It is 4am on day 5 of insomnia. I can hardly see the computer screen my eyes are so closed – yet I can’t sleep.
I get tired, it comes time for bed and then it happens. It feels like you have passed the point of sleep and now you are doomed to a night of awake exhaustion.
Why does this happen????????
Google searches shows anxiety causes insomnia but then the lack of sleep causes anxiety. Woohoo (sarcasticly) ANOTHER hamster wheel where the anxiety causes the thing and then the thing causes the anxiety.
I understand that anxiety is a cycle that we need to break but how does this work with regards to insomnia? Reading about it makes it seem that we are lying awake overthinking instead of sleeping. It isn’t that simple. That implies we are choosing to worry rather than sleep.
This is yet another incorrect assumption that the anxious are actively choosing to overthink and be anxious. Those of us who suffer from insomnia know that we would give anything to sleep. We can’t seem to help this.
The American Institute of stress explain than anxiety and stress are different things, but impact each other. A night of insomnia absolutely effects our ability to function the next day, which will exacerbate our anxiety. One of the side effects of insomnia is anxiety! We don’t need anymore of that. How can we fix this?
I found this online:
8 Ways To Retrain Your Brain To Sleep
- Don’t consume caffeine.
- Relax before bedtime.
- Eat at the right time.
- Keep regular sleep and wake up times.
- Get active!
- Go offline.
- Don’t let your worries wake you.
- A comfortable bedroom.
Reading this list there are some really great tips. A healthy lifestyle would look like this, and they are totally doable. Number 7 though? Don’t let your worries wake you? This again implies that we are choosing anxiety, which every anxiety suffer knows is completely untrue. My online searches didn’t help, they just further confirmed that anxiety is assumed to be something we choose, rather than the uncontrollable thing that it actually is.
I absolutely believe that we choose our thoughts and can create more positive thought patterns through meditation and gratitude. However, from my own experience of waking up in a full blown panic attack or having anxiety come over me from absolutely nowhere, I know this isn’t coming from us sitting thinking about it. If only it was as simple as that.
To try to understand it further, we need to look at the science of the brain. Science and quantum physics are proving more and more that we run on subconscious programs that we learn in the 1st 7 years of life. We are programmed during those early years. Those programmes run subconsciously throughout our lives until we confront them.
So we can ask ourselves – Am I programmed to be anxious?
For whatever reason we have become programmed to running on anxiety. Not just through early experiences but throughout our life. The human race has survived by being built to remember the bad/painful experiences more than the good. So the program becomes anxiety.
We aren’t choosing these emotions, but the science can show us how to reprogram.
This week we will look at this step by step to try to understand this better, as knowledge is power!
Night night, love, @powerofanxiety