We all know sleep is so important for all of us as human beings.
We need to allow our bodies to rest, restore, and prepare for the challenges of the next day through a good night's sleep.
When we don't get sleep it can affect many aspects of our physical and mental experience of life.
I remember the two weeks running up to when I ended up in a mental hospital, I had barely slept a wink!
I know this enhanced how anxious I was feeling and affected my mood but I now also know, it wasn’t the direct cause.
For a while after that episode I became so scared of not sleeping.
As I write this I am in another stage of my life where sleep is limited (due to baby) but as much as its not ideal and it does effect me mentally and physically to some degree, it isn’t causing me suffering and anxiety like it had in the past.
As a human, the body would never intentionally not sleep as the body knows it needs sleep.
However when the mind is super busy or has a lot of thoughts around sleep, it will override things!
We will always fall asleep eventually, but what can prolong a lack of sleep often is the fear of not sleeping itself.
It’s when we wake up and find ourselves saying:
"I hope I sleep better tonight" or
"I had such a bad sleep that I know it's going to make today awful"..
Or maybe we are lying in bed at night willing ourselves to sleep and getting frustrated with the fact we are not drafting off with ease.
We are instantly telling our brain there is a problem and that we are predicting we will not sleep, therefore the brain will send adrenaline into the system to help with the problem that the thoughts have generated, but as you can imagine the adrenaline does not help with sleep!
This is where the vicious cycle can often begin.
If you are struggling with sleep just notice the story and dialogue you have around sleep.
The message you are sending to your brain about sleep that will then be overstimulating the body at a time when it’s tired and wants to switch off!