Worries and anxieties can interfere with refreshing sleep

If you find yourself tossing and turning while your mind is full of worries and things to do, or going over things you should have done better, then you might find this simple technique helps. Have a pad and paper by the bed and write your worries down. There is nothing effective you can do in the middle of the night, so making a note at least gives you the chance to deal with your concerns the next day. And having saved the idea, you can safely get back to sleep. Looking your thoughts over in the cool light of a new day can give you helpful perspectives. Some things on your list need doing and you can make a plan. You might look at others and wonder why on earth you were wasting any time on them at all. This can help you to spot the timewasters when they pop into your mind, so you can send them on their way. These kinds of thoughts often interfere with dropping off to sleep. If you are lying awake for longer than 20 minutes, then get up until you feel sleepy again.

Bright lights can interfere with the sleepy hormone Melatonin. So poor sleepers should avoid computers, tellies and texting in the bedroom. Caffeine can affect you for 6 hours, so avoid coffee after about 4pm. Using your bedroom as an office can trigger worrying thoughts about work too. Aim to keep your bedroom as a quiet, tidy haven.

Depression is something we don't always recognise, especially if we have always thought of ourselves as capable. But if you are waking early, then this is a possible cause. One of the other symptoms is doing nothing. Have you stopped doing things you used to enjoy? Are you getting out of the house enough? Do you feel as if you have slowed down? Do you find simple things hard to do? What about exercise? Studies have shown that even modest exercise, like walking, is associated with improved mood. Yoga has been shown to be extremely good for making us feel better. And that in turn helps with sleep. When you feel like doing less, then that might be the signal to do more. Depression can be treated, so see a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist like me, contact your doctor and talk to your friends.

There are lots of ways I can help you to improve your sleep. Don't suffer in silence.

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