With the ups and downs of life, worrying from time to time is inevitable. There will always be an unpaid bill, financial constraints, a sick child, an exam, among other things, to make you worry in the course of life. And it is perfectly normal.
However, when worrying surpasses the normal and starts being persistent and uncontrollable, it can be dangerous. Such worrying can cause a rollercoaster of negative emotions such as restlessness, anxiety, and stress. In addition, worrying can eat into your sleep time and have you staring at the ceiling when you should be sleeping. Consequently, the lack of sleep affects other aspects of your life negatively. It can be very hard to concentrate at work or school when you are sleep deprived.
The good thing is that you can be able to break chronic worrying and start sleeping better. Here are a few tips to help you do so.
1. Schedule a time for worrying
Sometimes trying to put off worrying thoughts only makes the situation worse. Rather than trying not to worry, create a worry period in your schedule. You can opt for 20-30 minutes on a day where you can let your worrying thoughts run wild. However, ensure that you put this period way before your bedtime so that it doesn’t interfere with your falling asleep. It should also be at the same time every day.
Having a worry period doesn’t prevent worrying thoughts from crossing your mind during the rest of the day. When this happens, note that worry somewhere and remind yourself that you will tackle it at the designated time. During the worry period, go through the list classifying what you have put down as solvable or unsolvable. If a worry is solvable, think of possible solutions that you can implement. Knowing that there is something that you can do helps remove that thought out of your mind. If it is unsolvable, remind yourself that some situations are simply beyond your control. Let nature take its course and prepare yourself to accept the outcome.
Worrying only gets worse when you dwell on it for a considerable amount of time. The next time you start worrying, break the cycle by focusing on other things. For starters, you can get up and start exercising. Moving the body during exercise releases the feel-good hormones that help you relax and relieve you of stress. Furthermore, tiring the body helps you fall asleep faster and enjoy uninterrupted sleep at night.
Cycling is especially good as it takes you outdoors and lets you enjoy nature. Nature also has a calming effect on the mind. Exposure to a good amount of daylight helps in the release of melatonin that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. So, get your bike out and kill two birds with one stone. Better still, use an electric bike to avoid too much tiring so that you can ride for longer. These are especially good if you are nursing an injury or suffer from other illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases.
3. Work on your sleep-wake cycle
The sleep-wake cycle is very critical in ensuring better and quality sleep. It is important to enhance this natural cycle if you want to sleep well and wake up feeling rested and energized. One way to improve on this is by sleeping and waking up at the same time every day. This includes the weekends when you are tempted to sleep in. You will only struggle for a few days, and then the body gets in sync with your cycle. However, make sure that you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. In addition, avoid napping late in the afternoon or feeling sleepy before your bedtime.
4. Wind down your day in time
With a busy schedule both at work and home, most people struggle in winding down the day, especially when there is still a lot to do. This is also a cause of worry, which can prevent you from sleeping better if not addressed. It helps to have a schedule to follow during the day with a clear sign off time. Ensure that you stop everything you are doing when that time clocks and step away. Remind yourself that the following day is also a day that you can tackle the remaining tasks. You can also give pending tasks a priority the following day for you to feel better. After stepping away from tasks, have a routine to prepare you for sleep. For instance, you can read a book, listen to music, or take a bath.
5. Seek help
Chronic worrying and lack of sleep are mental conditions that need to be cared for. If you find that nothing you try is working, it is good to seek help. You can find a trusted friend that you can talk to about your worries. If you don’t have such a person in your life, seek help from a specialist. You can talk to a psychologist about your worries or a sleep specialist for your lack of sleep.
As seen above, solutions to your worrying and lack of sleep mostly lies in your daily routine. Ensure that you are adopting healthy habits such as eating balanced meals, avoiding alcohol, and the like to further improve your sleep pattern. In addition, try avoiding negative thoughts by practicing positivity.
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