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Lack of sleep is only bad if you have to drive, or think, or talk, or move - Dov Davidoff

If you are a good sleeper, it can be hard to understand how difficult life becomes for a poor sleeper. So how does our sleep become disrupted? Let me introduce you to the Stress Bucket.

We all have times when we are prone to negative thinking. It might be a major life event, or a succession of events that start to accumulate. Negative thoughts are stored in our Stress Bucket, and the Stress Bucket is emptied during REM sleep. So if you have had a few niggles during the day, up to 20% REM sleep will provide plenty of time for these niggles to be processed.

However, if your Stress Bucket is quite full (due to a major life event or a succession of events), it can't actually be emptied during the healthy 20% REM sleep that should occur each night. If the Stress Bucket isn't emptied each night, we wake up tired, anxious and apprehensive of the day ahead. We are then prone to more negative thinking during the day, and this also goes into our Stress Bucket. At night, the healthy 20% REM sleep is even LESS able to empty our Stress Bucket than it was the night before. You can probably see how this can continue to spiral.

So, what can we do about this?

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