After a day full of tasks fulfilled and unfulfilled, demands and activities, it is often hard to let go and just settle down. With our stressful lifestyle we bring the issues that welcomed us stress during the day into our evening routines. We continue to think and analyze, anticipating tomorrow's added challenges.
This is all normal, and it is nearly impossible to leave all of our daytime lives at the door. But when we can not let go at bedtime, our sleep is affected. This feeds into a sleepless spiral, where the stress affects sleep, and the lack of sleep increases the stress.
There are four main ways our day stress can ruin our good night's sleep.
1. Difficulty Falling Asleep . Our mind races, our thoughts are mounting and we are too emotionally charged to fall sleep. We may be thinking about yesterday's mistakes, or worry about tomorrow's tasks, or just be stirred up over something someone else said or did.
This is probably the most common reason people find it difficult to fall sleep, even when extremely tired. When we have racing thoughts and we are emotionally charged, the mind can not do the shut-down required to sleep.
2. Waking-Up in the middle of the night . So you finally fell sleep. Your body took over your head and crashed. But with the mind still racing, you are likely to wake-up easily. In this state, your sleep is light, and can be disrupted by every little thing.
3. Stressful Dreams . With unresolved emotional conflicts, and with all the stress we carry around, it is common to have stressful dreams. These dreams may represent the lack of peace in your mind, and the inability to let go, even while you sleep!
Stressful dreams can come in all sorts of forms and are as varied as personalities. But what is common to all of them is that you wake up feeling, well, stressed. The dream saps your energy as if it was real.
4. Do not feel energized in the morning . After such a night, it is amazing you got any sleep! You finally fall sleep, your sleep is easily disrupted and you experience dreams that sap your strength. Is it a wonder you are waking up feeling tired?
Furthermore, nothing is as exhausting as being stressed out. It tenses your muscles and can damage your body in many ways. Without quality sleep it is impossible for the body and mind to replenish and repair as it must in order to face your new day. You now lack the resources and energy to face all of the day's challenges.
The key to great sleep is to learn to let go of your day and face bedtime with a clean slate. It sounds difficult but relaxation techniques, meditation, and self-hypnosis make it easy. It is normal to have stress but a mistake to let it ruin your sleep.