What is sleep anxiety?
Today I want to talk to you about "what is sleep anxiety" or even somniphobia.
It happens to quite a few people I talk to after not having been able to sleep for a while. It is this chronic anxiety from going to bed. When I talk to those clients, they already hate the thought of just having nighttime issues.
So, as soon as the day starts to wind down, they are getting anxious because they are so annoyed and frustrated and done with not being able to sleep at night. Anxiety creeps up, which annoys them even more because they are aware of it.
This vicious circle, where sleep is this really unpleasant thing, makes it even harder to have a peaceful sleep.
With "What is sleep anxiety?" I want to talk about that and I want to give you a couple of tips, I find work really well for my clients. One technique I simply call:
You & Sleep
If sleep was a person, you are having a really bad relationship at the moment. So, everything from the rocks. Your kind of sleep is feeling treated unfairly because you don't welcome it.
You're so annoyed at it. Why should it make an effort to make it easy for you? You are angry at sleep because you desperately want it, but it's playing hard to get! It's so frustrating and it's not doing what you want. So, you're angry at it. At the same time, you want to be with it and it's just this really frustrating telenovela kind of scenario.
Here's what you can do:
- Write two letters to sleep. I know it will feel silly, but nobody will ever know.
You can, of course, talk to me about it. But the first lecture is going to be you venting at sleep. I don't want you to censor yourself. Really imagine sleep as this dude or this lady that is getting on your nerves! Just let it out!
- Tell it how annoyed you are with it. All the frustrations. All the things you must endure.
- The crappy way your days look like.
- How you are anxious when you go to bed at night.
- How frustrated you are when you wake up and can't fall back asleep.
- How you hate it!
Just let your feelings and frustration out!
You don't need to be kind. You have absolute permission to totally go at it. Don't censor yourself. If you want to swear, be my guest.
After that, take a deep breath and I want you to write a second letter to sleep. And that letter is a love letter.
- Really, you do want to sleep. You do want it, so badly!
- You want it to feel welcome.
- You want to feel the drowsiness.
- You want to know that when you go to bed, you might be thinking one or two thoughts, getting heavy and slowly fall into this beautiful sleep and wake up the next morning feeling amazing.
- You love it because it has that power and it can give it to you. It has in the past.
- You miss it.
- You love it.
Write that love letter.
What this exercise does, is that it will be really cathartic in what is actually going on inside of you towards sleep. Very often, it will take that pressure away and it's just one technique to help with that anxiety.
There are of course more techniques to deal with sleep anxiety, but I really urge you to try this one. Even if it seems weird to you at first. Even if you seem like a crazy person to be writing a love letter to sleep. Nobody needs to know.
Do me a favor and try it. And then, send me an email and let me know how it went!
If you suffer from sleep anxiety, I hope with "What is sleep anxiety?" I was able to help you.
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