It’s not uncommon for levelheaded, everyday people to wake up in the middle of night in a panic about all the things sitting on their to-do list. Experts suggest that anyone who is leading a fast-moving, stressful life is more susceptible to anxiety stricken wake-ups.
Sleep physiologist Dr. Guy Meadows, founder of The Sleep School, says:
For a normal sleeper, if they have a really stressful day at work, or are managing something challenging in their day-to-day life, rather than slipping seamlessly from one sleep cycle to another, they tend to fully wake up out of the cycle. And they can wake up fully with a feeling of dread and anxiety; in a state of fight-or-flight.
In order to combat this barrage of anxiety-inducing problems, try a ‘Thought Download’, to assist in preparing your mind and body for a peaceful, restorative sleep. The purpose of a Thought Download is to rid any anxious or worrying thoughts from your mind and onto paper, well before bedtime.
We recommend designating 20 minutes of ‘worry time’ before laying down to rest; during this ‘worry time’ brainstorm everything that’s racing through your mind, specifically anything that may have you feeling unsettled or anxious. It also may be beneficial to create a to-do list for the following day.
It’s important to really indulge this process, this transfer from mind to paper allows us the power to tell ourselves, “That’s already been addressed and is under control; I don’t need to worry about it now.”. When you can see all your worries written down in black and white, you feel as if you have dealt with your anxieties. This prevents our minds from focusing on it later when we’re trying to achieve settled, peaceful sleep.