. When you say that to yourself, “I love staying up at night,” how do you feel? Look at your face. How do you feel? I know how you feel. You feel amazing. You love it. You love staying up at night. You’re picturing when the house is all quiet, and it’s just you, and it’s super nice. This is actually how I feel at 4:00 A.M., just so you know.

Pahla B:
You saying, “I love staying up at night,” is literally exactly how I think and feel about 4:00 A.M. literally. The only difference between those two things is your thought versus my thought. You can have that feeling any time you want to by creating it, by saying, “I love,” whatever. Getting up early.

Janet:
You think that I can say that to myself?

Pahla B:
I’m saying that you have the capacity to say it and believe it. Do you know how?

Janet:
Oh my gosh. How in the world would I do that?

Pahla B:
Exactly, exactly. Well, first of all, you would notice that when you’re saying, “I love staying up late at night,” that is a thought.

Janet:
I can accept that.

Pahla B:
Okay, because right now it’s super believable. You just think you’re telling me the truth. “I love staying up late.”

Janet:
It’s a fact. It’s a thing.

Pahla B:
It’s a fact. It’s a thing. Exactly. But what if you were learning to be somebody who goes to bed a little bit earlier?

Janet:
Now that sounds doable.

Pahla B:
Okay.

Janet:
Yeah, it does, it does. I’m learning.

Pahla B:
If you were a person who was learning to go to bed at 11:00 P.M. Let’s start with 11:00. Is 11:00 reasonable for you?

Janet:
11:00 is reasonable, yes.

Pahla B:
Okay. Does that sound like a normal, typical schedule, like what you’re looking for?

Janet:
Yes. Because I’m not looking to become a Pahla. That is never probably going to happen. But 11:00 and getting up at 9:00, that definitely is. I will tell you that I have tried to address this issue in the past by picking a 1:00 A.M. bedtime and trying to go to bed 12:45 and 12:30. That really didn’t work.

Pahla B:
Because doing something different doesn’t work, Janet. Ever. Doing isn’t where we start. Recognize your thoughts. The thought that is keeping you awake till 1:30 in the morning is, “I love being awake at night.” Literally, that is what is keeping you awake. When you say, “I love being awake at night,” that’s keeping you awake. Because you love it.

Janet:
But you do think an 11:00 o’clock bedtime is possible and that I could embrace it by just changing my thoughts?

Pahla B:
Yes. That’s how you change your life. You change your life by changing your thoughts.

Janet:
Is this something that you would recommend easing into?

Pahla B:
I recommend noticing that right now the thought that is keeping you awake is the thought, “I love being awake at night.” Every time you think it, you reinforce it. You think, “I love being awake at night.” Literally, every time I say it, I’m watching your face, you’re like, “Yes, I do.” Because you think you do. Here’s why you have not been able to change. Here’s why you will, and I say this lovingly. You will never be able to change because you believe that so strongly, and it has such a deep, good feeling. Good feelings, your brain is always seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. When you are saying to yourself, “I could go to bed at 11:00.” Your brain’s like, “It doesn’t sound very fun. I love staying awake at night.” Your brain’s going to avoid that. Of course you are. It’s not pleasurable. It’s painful, frankly. I mean, it’s physically painful.

Janet:
Right.

Pahla B:
So when you notice yourself talking about or thinking about staying up late, notice that thought, “I love staying up late.” Recognize that that is the thought that’s keeping you up late, and that’s it. Truly, that’s it.

Janet:
So I’m not sure if you have an assignment for me for moving forward. I understand theoretically what you’re saying, but say, tonight 10:30 rolls around. Then what? Do I just tell myself, “I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00,” and at 11:00 o’clock, just turn off the night?

Pahla B:
How does that feel?

Janet:
It doesn’t feel impossible. So that’s good.

Pahla B:
No, no, no. You’re thinking about the actual going to bed at 11:00. You’re thinking, “That sounds possible.” I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00. Does that sound different?

Janet:
Oh, that does sound different. I see exactly what you’re saying.

Pahla B:
Do you believe you’re a person who could go to bed at 11:00 o’clock?

Janet:
I think I could. I think I can do this. I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00.

