4 Simple Ways You Can Overcome Sleep Anxiety & Insomnia
At some point in life, I’m sure that some of us have felt dreaded by our minds racing with thoughts at night. We tend to form plausible thoughts at night or ponder upon things that happened or didn’t happen. This causes us to not have a good night’s sleep. I’m sure that throughout trying times like the pandemic, sleep anxiety and insomnia have also plagued many of us. We are kept awake at night thinking of what’s going to happen, what might happen, and everything in between. This then results in one having sleep deprivation which then causes sleep anxiety and insomnia.
As cliche as it sounds, sometimes you just have to let your thoughts pass. I’m sure it’s easier said than done, but if you find ways to pause your thoughts for a moment, it will help you find your centre. I, for one, faced these issues and found simple ways that helped me overcome sleep anxiety and insomnia.
1. Read a book
Forcing your mind to carry out an activity can seem torturous at first. But your mind can soon catch on and treat this as a habit. When reading a book, try to diversify your genre by reading biographies or poems rather than novels alone. This will help you from dreading the time you set aside to read and keep you excited for the next book or genre too.
I’ve found that changing genres has helped me realign my mind. I don’t find my thoughts drifting as easily. The idea is to not take on a taxing activity; it’s important to keep your nightly activities as simple as possible.
2. Write down your thoughts
Sleep anxiety or insomnia usually occurs when we have too many thoughts at night, not allowing our brains to shut down and rest. Sure, we would wake up to a whole new day where we need to tackle issues, but we would not feel rested because of the thoughts weighing on our mind the night before. Therefore, setting boundaries and making time for ourselves is crucial. Honestly, problems are inevitable and you will need to address them sooner or later. However, try taking the time to write down your thoughts and how you will act on them. This will help you better process your thoughts.
Writing down your thoughts also does not necessarily have to be about issues, it can be as simple as what you are feeling. Give yourself a moment to reflect on your day and what you feel grateful for. That way, you’d give your mind the idea that it’s time to rest after having given your all.
3. Put your electronic devices away earlier
This is surely something easier said than done when phones have become our window to the outside world. However, giving yourself time to set the mood and avoid disturbances would help in overcoming sleep anxiety. This is because when we don’t control or set boundaries to detach ourselves from our worldly commitments, our minds start racing to think of every possible way to find a solution to our current problems.
Attaching yourself to your gadget would also make you “accessible” even during your rest time. Truth be told, many people could take advantage of your availability. If you are working from home, make sure that you are able to log off by a certain time. Make time for yourself! This would provide clarity for you and your mind and allow you to understand that issues can afford to be tackled the next day.
4. Practice going to sleep and waking up at the same time
Above all, one step which has been proven to work best for many is by making sure that the time to go to bed and wake up is consistent every day. When put into practice, it allows the mind to view this as a pattern that needs to be kept. Many find it hard to get to bed when they don’t feel sleepy. However, pushing yourself to do so will eventually create a habit where you’ll want to be ready for bed. The same method should also apply when waking up. When snoozing feels like the best thing to do, force yourself to sit up in bed or open your eyes for a straight minute once your mind is awake.
If it’s a process that’s hard to adapt to, try coupling this with a sleep schedule function. It’s a function that is available on both Apple and Android phones! This means that you would need to use your device, but try not to linger around too much that you end up opening other apps. The bedtime schedule on phone helps you to plan out your sleep cycles. It reminds you when to hit the bed and can play soothing tunes to wake you up too!
Being sleep-deprived and experiencing sleep anxiety or insomnia can extremely affect a person. If you are trying to overcome it, always try to find your own ways of dealing with the situation. Sometimes, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of advice. So, make sure that you try out different ways to land on one that would suit you best. And with that, a good night’s sleep should not be of far reach.