Struggling to go to bed when you want because of your inner thoughts going wild? According to a sleep doctor, it might be because you aren’t taking a break during the day.
In a Reddit post for life advice, a sleep doctor, under the username ICUDOC, explained some of the reasons we have trouble getting to sleep because of our thoughts racing when our head hits the pillow at night. According to the doctor, our constant consumption of information and media doesn’t allow us to take a mental break during the day so the moments right before we go to bed are our only opportunity to sit and think.
‘The problem with the modern lifestyle is you probably go from morning radio to podcast in car to Facebook, to work and Reddit during breaks and then back home to the TV,’ the sleep doctor explained on the Reddit post. ‘There are few opportunities for quiet reflection, so, is there are any surprise that the first moment there are no distractions (once your head hits the pillow on your bed) you would start having your inner dialogue?’
How to get better sleep
His solutions? Make time for meditation, writing in a diary, working out without many distractions, praying, doing a small amount of house work with little distractions, sitting down and planning your week, and opening up about what you’re thinking about to a close friend or therapist.
‘These routine activities force you to confront your inner thoughts and you will have these necessary internal dialogues during appropriate times rather than moments you are trying to sleep,’ the sleep doctor said in the post. ‘People with PTSD (for example) who get in trouble are the kinds of people who ratchet up the distractions in their life because an inner thoughtful reflection on the horrors of life would be too painful. After a while, distracting yourself becomes ineffective and sleep is often the first victim of a distracted lifestyle.’
Getting a good night’s rest is imperative with one study saying sleeping with your pet in your bed might benefit you more while another detailed a new light bulb that simulates a sunset and sunrise, which could help with rest. Another study also found that women need more sleep because their brains are more complex than men.