This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.
People who struggle to fall asleep tend to have a few things in common: Bags under the eyes, frequent yawning, and a thirst for all things caffeinated being the obvious ones. Through the years of meeting with sleep-deprived patients, board-certified sleep specialist Rafael Pelayo, M.D., has also noticed a more subtle connection: They all tend to use the same language to describe bedtime.
The problem with "trying" to sleep.
"People who have sleep problems on a regular basis talk a certain way that nobody else talks," says Pelayo, who is also a professor at Stanford Medicine and the author of How To Sleep: The New Science-Based Solutions for Sleeping Through the Night. "The phrase that you'll often hear people say is that they try to go to sleep."
This word choice may seem innocuous, but Pelayo says that it speaks to a defeatist mindset and can therefore put a real damper on restfulness.