How do we not pavlov ourselves by doing the same sequence of actions often?


For example, we brush our teeth every night, then go to bed with the intention to sleep. How does our brain not connect brush teeth -> go to bed -> close eyes with the intention of sleeping?

I’ve been struggling to fall asleep for almost a week now, and it takes me a good hour or so to actually fall asleep.

Is it impossible for our brain to pavlov itself, or is this just another question that I came up with while struggling to fall asleep?

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This is called conditioning and we actually do it all the time.

It’s why medical professionals maintain that good sleep hygiene is based upon routine. “Use your bed only for sex and sleep,” “no phones in the bedroom,” etc.

And it is surprisingly effective. The potency of conditioning is readily seen in anyone suffering from PTSD.

Because we aren’t dogs driven by simple instincts and basic motivations. We are human beings with complicated lives and relationships, all of which can keep you up at night.

The most important things that help when it comes to sleeping well is:

– a dark, quiet and cool room to sleep in
– a comfortable bed
– going to bed at a consistent time every night
– not eating 2 – 3 hours before bed
– not looking at electronic devices before bed (the light messes with your brain’s sleep center)
– getting enough exercise

You can definitely Pavlov yourself.

Most likely Pavlov even Pavloved himself. His research, simply put, stated his dogs would anticipate being given food after hearing a bell. This after providing food multiple times after ringing that bell.

One might argue that if Pavlov was out and about and hearing a bell ring his immediate thought would be about feeding his dogs.

When it comes to falling asleep, there are so many factors that make falling asleep easy or hard, it’s simply more than “but I brushed my teeth like I always do.”

Because if you are honest, maybe you don’t actually do that sequence of events 90-95% of the time.

More than likely, in some days, you forget to brush your teeth or do something else between those 3 events. so it is never “brush teeth -> go to bed -> close eyes.” it is more like:

brush teeth ->(use PC offline/watch tv/go to the internet/etc.) -> go to bed -> (masturbate/use your phone/think about your life/remember something last minute like not closing the bathroom light/etc) -> close eyes -> (remember some other shit so open your eyes again…)

You can absolutely pavlov yourself. Have you ever kinda needed to pee and so went to the bathroom and suddenly the need to pee intensified to the point where you were rushing to get your your pants down?

If so, congrats! You’ve pavlov’d yourself!