Orthosomnia: a new medical condition

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

written by Jason Chenard



Science has termed a new medical condition... Orthosomnia: degraded sleep due to an obsession with getting perfect sleep. The rise in sleep tracking technology coupled with the flood of validated new information about how we are failing to achieve great sleep has us adapting to our environment.

What can I do? Use tech with self-awareness: how you feel after a night's sleep tells you what we need to know. Go by feel. Feel sluggish, skip the workout and stretch, meditate, find a 15min nap that day. Take a break from tech: Skip the tracker once a week. Leave it on its charger and complete a paper-based sleep journal that day instead (see below for an example). Change up your morning routine: avoid having your brain download all your "morning data" first thing each morning. This regular dopamine surge each morning around the same time sets a pattern with our internal clocks to expect a rush, creating an anticipatory anxiety, which the body learns to expect and actually wakes us up earlier anticipating its arrival. Give yourself a little quiet time in your morning before:

  • Downloading sleep tracking data

  • Checking email, text messages

  • Opening social media accounts

  • Turning on the TV or radio

Continue great sleep habits but give yourself slack: do the right things with blue light, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, large meals, reading and powering down, but remember to live your life. Make healthy decisions but give yourself permission to enjoy what life has to offer aswell.




See your healthcare provider if you think this has become a problem for you.




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