Do you find it hard to sleep at night?
If you do, then you are not alone.
The National Institutes of Health report that, "An estimated 50-70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleep or wakefulness disorders."
Following the birth of a new baby, a stressful period at work or an episode of worry or anxiety, people can sometimes lose the "knack" of falling asleep. The "knack" of falling asleep is the ability to get into bed and drift into a peaceful, restful sleep without trying or putting in effort -- that is, to sleep like a baby. It's as if they have forgotten how to fall asleep "naturally."
What do people do when faced with this kind of difficulty?
For many, the prospect of yet another sleepless night is too much to bear, so they set about trying to make themselves sleep. They turn and twist in their bed in an attempt to make sleep happen. Getting to sleep becomes a battle involving determination and force of will. But the harder they try, the more sleep escapes them. It is at this point that many people begin to realize just how little control they have over sleep; they discover that sleep is not something that conforms readily to the behest of their will.
Then comes the realization if they can't "will" themselves to sleep, they are in real trouble, because this is what people do, when it comes to making things happen in their lives. If they can't "make" it happen, then it's down to chance whether or not they get to sleep. The belief that sleep is down to chance is a breeding ground for anxiety and stress. Will I or won't I get to sleep tonight? What if I don't? What if I'm awake all night? If I don't get to sleep then I'm going to be wrecked tomorrow -- I have so much going on, I'll never get through it all (Help Me Sleep: How to Overcome Your Sleep Problems).
Sleep has now become a risky business; anxiety and stress are not and have never been favorable conditions for a good night's sleep.
One man referred to me for help several years ago had developed a fear of going to bed. Every time he passed his bedroom door he began to feel tense and anxious. The prospect of lying awake all night was so awful for him, that he had developed an aversion to it -- in the same way that people develop a fear of spiders, he had developed a fear of being awake.
I see a lot of people who say they can get off to sleep OK, but awaken after only a couple of hours and can't get back to sleep. Others say that they get into bed, often tired or exhausted, but can't get to sleep. When I ask them why they think this is, they say, it's because they can't "switch off" -- their minds are too active, jumping from one thing to another, replaying the events of the day or thinking ahead to tomorrow or to next week.
Does any of the above sound familiar to you?
Do you find yourself awake at night, going over the affairs of the day or worrying about some future event that may never happen?
What can you do about it?
To help people move forward, I firmly believe in raising people's awareness by providing them with information (like that included in the video below); information linked to their own particular difficulty, because when people have information they make better decisions and choices.
Lists of dos and don'ts for a good night's sleep have their place, but in my experience, it is only when people are informed -- when they understand and have a deep awareness regarding the whys and wherefores of those dos and don'ts, that they are prepared to make more enlightened choices. For example, when they become aware of the way the brain works in relation to sleep, people very often realize that what they do and how they think, instead of helping them get to sleep, actually obstructs their brain's ability to induce sleep "naturally."
This is an important discovery, "What I do and how I think is keeping me awake at night. Can you believe it? (Video: Help Me Sleep: How to Overcome Your Sleep Problems).
Could this be true for you too?
Click on video link below to see how thoughts and worries can keep you awake at night.
I'd love to hear how sleep is going for you. You can leave a comment above or on my website here.