Pahla B:
Let’s stick with that for a second. Say it out loud. Say it out loud and only think that to yourself. I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00 o’clock. Do you feel that in your body? What does that feel like? What emotion does that bring up for you?

Janet:
I can feel a slight change. To be honest with you, and this is surprising to me, because I never thought . . .  I thought there were more mechanics involving alarm clocks and whatever.

Pahla B:
This is the problem with most people and behavior change, truly. Truly, this is the problem with behavior change. People think that in order to change their behavior, they change their actions. Actions do nothing. Actions always, always come from a feeling, and your feeling always comes from your thoughts. So if you are forcing your body to go to bed at 11:00 o’clock, but you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m a person who really likes staying up late,” you’re going to force yourself maybe a couple of times, maybe a handful of times. I mean, honestly, some people have a lot of willpower, and they can really push themselves for a significant amount of time. But eventually, if they’re still thinking to themselves, “I’m a person who loves to stay awake late at night,” you’re going to fall back into old habits.

Pahla B:
You just are. That’s the way your brain works. That’s the way your brain is supposed to work. Your brain wants to be really efficient at doing things, and it wants to seek pleasure and avoid pain always. Always. It’s always going to default to something that feels pleasurable, always. So that’s why I’m asking you. When you say, “I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00,” does that feel like you’d be white knuckling it, or does that feel believable? Does that feel like, oh, thank goodness, I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00 o’clock?

Janet:
It actually feels calming. It does. Again, I’m a little surprised at this because up until this moment, I have not been an 11:00 o’clock go-to-bed person. But I understand what you’re saying, and it’s giving me a lot to think about. Again, I keep wanting to go back to the to-do list. Set your phone alarm for 11:00 o’clock, and then turn off the lights. It’s going to be tough for me to get away from that, I think.

Pahla B:
Well, absolutely. Because you have, I’m assuming this point, years and years of telling yourself, “I love staying up late.”

Janet:
Yes, yes.

Pahla B:
So this is something you’ll have to work on simultaneously. When you practice saying, “I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00 o’clock,” and I’m super glad that that actually feels really calm. Because calm is one of my favorite ways to feel. It’s so quiet that a lot of people miss it, but it actually has a lot of power. Because of that calmness, it’s like, “Oh, that is pleasurable.” Your brain will seek the pleasure of calm. That’s one of the reasons you think you like being awake late at night because there’s this sense of calmness and solitude and things like that.

Pahla B:
So here’s what’s going to happen though at 10:59. You’re going to start thinking, “I love staying up late.” Then you’re going to picture that calmness and that solitude of being awake a little bit longer than everybody else, of reading one more chapter, of watching one more episode. You’re going to think of all those pleasurable times that you have stayed up till 1:00, 1:30, 2 o’clock, whatever it is, and you’re not going to want to go to bed. Because this little baby thought, it’s like a little hatchling in a nest. I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00 o’clock. That’s going to get blown away in the wind based on all of the years of how much you believed, “I love staying up late at night.” So recognize that your brain is going to offer you, “I love staying up late.”

Janet:
I think I know what you may be telling me at this point. Isn’t that interesting, that my brain is offering me this thought, but it makes sense because I’ve had years of conditioning, or whatever. But I’m a person who goes to bed at 11:00, so there’s that. That’s what I’m going to do moving forward. It feels a little unnatural, but again, not impossible.

Pahla B:
Okay. So what are you going to offer back to your brain when your brain says, “But I love staying awake late?”

Janet:
Yes, staying awake late is fun, and has been fun for you for a long time, but it’s time to change now. You’re not a college student anymore. It’s time to get what you want because you deserve that. You deserve to get on a schedule that’s more like other people, that’s more like your husband and the rest of your family. You deserve that. So this is what needs to happen to make that happen

Pahla B:
Does any of that feel as pleasurable? When you’re talking about it, being on a schedule that’s the same as your husband, does that feel as pleasurable as staying awake late at night?

Janet:
Not right now. But I think it could be.

