You can't get to sleep and you don't know why. You're not stressed about anything, your bed and pillow are comfy and it's dead silent. So why are you wide awake and better yet, what can you do about it?
Being unable to get to sleep because you're anxious about going to sleep — in other words, insomnia — can really suck. According to the above TED-Ed clip by Dan Kwartler, this usually doesn't happen out of the blue: you'll have a number of restless nights in a row caused by other things, which then leads to insomnia:
...in most cases, sleep deprivation is short-term. Eventually, exhaustion catches up with all of us. However, some long-term conditions like respiratory disorders, gastroinestinal problems and many other can overpower fatigue.
And as sleepless nights pile up, the bedroom can start to carry associations of restless nights wracked with anxiety.
Great. Now, how do go about curing it? Here's some advice from Kwartler:
- Managing the stress that leads to hyperarousal
- Good sleep practises to help rebuild your relationship with bedtime
- Only use your bed for sleeping
- If restless, leave the bedroom and tire yourself out with relaxing activities
Basically, you want to break the connection between bad sleep and your bedroom and that can only happen by exercising good sleep hygiene.