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Sleep Hack – Change Your Language

We use language every day to communicate with each other. But we rarely stop and consider the impact of our words. How can language improve sleep? Let’s explore that together.

When do I have to get up?

How often do you say this phrase? Maybe you wonder when you need to get up. Either way, you’re exhibiting a certain attitude toward sleep.

Using words like “need” or “have to” or “must” implies that getting up is some horrid obligation we have to do. In fact, many of us actually feel that way in the morning.

But what if you altered your language slightly? When do I GET to get up? That may sound crazy, but it’s not. You’re embracing a different attitude about waking up.

I must get some sleep

Similarly, we use “duty” language about going to bed. Sometimes it’s tough to put down work and get some sleep, but it’s important to do so.

What if you looked at bed time in a positive light? I want to go to sleep. That’s another subtle shift, but it can also invoke a different state of mind.

Empower yourself

These are just two simple ways to change your sleep language. In doing so, you should be empowered. There’s no excuse to keep yourself at the mercy of the Sand Man.

Take control of your language. Take control of your sleep.

What do you think?

I’m curious what you guys think of this. Have I gone off the deep end? Does any of this resonate with you? Let’s share in the comments!

[tags]sleep, sleephack, lifehack[/tags]

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9 Responses to “Sleep Hack – Change Your Language”

  1. Alberta
    May 30th, 2007

    Andrew, you are so right – language is very powerful and sets a mood without you even realizing it.

    Years ago, I heard that Martha Stewart refused to say she was ‘working’ in her garden. Working implied that is was an unpleasant task that one HAD to do. Instead she spends time in her garden. Me, I say I’m out playing in my garden and that’s exactly what it feels like when I’m pulling weeds! And I love every lovely minute of it. Come join me!

  2. Brett McKay
    May 30th, 2007

    I never have a problem falling a sleep because it’s something I truly enjoy. I can’t believe people say they “have to get to sleep.” At 10:30PM I’m excited to go to sleep. Nothing stops me.

  3. Andrew Flusche
    May 30th, 2007

    Hi Alberta,

    I love that – “playing in my garden.” I use a similar phrase when I actually have time to get my woodworking tools out. It sounds irresponsible, but I love playing with my tools. 🙂

    I hope it’s a nice day to play up in Canada!


  4. Andrew Flusche
    May 30th, 2007


    You’ve definitely got your priorities straight. I enjoy going to sleep as well, but sometimes blogging keeps me up later than I’d like. I need to enforce a set bedtime for myself – 10:30 sounds perfect!


  5. Lise
    May 30th, 2007

    Well I’ll try it and let you know. I’m ready for anything at this point.

  6. Andrew Flusche
    May 30th, 2007

    Hi Lise,

    You’ve got nothing to lose, right? Good luck to you!


  7. Stephen
    June 2nd, 2007

    Great post!
    I sleep the sleep of the innocent, which drives my wife batty. She can’t sleep except under (an inconstant) list of conditions. I keep telling her to relax and stop telling herself that “she can’t sleep unless” (whatever bothers her at the moment). Language is very powerful and absolutely controls your reality. So does your internal perception.
    If you think that you can, you can. There is no try, there is only do.

  8. Andrew Flusche
    June 2nd, 2007


    I definitely relate to you on this one. I could sleep hanging on a nail, but my wife sounds about like yours: it all has to be just right.

    I’m suddenly reminded of “the little train that could” – I think I can, I think I can…