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Sometimes It's Better Not to Try to Sleep

Posted March 20, 2020

An active mind is a good thing until bedtime. Stress and anxiety can cause insomnia, and the less sleep you get, the more stressful and anxious you’ll feel. Although it’s an exasperating circle, there are things you can do that may help avoid the cycle. For one, don’t try to fall asleep if you aren’t tired―it will lead to frustration, exacerbating the problem. Instead, do something calming like taking a warm bath, listening to quiet music, or reading (but nothing too interesting or exciting). Avoid screens at all costs. If your mind is buzzing with projects unfinished, make a to-do list or write in a journal. The act of organizing your thoughts will quiet your mind and help you rest.

The fact that both insomnia and stress are significant problems appears to be more than coincidental. As anyone who has spent a night tossing and turning with grief, worry, or anger knows, difficult emotions can have a direct bearing on sleep. Many research studies find that all types of stress can harm sleep quality and that sleep deprivation can fuel further stress and irritability. The experienced staff at Plains Area Mental Health can help you with techniques for a better sleep.  Call one of our offices today or take our free on-line assessment on this website.

P.S. One way to stop the noise in your head is to relax the muscles in your body. Start at your toes and work your way up one area at a time. By the time you reach your head, you may be calm and sleepy.

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