I adore sleep. Resting in a gentle cocoon of blankets. Shielding me from my to-do list. When I’m asleep, I completely let go, float, and ride the easy waves of my breath.
Is your sleep always this peaceful and restful? About once a year, I go through a month of insomnia. I look for causes, maybe it’s allergies, stress, overworking, or hormonal changes. No matter what I try, I still wake up in the middle of the night, unable to return to sleep.
I could easily get stuck on the insomnia-worry-go round. Instead of worrying about never getting another good night of sleep, I am working on accepting the way it is. I’ve decided it’s my body’s way of resetting my brain (and maybe my life).
I’m choosing a new way to think about insomnia. Because the more I worry about it, the more awake I stay. When my mind is racing, my body has a hard time relaxing.
Worry is one of the biggest contributors to insomnia. Once you have trouble sleeping, you usually start to worry about not sleeping. You can see how hard it can be to get off the worry-go-round once you start spinning.
7 Ways to Manage Worry about Insomnia:
It’s time to get off the worry-go-round, and find your personal way of embracing what is. If you have great sleep hygiene but are unable to drift back to sleep, what do you do?
- Get out of bed and read a novel in dim light. When you feel yourself start to drift off, return to bed.
- Stay in bed and practice deep breathing, meditation, or calming yoga poses.
- Find something relaxing to do for 8 hours while fasting from electronic devices. No cleaning, work, texting, etc.
- Don’t watch your clock tick, calculating how many hours until work or school starts.
- For a morning pick me up, drink less coffee. Instead give green teaa try.
- Know that your sleep will return. Remember, this too will pass.
- If your insomnia doesn’t pass, it’s okay to consult your physician regarding sleep aids. There are medications and supplements that won’t add to your next day fatigue and drowsiness.
Although I love to get a restful night of sleep, I know I can’t force it to happen. Instead of focusing on what if I never sleep well again, I focus on drifting on waves of relaxation.
What helps you manage your worry about insomnia?
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Photo Credit: “Relax” by Scarleth White