Pahla B:
It’s not going to be a good argument. When your brain offers you “but you love staying awake late at night”, your brain is offering you candy, and you’re giving it broccoli back. Which one do you think? I mean, I love broccoli, but I’m always going to choose candy. Depending on the candy. Depending. But when your brain is offering you this wonderful thought, “Oh my gosh, we love staying awake late at night. Janet, remember all those times that we’ve stayed awake late at night?” You need to remind yourself of something far less logical than, “It’ll be lovely being on my husband’s schedule.” I mean, it’s nothing in the face of the pleasure of that thought. You need to recognize what that thought is actually bringing you.

Janet:
So are you saying there’s no hope here?

Pahla B:
No, gosh, not at all. I’m saying that you need to recognize that it’s a thought, and start taking away some of the pleasure of that thought. I love staying awake at night means I’m getting up late in the morning. I’m going to be rushed in the morning. Make that connection. The thought, “I love staying awake at night,” is all pleasure all the time right now. You’re thinking about how you’re reading. It’s quiet. It’s lovely. You’re not thinking about the morning. Because here’s the thing. You don’t love staying awake late at night. You don’t. You’ve told me that you don’t like feeling rushed in the morning. You don’t like sleeping in late. You don’t like all of the consequences that staying up late brings you.

Janet:
Those are excellent points. A great way to think about it, other than the Pollyanna, “Oh, it’s going to be wonderful.”

Pahla B:
It’s not. It’s actually going to be hard to go to bed at 11:00 o’clock at first because your brain is offering you, “No, no, no, no. But we love staying up late.” Here’s what you’re going to offer your brain in return. Yes, that quiet time is lovely, but what we actually get for it is a morning where we’re rushed. A morning where I wake up feeling like I’m already behind the times. A morning where I’m already feeling unproductive the minute I wake up because I stayed up.

Janet:
Yeah. Now that I can get behind, and that does feel more authentic than the other stuff. Because you’re absolutely right. I open that book at night. It’s 11:03, so what?

Pahla B:
Exactly.

Janet:
Yeah, yeah. But I do think about those rushed mornings. Yeah. Avoiding that may be the case to changing my patterns here.

Pahla B:
Avoiding pain is what your brain does. It seeks pleasure and avoids pain, which is why when you’re having the thought, “I love staying up late,” you haven’t questioned that. You haven’t questioned that is a thought. You recognize it now as a thought. Even, I’ll be honest. You probably don’t notice it. 99% of the time, you probably don’t notice it. Like last night when you were reading, and you said, “I’m going to read one more chapter,” somewhere in the background was, “I love staying up late,” but you didn’t hear it, because you weren’t really listening for it.

Pahla B:
It’s just so much of your personality. Until I pointed it out to you, you just thought it was you. You just thought it was a fact, a reality. I’m describing myself. I’m looking in the mirror, and here’s what I see. But now that you recognize it as a thought, you’ll be able to recognize that what you say instead is, “I don’t like staying up late because there are consequences.”

Janet:
That is really revealing. It really is. I’m a little surprised, I must say, that we got here. Yeah. It’s totally believable, and I’m a little nervous because I want this to work. I’m not sure it will every night, but I’m going to do my best.

Pahla B:
Don’t look for your results just yet. Honestly, I don’t suggest that you look for results until you’ve really, really, really understood what this thought is bringing you. Because this thought has brought you years of staying up late. Simply recognizing that you might be able to recognize it and be like, “Oh, okay. Here’s what I’m going to do instead.” But I think you’re still kind of thinking about the actions. I think you’re still kind of, “But I’m going to go to bed. I’m going to convince myself.” Don’t worry about the convincing. Simply notice when you are going to bed at 11:00 o’clock, notice that your brain is offering you the thought, “But I love to stay awake at night.”

Janet:
Yes, it will. It definitely will.

Pahla B:
Absolutely will, and you need to recognize that it’s going to say that to you quite possibly for the rest of your life. Honestly.

Janet:
Really?

Pahla B:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. That’s a habitual thought that you have thought for years and years and years. Your brain is going to offer it to you. I mean, here’s the thing. The reason I’m so very capable of relating is because I love staying awake late at night. My brain’s still up.

Janet:
Really?

Pahla B:
I’m a total night owl. I love staying awake late. Love it. The reason I get up early in the morning is for my husband’s schedule. That, to me, was a pleasurable enough thought that I’m able to change my schedule, and I have now been able to think often enough for the past – how many years has this been? – six years. I think six years. Maybe longer. Maybe shorter. I don’t remember. Doesn’t matter. I think to myself, “I love getting up early. I love it.” The reason I love getting up early is because I think I love getting up early. The reason I love staying up late is because I think I love staying up late.

Pahla B:
We do have circadian rhythms; don’t get me wrong. Some of this is biology. But you can think anything you want, and you can have that pleasurable feeling of coziness and warmth and doing something you enjoy from your thought. So in order to truly get the big results, we’ve uncovered one thought. “I love staying up late.” Probably if I had to guess, you have a corollary, “I don’t like getting up early” that is going to need to be addressed at some point in time in the future. You probably also have some other thoughts about, “I don’t like going to bed early.”

Pahla B:
There’s more than one thought that has gotten you to this point in your life. This isn’t, “Okay. I found the thought. Now everybody’s going to be cured, and it’s all good.” You’ve definitely made really good progress with recognizing the thought, and now you’re going to notice it, but there are going to be others too. This is worthy of journaling about and finding all of the thoughts. Do you journal? Don’t know that we’ve talked about that.

Janet:
I do not. But a lot of people in the Hive have talked about it and how many benefits they get from it, and I understand you have a podcast on this very subject. So I’m going to check that out because I do think that would be beneficial, and to be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about journaling. But I know a lot of people get a lot of good results from it and are enlightened by the things that come out of their pen. So that’s something I think I’m going to take up, or at least find out more about.

Pahla B:
So if you’d like journaling homework, here it is. Literally get a piece of paper and a pen, and say, at the top of the paper, write, “What do I think about going to bed at 11:00 o’clock?”

Janet:
I’ve never done any assignment like this before.

Pahla B:
This one hopefully will be relatively easy, because I think that you actually have a lot of thoughts in there. Literally let yourself write anything that comes to mind. Don’t censor anything. I love it because… I hate it because… It’s stupid because… Other people who do this are dumb because… Really let yourself think everything, and then when you think you’re done, ask yourself again, “What else do I think about going to bed at 11:00 o’clock? What else do I think about going to bed at 11:00 o’clock?”

Pahla B:
Because your brain will have lots of thoughts to you, like, “I’m missing out. I’m depriving myself.” I mean, you already told me these. Those were already thoughts that you mentioned to me. Your brain has lots of thoughts about going to bed at 11:00 o’clock. Some of them might be positive. I mean, like we discussed, “If I go to bed at 11:00 o’clock, I can go to bed earlier. I’m going to be more productive. I think I’m going to feel better.” You have lots and lots of thoughts. Notice that every single one of them is a thought. Every single one of them could be changed if you want to.

Janet:
You’re going to laugh at this question because back to the mechanics. Do you journal for 15 minutes? Two pages, or just until you feel like all of the thoughts that are banging around in your head are out?

Pahla B:
Usually that one, unless I’m in a time crunch. Or because I’m in a little bit of a different place with my journaling than you are, because I’ve been journaling for a while. So I journal for a specific reason. Generally speaking, when I am journaling, I am trying to find a thought. I’m trying to find a pretty specific thought that I know is affecting me. I totally should have unhooked my phone; I apologize. When I journal, I am generally speaking, I am journaling to find a specific thought.

Pahla B:
Because I literally do this for a living, and I’ve been journaling for a while, I know exactly when a thought is really bothering me. I’m at a place now where sometimes it still takes me 20, 30 minutes to find the thought. Sometimes I can find it in a minute and a half. Sometimes I need to still write some more. I’m really open to the journaling process being whatever it needs to be on the day that I’m writing. I try really hard not to give myself rules about it.

Pahla B:
The one rule that I do have is not even really a rule. I just find it to be incredibly helpful. I ask myself a question. Because if you sit down, and you’re like, “I’m going to journal about sleeping.” I mean, doesn’t your mind just go instantly blank? Right?

Janet:
Yeah, I don’t even know where to begin. Right.

