Anxieties • Worries • Feelings
Everyone’s had those sleepless nights when their mind wouldn’t stop racing as worries, stresses and negative feelings piled on top of one another. The mind is a powerful element when it comes to the quality of our sleep and a difficult day can keep us awake regardless of physical exhaustion. As stress hormones peak at night, our sleep can be disrupted simply because our mind cannot rest. And, when we don’t rest at night, we struggle to be our best selves the next day.
Stress, anxiety and negative thoughts have been shown to not only minimize the amount of sleep we get each night, but they can also reduce the quality of those hours while increasing the risk of insomnia. Sleep isn’t simply a moment for us to rest – it’s a time when the body repairs itself and the mind processes the day. An anxious or depressed person who can’t sleep because of these symptoms can easily get locked into a vicious cycle that causes more sleeplessness, which in turn worsens their mental state. Studies have found that an erratic schedule and the inability to reduce external distractions (including our connection to digital devices) can affect sleep already mired by negative moods.
The mind can be a powerful obstacle for sleep, but there are many tools, such as meditation apps or aromatherapy, that can help create calm. A study conducted at the University of Sussex suggested that reading for as little as six minutes may reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds. And, exercise is no slouch, either – research has shown that just a few minutes of physical activity can reduce anxiety and foster better sleep.
For other facts and tips about the Mind Sleep Factor, check out these articles: