It’s difficult not to descend into an anxiety spiral when you are sleep deprived. The world can seem bleak, and it’s easy to be pessimistic about nearly everything when you’re lacking sleep. When this happens, you need to make an active effort to combat these negative thoughts and beliefs about sleep (easier said than done, I know).
A lot of the time, we worry about sleep. In doing so, we stress ourselves out, creating a negative feedback loop where we worry to a disproportionate degree that makes sleep nearly impossible. But there is a way to stop worrying and get to sleep. If you can’t sleep, I would bet that you have some negative self-talk going on. Do any of these ring a bell?
- I won’t be able to work/exercise/(insert activity) tomorrow if I don’t sleep.
- It’s such a normal human function but somehow I can’t sleep.
- Why can’t I sleep? What’s wrong with me?
- This will never end.
- I know I won’t sleep well tonight.
- If I wake up in the middle of night, I’ll never get back to sleep.
This self-depreciating internal dialogue perpetuates chronic insomnia. You have an expectation that you will be unable to sleep so it causes you enough anxiety to not sleep. I completely get that because I’ve been there.