How stress and worry influence your sleep

Scientists have found a direct link between anxiety and rhythm of sleep. When a person has anxious thoughts, his/her heart rate goes up and in turn the mind starts to ‘race’. This causes the brain to become alert and stimulated and start producing beta waves. This happens to someone who worries about something when trying to get to sleep - instead of being calm and subdued, the brain is too aroused to sleep. And to make matters worse, once the brain is stimulated in this way, other worries are activated, making sleep even harder to achieve.

Try these techniques that can help you sleep when you worry about something.

To slow your heart rate, place your hand on your heart and quiet yourself so that you can hear it beating. Breath in deeply and slowly for three or four seconds, then breathe out for three or four seconds. Repeat this until you feel your heart rate slowing down. This will then slow the busy brain activity.

Stop the worrying thoughts that cause your heart to race in the first place by speaking positive thoughts instead. Speaking overrides thinking and will stop the negative thoughts in their tracks. To explain how to do this, start thinking the alphabet in your head. When you reach J, start counting out loud.

What happened to your alphabet? You stopped thinking in your head because your speaking overrode your thoughts. Do this when you start worrying about something when you are trying to sleep.

For expert advice on a good sleep environment contact Better Bedding, Mulvoy Park, Sean Mulvoy Road, Galway, phone 091 756766 or email [email protected].


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