Restless mind syndrome: how to stop worrying 24/7
How did I sleep last night? We seem to ask ourselves this question every day. No wonder why! It can be daunting and tiring when all we need is a soothing sleep balm to reduce the stress of a busy day.
But it is frustrating, when we go to bed, our brain just doesn’t shut down. Ironically, sometimes the more stressful our days are, the harder it is to calm the brain down to sleep at night.
If you can relate to it, you are certainly not alone. More than 30% of people suffer from insomnia.
Restless Mind Syndrome is a state that encourages you to constantly think without rest, most often at night, when a person should sleep.
This syndrome can start at any age and usually gets worse over the years (if you don’t see a specialist in time). Subsequently, sleep regime may be disturbed, which certainly interferes with everyday life.
People usually describe symptoms as unpleasant thoughts in their head that they cannot control or stop.
The cause is often unknown. Researchers suspect that this condition may be caused by several things.
Sometimes it runs in the family, especially if the disease begins before the age of 40.
- Restlessness and anxiety;
People who struggle with this syndrome often complain about constant anxiety and disturbance. Their thinking focuses on unavoidable, future, or unknown circumstances connected with their relationship, health, and other similar concerns.
- Rage, bitterness, or anger.
For some, the syndrome refers primarily to past events that were unpleasant, unwanted, and possibly out of control.
The more a person tries to fight the syndrome, the easier he/she feels. Mind develops a habit when a person goes into “neutrality.”
If you have systematic restless mind syndrome, then you can try the methods described below. But you should understand that they will not be enough to solve your problem with insomnia.
For the rest of us who occasionally have troubles shutting down our mind at the end of the day, let’s try these techniques:
- transfer your long-standing thoughts from your brain to paper;
The point is to write down your thoughts so that your brain is sure you won’t forget anything.
- listen to audiobooks or podcasts;
If your brain insists on telling stories right now, you can allow yourself to do so and distract yourself from pesky thoughts by telling it a different story.
- symptoms diminish with entertainment.
For example, watching a movie, social media, video games, music, audiobooks, and reading. However, some argue that entertainment does not help at all.
Sometimes the symptoms are difficult to explain. They usually range in severity. Sometimes symptoms disappear for a while and then return. This is a spectrum condition in which some people experience only mild irritation, while others experience severe sleep disturbance and a deterioration in their quality of life.
Firstly, no one stops thinking. The question is not whether a person thinks or not, the question is whether the process of thinking is pleasant. Some people make wishes like ‘I just want to stop thinking’, ‘I just want my brain to stop’, ‘I just want to have a rest’. These statements are clear in context. This person means, ‘I just would like to stop thinking about unpleasant things’. The unpleasantness of the thought process causes insomnia, more discomfort and increased anxiety. As these things increase, lack of sleep complicates the problem even more as it shifts from one day to the next.
Secondly, thinking is a process that helps you solve problems, reduce anxiety, and enjoy your rest.
If you are ‘haunted’ by the restless mind syndrome for a long period of life, and simple methods such as meditation, lavender, green tea and others do not help. If so, it is worth talking to your doctor who is trained to treat insomnia using evidence-based methods.
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