May 19, 2021

What’s keeping you awake at night?

Throughout my life, I have periodically struggled with insomnia. There is nothing worse than laying in bed waiting for your “sleep train” to arrive, but all you have is your racing thoughts. 

Whether it be falling asleep or staying asleep, 1 out of 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. 

The most common culprits of insomnia are:

-Diet. Consuming too much sugar, caffeine, and/or alcohol can result in sleep disruption. 

-Hormones. Fluctuating hormones, especially for women, can make getting a good night’s sleep even more of a challenge. 

The sleep industry is estimated to be worth 450 billion dollars. Everything from sleeping pills, CBD gummies, herbal remedies (melatonin), natural remedies (magnesium, chamomile tea), special pillows, special mattresses, weighted blankets, white noise machines, etc.

If you feel like you have tried everything on the list, but your mind is still racing, your sleep disruptor is likely to be stress.

Job stress, relationship stress, and financial stress are the usual suspects.

Although, big life changes like marriage, birth, death, or divorce can often cause sleep issues as well.

The body doesn’t know the difference between happy stress and sad stress. It all registers as stress, and nighttime is the perfect breeding ground to play out all of those anxious thoughts.

Healthy habits promote better sleep… and better sleep leads to better health. But what can you do when you are suffering in the moment and sleep feels unattainable? I have recently discovered this trick to calm down my nervous system when my mind starts to race at night. 

Gently close your eyes.
Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. 
Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale slowly. 

In your mind, repeat this mantra:
I am calm. 
I am safe.
I am peaceful. 

Repeat as many times as you need. 

This is known as “heart and belly breathing,” and it is a great way to signal to your brain that it has permission to calm down. By focusing on your breath and silently repeating a soothing mantra, your nervous system will relax and you just may drift off to sleep. 

If nothing else, you will experience a sense of greater tranquility and give your mind and body some much-needed rest.

If you find yourself struggling with stress or anxiety, I can help. 

Happy Wednesday!

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