Pahla B:
Exactly. So I ask myself a really specific question. How do I feel about going to bed at 11:00 o’clock? Then your brain can really be directed to, “This is how I feel about these specific parameters.” At some point in time in the future, you might ask yourself questions like, “How do I feel about waking up at 8:00 A.M. or 9:00 A.M.?” or whatever time you want to wake up. “How do I feel about not staying awake late? How do I feel about being productive?”

Pahla B:
You can ask yourself different questions that still kind of come at this topic, but from different angles. Because the entire purpose of journaling is to notice that you are having thoughts. That’s the whole reason you do it. It’s to notice that literally everything that comes out of your pen is a thought. None of them are facts. None of them. We don’t think in facts. We just don’t. We rarely tell ourselves something like, “A man says words.” We tell ourselves, “That jerk at the store, he told me off, and it made me so mad.” We don’t think in factual statements, and yet we think that we are thinking facts.

Pahla B:
So the entire purpose of your journal is to realize that every single thing you are writing is a thought, and you can decide to believe it or not believe it. You can use it or not use it. It’s either helpful or it’s not helpful. You get to decide what to do with those thoughts.

Janet:
Got it. Would you recommend or do you recommend people journal every day or every week? Or whenever you feel like it?

Pahla B:
I recommend every day. That’s my “here’s what you should do” thing. Especially at the beginning. At the beginning, it’s A) going to be more difficult because it’s a new habit. But also, B) it’s really important because you don’t even know how many thoughts you are having about literally every single thing in your life. So yes, I recommend every day. Are you actually going to do it every day? Probably not. You’ll probably get to it a couple of times a week. I would not put any standard on yourself, like, “Oh, if I don’t do it this way, I’m doing it wrong.” Let your journaling practice be whatever it is, and be really okay with however it turns out for you. Because the less you judge yourself about it, the better you’ll feel about it. And the better you feel about it, the more you’ll do it.

Janet:
That makes sense, yes.

Pahla B:
Yeah, yeah. So give yourself credit for, “Hey, I journaled today.” This is something new and different, and I did it, and it’s awesome. Give yourself credit for everything that you do so it does become something pleasurable for you to do.

Janet:
Okay, so in summary.

Pahla B:
Yes.

Janet:
At 10:59, recognize the thought. Tell myself the consequences of staying up later. Journal every day, or thereabouts, about a certain topic related to this whole sleeping schedule. Is that kind of what you see as well?

Pahla B:
Yes. Also, I’m going to really, really caution you, but it’s not really a caution. When you don’t go to bed at 11:00 o’clock, don’t judge yourself for it. Don’t judge yourself for it. Recognize that it’s another opportunity to find out what you’re thinking. Because here’s the thing. Yes, you had a really good epiphany today. That’s a thought, that you like staying up late. But that one little epiphany isn’t going to suddenly change you to be like, “I go to bed at 11:00 o’clock every day.” It just doesn’t work that way. Your brain has lots of thoughts.

Pahla B:
Even if you’re journaling and you’re finding them all, it still has so many years of all of these thoughts that have kept you awake and staying up later than you thought you wanted to. You’re not going to overcome that in one fell swoop. So here’s the thing. When you set your alarm, tell yourself you’re going to bed at 11:00 o’clock, and then you find yourself doing something else, just simply remind yourself, “This is a great opportunity for me to figure out what I’m thinking. What am I thinking right now? I’m thinking I don’t want to go to bed.”

Pahla B:
Okay, let me write that down. “I don’t want to go to bed” is also a thought. You might very well have that one every single night. “I don’t want to go to bed.” It’s a thought, and that’s all it is. It’s just a thought, and you can come up with a response when that happens. When your brain offers you, “I don’t want to,” you can be like, “Okay. But we’re going to.” Or whatever else you want to think about that. So don’t be looking for the result of, “I go to bed at 11:00 o’clock every night and everything’s peachy keen.” It’s not going to be that fast. It’s just not. Just realistically, it doesn’t happen that quickly.

Pahla B:
Some habits, some behaviors, some thoughts that we have, absolutely fall like dominoes, and then other ones take a while. So whichever way it goes for you. Maybe this is all you need and it’s going to be awesome, or maybe it’s going to take a while, and some more journaling and some more thoughts, and some late nights where you’re like, “Gee, I feel really bad that I didn’t go to bed, but also I’m enjoying this because I love staying up late.” It’s totally okay if your brain is playing ping pong with these new ideas. This is new. This is something new that you are trying to think about in a different way.

