Want to Get Better Sleep? Don’t Think of Yourself as an Insomniac

iStock
iStock

Around 10 percent of the population suffers from chronic insomnia, according to the Sleep Management Institute, and for many of those people, insomnia is a psychological issue. In fact, cognitive behavioral therapy is usually the first line of treatment for insomnia, not pills. A recent review of the scientific literature on insomnia in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy (spotted by BPS Research Digest) identifies yet another piece of the psychological puzzle that could help people with insomnia. According to findings from University of Alabama psychologist Kenneth Lichstein, just identifying as an insomniac can make you feel worse than the lack of sleep does.

Not everyone who sleeps poorly during the night feels equally foggy the next day. The less satisfied you feel with your night's sleep, the worse you probably feel after you wake up. If you get three hours of sleep but aren't worried about it, you're less likely to complain of fatigue and impairment the next day than someone who lies awake beating themselves up over those hours without sleep. Whether or not you think of yourself as an insomniac is surprisingly idiosyncratic, and isn't always tied to your actual sleep quality.

Lichstein calls this "insomnia identity," suggesting that no matter what the quality of your sleep at night, if you think of yourself as an insomniac, you'll probably feel worse. For one thing, if you're primed to think you'll have trouble falling asleep, you'll be far more sensitive to even the mildest of insomnia symptoms. All that stress, in turn, will make it harder to fall asleep, starting the process over again. You'll be primed for disappointment, and probably won't acknowledge any small gains you make, because you'll have a rather fatalistic attitude toward the whole endeavor of sleep. This insomnia identity is tied to all the same negative effects of the not-sleeping itself, including hypertension, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, according to the study.

If identifying as an insomniac really does have such a major impact, therapies designed to improve symptoms of insomnia should be tackling the self-stigma first, helping people get over their conviction that they are irreformable insomniacs so that they can keep an open mind during their treatment. In the process, they'll start to feel better, even if they don't begin to sleep all that much more.

[h/t BPS Research Digest]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]