At one time or another almost everyone has trouble sleeping. The first time it happened to me it was anxiety provoking. I realized I didn’t know how to sleep. I mean I had done it all my life but I found myself suddenly confused. How does it happen? What do I have to do to fall asleep and how can I do it, fast, so I can sleep, now.
When you have trouble sleeping it dominates your thinking. I found my myself worried about sleep at 11 am. I would worry about how many hours will I get tonight? Will it be enough for me to do what I have to do the next day? These thoughts can become all encompassing and overwhelming. The stress and anxiety that accompany them take away from any energy you have. They suck the fun right out of your day.
Luckily there are some practical things you can do to improve your ability to get a good night sleep. First, you need to identify when and why you started having trouble sleeping. Is there something going at work or home that you aren’t dealing with? Can you come up with a plan to address what’s going on?
Second, how good is your “sleep hygiene”? Meaning, is your sleeping area a truly restful place? Some basic elements include the comfort of your bed, the elimination of screens from the bedroom, and your bedtime routine. Talking to a good counsellor can help address some of these issues if you have tried on your own and are not seeing any improvements.
Third, you may want to involve your family doctor. In my experience there are times when medication can be helpful. Sometimes life stresses can become so overwhelming that a little extra help is needed. This is nothing to be ashamed of, like a cast for a broken leg, some injuries simply require medicine.
Finally, If all else fails pull up a previous blog post of mine, or two. I can’t help but think that if for nothing else they could be useful for catching some zzz’s …