Most of us have experienced sleep problems at some point in our lives. This is especially true when the mind is cluttered with thoughts that create worry, anxiety, fear and stress. Fortunately, we are telling you here what to do when you are awake due to worries.
In general, emotions prevent us from falling asleep. Their function is to keep us alert and ready to face threats or avoid danger. The circumstances that put us in this state are usually associated with financial, work, family and health issues.
At the same time, the worst part of this problem is that not being able to sleep because you are worried gives even more worry. This causes a vicious circle. It has been shown that this dynamic in the long run causes serious health problems, so it is crucial that you intervene in time.
Tips to distract yourself when you are awake due to worries
Let’s look at 6 helpful tips for when you are awake due to worries so you can fall asleep. You can try one of them or combine several of them, depending on your needs and tastes.
1. Follow a schedule if you are awake due to worries
Try to follow a consistent schedule. A common mistake that disrupts the rhythm of rest is to stay up late and get up late on the weekend. Then try to go to bed at the usual time on Sunday night.
Ideally, you should get to bed early and get up early. Try to follow this schedule. That way you get your body used to it and it prepares to sleep when it’s time.
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Write down your thoughts before going to bed
One way to get worrying thoughts out of your head is by writing them down. Performing this activity minutes before going to bed can help create relief and prevent you from interrupting your rest during the night.
You can keep a worry diary where you write down all the situations that worry you. Studies show that this technique can be effective in dealing with stress and anxiety.
Just write down what concerns you have. Also, review your notes after a few days and ask yourself if what worried you really happened. Over time, you will notice that most of them are not needed.
3. If you are awake due to worries, get up
While it may seem counterintuitive, the more you try to fall asleep, the less chance you have of falling asleep. For it causes more anxiety to lie in bed and try to sleep without success.
In addition, your mind will associate the bed with this disturbing situation. Therefore, you remember the unpleasant experience the next time you go to bed.
In these cases, it is best to get up, leave the room, and perform another activity until you experience fatigue. Avoid doing things that cheer you up, such as exercise, household chores, or work. Instead, you flip through a magazine, color mandalas, knit, meditate, and so on.
4. Avoid using electronic devices before bedtime
Hours before going to bed, avoid exposing yourself to the screens of electronic devices (cell phones, computers, tablets). Especially when you are awake due to worries.
There is evidence that the light from these devices alters biological rhythms and the secretion of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for regulating ssove-wake cycles.
5. Perform relaxation techniques when you are awake due to worries
Every day, take a moment to relax. Avoid apologizing to yourself by saying you’re too busy for that.
If you think so, then your need for a few minutes for yourself is even more urgent. This need not take more than 20 minutes. The important thing is that you make it a habit.
Perform techniques such as meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, guided visualization or deep breathing exercises. Perform them during the day and when it is difficult for you to fall asleep because you are awake due to worries.
It is important that you do not stop it when you start sleeping better. They are also ways to prevent insomnia and anxiety.
Cultivate gratitude before going to bed
When you go to bed, instead of focusing on all the negative things that are causing anxiety in your life, think about the good that surrounds you, no matter how small it may be, and be grateful for it. It has been proven that gratitude increases well-being and satisfaction with our existence.
You can be thankful for such simple things as having a comfortable bed, good coffee in the morning or having experienced a relaxing bath. Remembering them and being grateful for them can help you sleep better. One study found that people who consistently cultivate gratitude have better and longer sleep.
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When should you contact a professional if you are awake due to worries?
Lack of sleep, exacerbated by anxiety, increases the risk of serious complications affecting health and general well-being, such as the following:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Cognitive impairment
- Muscle tremors and cramps
That said, if your concerns have kept you awake for several days, see a specialist. Do not wait for the situation to get worse.
Going to a professional will help identify the underlying causes and apply the most appropriate treatment for the case. This could be your trusted doctor, a sleep disorder specialist or a psychotherapist.
Good rest is a cornerstone of health and well-being
Sleep problems should not be underestimated. When they occur, it is crucial that you take the necessary steps to restore rest.
One way to do this is by implementing the tips we just reviewed. However, if the problem persists, it is best to contact a professional. Insomnia can be an indicator of other more serious problems, such as an anxiety disorder or depression.