I’m sure there are times in your life when you feel stressed, worried, or are uncertain about something. During a difficult time like this it is perfectly natural for your sleep to get disrupted.
You may have suffered from insomnia before and suddenly you found you were miraculously cured, but you then find that your insomnia returns during a stressful or worrying time in your life. Once again, this is completely normal.
If you’ve never experienced problems with your sleep before, but suddenly find yourself feeling stressed out, or if you’re going through a period of uncertainty, it is extremely common to find yourself struggling to get a good night’s rest.
So how do you get to sleep when you are stressed?
Your Body Knows What It’s Doing And Will Help You
One thing that most people probably aren’t aware of is that your body will always give you the minimum amount of sleep you need to get by.
This is typically why some of you may have suffered from insomnia for years, or even decades, because the body knows what it’s doing, and will always ensure that you get the minimum amount of sleep required.
It is extremely important that you recognize this fact. No matter how stressful life becomes, no matter how bad things get, no matter how much you worry, your body will provide you with the adequate amount of rest.
I’m not going to completely sugar-coat this – you may experience a night of no sleep whatsoever, or even a number of nights in a row with no sleep, but eventually it will happen.
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Don’t Try to Control it – Making an Effort is a Waste of Energy
No-one can really control sleep, so every time you try to put an effort into sleeping you can actually make the situation worse.
Once you get over whatever’s stressing you out, or the thing that’s been playing on your mind, once this massive problem is no longer an issue, your sleeping patterns will go back to normal without any intervention being required.
In fact, the only time that a problem with sleeping will linger, once the trigger of your stress is no longer causing you a headache, is when you put an effort into getting an undisturbed night’s sleep.
This is completely normal behavior because if your sleep is disrupted you generally want to do anything to help you sleep. Unfortunately this can make matters worse.
You may consider going to bed a lot earlier than you usually do. You force yourself to try to stay awake during the day even though you feel tired and fatigued by the previous night’s lack of sleep. You may limit yourself to certain non-strenuous activities during the day so you don’t start to feel tired hours before your normal bedtime.
Some of you may conduct numerous hours of research into sleep deprivation and sleep disruption. You may have started to try various forms of sleep medication, sleep trackers, more exercise or less exercise, etc.
All you’re doing here is drawing attention to your lack of sleep and more often that not this will lead to you stressing and worrying about sleep even more.
Once Again, Trust Your Body’s Ability to Get the Sleep You Need
Believe it or not, the best thing you can do is nothing at all. I know this may sound counterproductive, but just learn to trust your body’s ability to get natural sleep eventually.
Avoid the temptation to intervene. You shouldn’t be trying to moderate your day. There’s no need to do excessive hours of sleep research, and you definitely shouldn’t be spending too much time in bed.
The best thing you can do is to listen to your body. Go to bed when you feel sleepy and try to get out of bed at the same time each day.
Don’t Worry Be Happy – Focus on the Good Stuff
You are wasting your time by trying to work out how to sleep when you are stressed. It’s time to relax a little here. Try to focus on filling your day with enjoyable, rewarding and enriching activities.
The more you can do to draw attention away from sleep, and the less effort you put into sleep in general, the better. When you do this, do this you allow your sleep the best chance to get back on track. This is of course once the initial trigger (whatever was stressing you out in the first place) is no longer an issue.
You should be aware that insomnia doesn’t cause any health problems and is doesn’t weaken your immune system.
Your body will always prioritize the deepest, most restorative stage of sleep and this is usually done during the first third of your night’s rest.
So, if you’re only getting 2-3 hours of sleep, you’re almost certainly getting all of your required deep sleep. Even if you don’t get all of your deep sleep in one night that’s fine, as the body will compensate for this by itself.
It’s Time to Stop Stressing About How to Sleep When Stressed
Getting a decent night’s sleep when you’re stressed or worried about something is always going to be extremely difficult. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can really do about this, apart from make it worse by worrying about your lack of sleep. Your body will always ensure you get the minimum amount of sleep you need to get by, so don’t try to fight it or make a concerted effort to get some sleep. All you’re doing is making the situation more troublesome. Just go about your merry way, try to deal with the issue in your life that is the root cause of your stress, and sleep will naturally come anyway.