Learn How To Get Better Sleep
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Strategies that can help you get better sleep:
- Put away the to-do-list one hour prior to bed.
- Do not use technology one hour prior to bed.
- Avoid late night physical activity or activities that exert energy.
- Instead of reading late at night, a transition to writing.
This is applicable for people that read late at night and experiencing stimulation in their brain prior to bed. What tends to happen is that what you read stimulates that brain and hinders your ability to fall asleep.
If you are experiencing distress, problems or difficulties in your life write them down one hour prior to bed. When you write down the issue or problem, include what time you will devote to it tomorrow.
Push yourself to find a time. For instance, if you are dealing with the issue of “quitting your job”. One hour prior to bed, write down on a piece of paper (in the same fashion as a to-do-list) the exact time that you plan to work on the issue the following day.
Reflect on your day one hour prior to bed. An hour prior to bed, take some time to group and categorize your distressful thoughts, anxiety, fears. In essence, you are creating a “filing” process for the brain, which decreases the brain’s tendency to experience stimulation or late night racing thoughts.
At this point, you have an understanding of why the brain experiences racing thoughts, how racing thoughts can negatively impact you and your sleep cycle, common triggers that lead to racing thoughts, and how to attain better sleep. Matthew Porta article “Slow Down a Racing Mind” did a terrific job of identifying coping skills, including breathing, to support with slowing down the racing mind.
As a professional counselor, father, author, and a guy that loves to fish. I think it’s fair to say that each and every one of us experiencing racing thoughts prior to bed. Kids may experience it due to an upcoming exam. Teenagers may experience it as a result of wanting to date someone at school. Adults tend to experience it due to money problems or issues in the relationship.
Before wrapping up, I do want to encourage you to check Dr. Schaub video “on how to stop the mind from racing”.
You can also try reading (F! You Anxiety) as a way to address sleep issues associated with anxiety.
Knowing that we are susceptible to racing thoughts is the first step. The second and final step is to act on it.
Sleep is often connected to individuals that struggle with worry, stress, anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. What tends to happen is that with the mental health disorder, their comes symptoms. The symptoms include problems focusing and concentrating, excessive worry, memory lapses and/or negative thoughts.
The symptoms that are connected to your mental health diagnosis are the catalyst for disruption, not just the sleep cycle but the entire process. At times you may find it difficult to sleep. You may find yourself attempting to go to bed at 10 PM but instead watching the minutes fly by. Next thing you know, it’s 11 PM then 1:30 in the morning.
Some people find that they can fall asleep, but will wake up time and time again while sleeping. They feel restless or on edge. The disruption in sleep may be due to the amount of sadness or worry carried through the day or tremors.
Sleep is important. It is that simple.
If you do not sleep well then that will add to the list of negative symptoms you are currently experiencing.
Above, I have shared strategies to improve your sleep.
One final strategy is a therapeutic mindfulness journal.
Designed for the interest of persons struggling with mental health and those seeking emotional guidance through writing.
The journal is divided into the following sections:
- Over 100 pages with prompts. Helping you write about topics that focus on mental health and personal improvement.
- Pages dedicated to a To-Do list. Helping you create healthy structure and organization in life.
- Gratitude section. This section of the journal helps you focus on the positives in your life by taking time to write.
- F! it Days. This section is for those days that you really are not doing well. Use these pages to truly express yourself.
- Doodling section. For those that enjoy expressing through art, this is for you. It’s a great section to draw, color or doodle your feelings.
- Lastly the notes section. Every perfect journal has a section for common note taking and thought writing.
The therapeutic journal is a start to addressing the very issues you have with sleep. CLICK HERE to purchase your journal.