Janet:
Right, and I do think the journaling will probably help. Maybe even at that very moment, at 11:01, “Well, I’m going to stay up later. But why?” What am I thinking about as I make that decision? Yeah, that might be a good time to journal right then and there.

Pahla B:
In the morning too, because at night, when your brain offers you the pleasurable thoughts and you’re just in it, you’re not going to want to journal. You’re totally not. But in the morning, you can go back and be like, “What was I thinking? Gosh, that’s right. That was that thought, ‘I want to stay up late.’ I like this. Whatever.” You’ll have more clarity at other times also. Sometimes I journal in the moment. When I’m right in the thick of feeling what I’m feeling, and sometimes I don’t journal till later.

Pahla B:
So again, let your journaling practice just be what it’s going to be. It’s going to flow. Some days are going to be easy, some days are going to be tough. Some days you’re not going to want to do it. Some days you are. Let your journaling be what it is, and be just really, really loving and compassionate about who you are as a person who is learning how to journal and who is learning how to recognize your “I want to stay awake late at night” thoughts.

Janet:
Okay. I do think you make an excellent point that this didn’t happen overnight, and it’s probably not gonna change overnight. Yeah. That’s just something that I want to say – realistic. But I know that’s not a perfect word to use.

Pahla B:
But sometimes it’s fair to have an idea that there are lots of different ways this could go, and this is being realistic. You may be able to go to bed at 11:00 o’clock tonight and never look back, or it might take a while. All of the options in between are all realistic. They are all things that could happen in reality. So I’m not trying to be realistic by telling you, “Oh, it’s definitely going to take six months.” But it could. It could take that long. It could take less time. It could happen tonight. All of those are actually realistic because all of them are possibilities.

Janet:
It’s interesting because when I just said, “This is going to take a while,” I jumped to that. I jumped to that thought. I just jumped there without even giving myself a shot at what else might be possible. So that is interesting too. So maybe that’s a kind of change-in-direction moment where I noticed that thought. Before we had this conversation, it probably wouldn’t have entered my head.

Pahla B:
So maybe you’re going to go to bed at 11:00 o’clock tonight because you’re actually really good at finding your thoughts. I mean, look at that. That was actually really impressive because most people don’t catch that when they tell themselves that it’s going to take a while. Most people just blurt that out like, “Well, here’s a fact.”

Janet:
That went through my head too, I must say. But I stopped myself.

Pahla B:
Love it.

Janet:
Wait a minute.

Pahla B:
Love it. You’re a natural at this work. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Thank you so much for doing this today. I know this is going to be helpful for so many people. Even if sleep isn’t the thing that they’re thinking about, just hearing somebody go through the process of finding a thought that doesn’t feel like a thought, I know how helpful that is. So thank you so much.

Janet:
I’m so glad to be part of this, and I wish everyone luck in dealing with their own things as well. I love hearing other people being coached. I think it’s helpful too, so thank you, Pahla, for giving your time.

Pahla B:
Absolutely. Have a great rest of your day.

Janet:
Thank you, bye bye.

Pahla B:
Go to bed on time tonight.

Janet:
I’ll be thinking of you.

Pahla B:
All right. Bye bye.

Janet:
Bye.

Pahla B:
There you have it, my friends. I hope that this was helpful for you today. I mean, I always hope it’s helpful. You know that. I say that every episode, so I think you know by now that I always, always hope that this was helpful for you. If you feel like sharing the particular way in which it was helpful, come find me on social. I’m around. Thank you as always for leaving a rating, and a review. It does really help me find an audience for the podcast, and it helps other people find the podcast when they need it, and thank you as always for listening. I’ll see you next week.

Pahla B:
So are you totally loving this mindset work, and you really want to do it every day in order to get your goal? Then, my friend, you need to join the Get Your Goal group. It is my personal and private, very interactive coaching and accountability group where every day, we talk about your mindset, and we get your goal. You can learn all about it at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal. I’ll see you in the Goal group.

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