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Sleep has always been a huge topic of interest but one element of that has taken a hold of TikTok is the 'fake scenarios' phenomenon.
In the latest social media trend, women are sharing the fake scenarios they manifest before bedtime to help them sleep.
The fake scenarios hashtag on TikTok has over 300 million views as of April 2022 and the trend of sharing them online appears to be growing by the night.
Most of these imagined situations revolve around rendezvous with a crush, sexy encounters and even wholesome trips to a deserted tropical island.
Some people may not even realise that fake scenarios are an actual ‘thing’ despite many of us doing it to help us doze off.
Tyla spoke to Dr Lindsay Browning, psychologist, neuroscientist and sleep expert for And So To Bed to find out what our fake scenarios tell us about ourselves, how they may benefit us and whether they’re encouraged by sleep psychologists.
Dr Browning says fake scenarios or "imagined desirable scenarios" are more common than you think. The recent rise in women sharing sleeping tips and patterns on TikTok is probably the reason why your timelines has been filled with them.
"The point of a fake scenario is to distract you from your real, daily concerns or worries and take you into a situation that is very pleasant," she tells Tyla. "The more desirable the scenario the more you will be motivated to think about it."
"I find that in my clinical experience women tend to be more open to trying techniques, such as journaling as a means to aid sleeplessness, and therefore may be more open to sharing new techniques with other people."
She also says that a form of creating fake scenarios is also used in treatment for those with insomnia.
"Imagining yourself in a relaxing beautiful scenery is a typical 'fake scenario' that we encourage as part of CBT-I or cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia."
But why do we conjure up fake scenarios– is it to instil happy thoughts before we bid adieu to the day, is it a form of manifestation or are we all just incredibly creative beings with wild imaginations?
"Using your imagination to think about yourself in a desirable situation is a great way of distracting you from day to day worries and it is also a good way of stopping you from getting frustrated at how difficult you’re finding falling asleep.
"It’s much easier to think about yourself on a romantic date with somebody and find yourself getting absorbed in that imagined scenario, than it is to lie in bed counting sheep.
"As you imagine yourself in a positive fake scenario while lying in bed, you may find yourself drifting off to sleep."
Dr Browning suggests people should try imagining fake scenarios to help them drift off to sleep, but perhaps avoid the spicer ones involving your crush as it may have the opposite effect. "
"Personally, I’m not so sure about how effective thinking about sex itself is because that racy subject has the potential to wake you up rather than helping you fall asleep."
Ultimately, the best way to have the most realistic fake scenario and to hopefully get a great night's sleep with happy dreams, is to be as detailed as possible. "Generally speaking, fake scenarios as you’re trying to fall asleep work best when they are full of detail and use all of your five senses.
"That means that they are more effective when you imagine not only what you would do and see in your imagined situation, but also when you imagine what things you would smell, taste, hear or feel, in order to make the image more believable and more encompassing."
We've never been more excited to go to bed!
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