Mind Over Sleep
Have you ever thought that your mind could be sabotaging your sleep? If you struggle with restless sleep, reading a good book while sipping on a cup of tea might not be the slumber solution that works for you. Worry, toxic thoughts and damaged nerve cells can all be hidden disruptors affecting your sleep.
Worrying is a vicious cycle that plays out in your mind. The loop can be endless and can amplify in many ways. You haven’t slept well in awhile, and every night, part of you tenses up as you slip under the covers, not looking forward to what you predict will be the same nightmare. Have you ever found yourself counting the hours you have left if you just fell asleep NOW. Minutes pass. Ok, if I fall asleep NOW, I’ll still be a functioning human being. Next thing you know, It’s morning and it seems like you haven’t had a wink of sleep. You worry about falling asleep, you worry about getting X number hours of sleep, you worry about how you’ll be able to tackle your day, and on and on. Sleep is important, but it shouldn’t stress you out. Instead of the endless worry wheel, don’t focus on not sleeping but instead decide to focus on more positive things. Enjoy the quiet time to reflect on new projects and future goals. You can break the worry cycle by choosing what takes place in your mind.
Unmanaged toxic thoughts can also contribute to restless sleep. If left unchecked these thoughts can grow and fester to the point where they can actually cause brain damage and mental health issues. Toxic thoughts need to be acknowledged and dealth with. Suppressing and ignoring them will not make them go away. There are steps you can take to identify and eliminate the root of these thoughts and replace them with new healthy thoughts. This mental management is an on-going process that may need external or professional help.* This will keep your brain healthy and will heal the damage done by the negative thought patterns which might be contributing to your restless sleep.
Going to bed with damaged nerve cells can affect how you sleep. When you wake up, you have thousands of baby nerve cells. They will grow into the network of your brain through deep intellectual thoughts. We are designed to learn and build our memory throughout the day which causes these nerve cells to grow, changing the structure of our brain. If this process doesn’t happen adequately, it causes waste in the brain and can affect how you sleep. To keep your brain functioning properly, it’s important to learn new things every day. Reading books, learning a new language, memorizing fun facts are just a few examples of ways to nurture and allow these new nerve cells to grow. Next time you go to sleep, you can think about all the new things you have learned and how we are wonderfully made, right down to the baby nerve cells.
Our body works in so many wonderful ways. In order for it to work optimally, we need to take good care of it. What we think can absolutely affect our physical body. Getting rid of worry, dealing with toxic thoughts, and healing damaged nerve cells are important housekeeping tasks that need our daily attention. Your mind controls your brain and your body so it makes sense that it can also help you sleep well.
* Additional Help: cognitive behavioral therapy