Why you have sleep anxiety
Do you feel anxious when you think about sleep? Do you dread bedtime because you don’t know if you’ll be able to sleep?
Does your anxiety about sleep ruin your day or keep you awake at night?
You know that worrying about sleep is not going to help you sleep better. But you can’t stop it.
Your brain is worrying about sleep because it needs sleep and it wants you to get it. It doesn’t understand that the worry isn’t helping. The worry is what’s keeping you from sleeping!
If you constantly think about sleep, there’s a reason why and it’s not your fault. Your brain will always obsess about what it needs that it’s not getting. Sleep is a need, just like air, food, water, and shelter.
Your brain will do whatever it can to get sleep, including making you think about it all the time. It’s the same when you go on a diet and you’re hungry all the time and you can’t stop thinking about food. Or when you’re super thirsty and all you can think about is water. It’s because your brain needs you to eat or drink so you can survive.
It’s normal for your brain to obsess about sleep when you aren’t getting any. But those constant thoughts aren’t helping. They can make you anxious all day or as it gets closer to bedtime which is just going to ruin your sleep.
Another way we sabotage our sleep is because humans also have a negative bias. We focus on what’s negative. If 10 people give you a compliment and 1 person criticizes you, what do you fixate on? We focus on the only criticism!
We focus on the negative because it served us well thousands of years ago. As cavemen or hunters and gatherers, we needed to remember the 1 poisonous plant that would kill us. The other 20 plants that were edible weren’t as important to remember if we recalled all the bad ones.
This bias toward the negative doesn’t serve us as well now. Especially with sleep. When you focus on how poorly you’re sleeping and how tired you are, you don’t appreciate the nights you do sleep well or the days you feel fine. Your brain focuses on the problem of not sleeping. You tell yourself that you can’t sleep. Then you start to see yourself as a poor sleeper and it becomes your self-image. Then you don’t sleep well. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.
Once you know how the brain works, you can learn how to change your thoughts so they don’t make you anxious all day and sabotage your sleep at night. This is what I help my clients with.
Underlying health issues in your body can cause abnormal sleep. That’s why I do functional lab testing to uncover how your body is affecting your sleep.
But you also have to address the mental reasons you aren’t sleeping to sleep better permanently. This is why I help my clients work on their mind, their thoughts, and general stress in their lives.
You have to look at both the mind and the body to sleep normally.
If you’re tired of worrying and thinking about your sleep, I can help. The first step is to book a call with me to make sure we’re a good fit. I’ll ask questions to find out what’s going on with your sleep and health and if I know I can help you, we’ll talk about what it looks like to work together. No matter what, you’ll know what to do next to sleep better soon.