Did you sleep well last night? Good nights kip? Better now? Many of us suffer from sleep deprivation for a number reasons and the answer to the questions above is almost always an abrupt NO. As someone who understands how frustrating it can be, I have outlined four reasons as to why you may be unable to switch off at the right time.
The most common would probably be overthinking. When you go to bed you’re left alone with your thoughts and for some of us this can get a little bit out of hand. Instead of drifting off within seconds we over-analyse every tiny detail of our day. Questions like: I wonder if I did enough work today? Did I come across as rude earlier? What if they don’t speak to me again? And yes, you guessed it, of course there are a thousand answers for your mind to scramble around in.
Overthinking and anxiety go hand in hand. They complement each other like fish and chips. Unfortunately, anxiety has a wee habit of making us feel alert instead of allowing us to relax and fall into our dreams. Depending on the severity of the anxiety we may struggle to lie down at all! Anxiety covers such a broad spectrum and therefore it can be difficult to identify which triggers provoke an attack.
If you suffer from OCD then I’m sure you understand how frustrating attempting to sleep can be. As soon as you close your eyes you suddenly ask yourself whether or not you closed the fridge. You re-assure yourself, yes of course I did. Then all of a sudden you fall asleep and wake up feeling bright-eyed and raring to go… if only it was that easy. You see, there is this pesky little thing called doubt. Now, doubt will creep in and tell you to check the fridge. Why? Because it’s open… according to this so-called expert!
Clock-watching is somewhat similar to OCD in the way it can become an obsession. Perhaps you even count the hours of sleep you will have before the alarm pulls you from your state of unconsciousness. The problem arises when you find yourself unable to sleep so you constantly check the time. In the end you become more concerned with the number of hours sleep you’re going to get rather than sleep itself… convenient.
I will be writing a follow-up article to this post soon identifying methods to help tackle these problems. Stay tuned!