As annoying as it may be, some of us struggle to stay awake during the day, but just can’t seem to stop thinking when it’s time to actually get some shut eye. You may tell yourself that you’re just a night owl, but you’ll only be fooling yourself. While the occasional battle to silence your mind and drift off to sleep is understandable, it should set off alarm bells if this is a regular occurrence. The problem of sleeplessness because of racing thoughts that you just can’t seem to stop is a classic sign of insomnia brought on by chronic stress and anxiety disorders. As these disorders have a symbiotic relationship, they can have a cascading effect on each other, progressively worsening over time.
This makes it important to deal with the problem right away, before you have more to contend with than daytime sleepiness and loss of focus.
Relax Your Muscles Fully
Release the tension from your body, and you’ll find stressful thoughts drifting away from you. Lie flat on your bed and allow your body to loosen up. Take a breath and exhale deeply. If this works for you, you can be sure to have a good night’s sleep.
Slow Your Breath, Slow Your Mind
Your breath is a tool that can help you relax your body and mind, slowing that train of thoughts that keeps you up all night. Practice deep breathing and you’ll notice your brain and heart now have a soothing rhythm, giving you a more peaceful mental environment for sleep.
Write it down
If you have a lot of thoughts and simply can’t figure out if they are positive or negative, just write them down. It’ll make you feel calmer, as there’s nothing more soothing than putting your thoughts onto a piece of paper. Keep a notepad and a pen by your bedside table so that you don’t need to look for one in the middle of the night. Making notes on your cell phone may seem like a better idea, but is counterproductive because of the blue light that has a stimulating effect. Not to mention, you’ll probably end up scrolling through your Instagram or watching Netflix.
Just Get Out Of Bed
If you find yourself awake for longer then you intended and if it bothers you, then just get out of the bed. Without looking at your phone or any other digital screen, go to the window, get some fresh air, drink a glass of water, write down your thoughts and tell yourself ‘it can wait until tomorrow’. Then, go back to bed, focus on your breath, and you’ll drift off to sleep soon enough.
Relax And Tell Yourself It’ll Be Okay
It’s normal to suffer from anxiety and sleeplessness on occasion. Just remind yourself that the hard times are temporary and with some effort and perhaps a little help, you will eventually get through it. If you still can’t sleep, quit worrying about it. What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll feel tired the next day? Buy yourself an extra cup of coffee, drag yourself through the day, and sleep early the next night. Call off plans if you don’t have the energy to attend them. People understand when you tell them you’ve not been sleeping well.
Of course, if sleeplessness or trouble falling asleep becomes a regular phenomenon and nothing works for you, consult your doctor or talk to a skilled therapist. Sleep and anxiety disorders are easiest to overcome when dealt with early, so don’t delay seeking help.