Every night our minds work to organise themselves, coming to terms with things and then filing them away, it must be the biggest library we could every imagine. Like anything in life, if its organised and streamlined then it will often work well, but let be honest, how many of our lives are fully streamlined and organised? For most of us this isn’t the case and also life has a way of throwing us curve balls which of course aren’t in the plan. If we just imagine the day to day stuff and how hard our minds work to keep our mental library in order, it does seem a hard ask. A few weeks ago, we talked about this in the blog PTSD how, if we have been traumatised then our mind from that point on isn’t working very well in certain areas. This isn’t great for our inner library, if we have piles of unprocessed stuff blocking areas of our library and then things which are related to this, continue to get added to the pile, imagine how messy our minds library will start to look.
As we sleep, we dream and also process the information, just imagine this is the time when the library is free of people coming in to looks for books, information, borrow books and return them. This free time while we sleep can be used to process and deal with the back log of stuff that’s not been fully processed in the day. I am sure we have all heard of the saying sleep on it, you will feel better in the morning and being honest often we do. If something has troubled us, then after a good night’s sleep we often feel less anxious about it and more rational. This is because our mind has been working with the issue while you have been dreaming to help us work it through, helping us to find the answers we need. But if our minds are already back logged with stuff then this of course will make it harder, and I know that this will impact your sleep.
For many people that come to see me, even if we’re working on something non-sleep related, they often say I had such a good night’s sleep after the session or that overall their sleep seems much better. This is because we have been working to deal with the back log of unprocessed and disorganised parts of the library, making the dreams we have are less fearful and scary. This naturally leads to a deeper more peaceful sleep as the library is not like a frantic, chaotic, frenzy of things being filed and processed, thus allowing our sleep time to be more tranquil. Of course, if we have big issues that we haven’t resolved and we are struggling with our sleep then I would automatically recommend that you get those worked through. Imagine scooping up that big unprocessed paper mountain and throwing away what’s not needed and then organising the rest- how much calmer the library will look and feel.
This message that we are safe again, is then sent to our nervous system and the red alert signals are reduced and in time switched of. The impact on our sleep is massive, just imagine a solider in the middle of the war trying to fall asleep! It’s not going to happen as your mind realises this will just get you killed. Your mind works on the same principles and if our minds are just too overloaded then of course the signals will be that it’s too scary to fall asleep, it not safe to let go and relax either.
Once the bigger issues are cleared the library will be more tranquil and the signals from it will help your mind feel safer to sleep. But of course, stress and stressful events are not just the ones we didn’t come to terms with in the past, they are also the one that happen on a day to day basis. The next step then to helping you sleep is to work through what is happening in the now, there’s no point pretending it’s not happening, denial will only send messages of fear to your mind. We have to face what’s happening, even if we have to accept that it may not have a great outcome, but at least we will not be in denial over it and our mind will feel much happier because of it. A good way to do this is to get it out of you head and onto some paper: one it will help your mind see it more clearly, also your facing it which will dissolve the fear and it’s much harder to write irrational fears down then it is to think them. Think of the pros and cons and look to find a solution. now you’re not the rabbit in the head lights, you can now consider that there are maybe other options that you hadn’t at first seen. Also, while this is all on paper and not overwhelming your mind then while your sleeping your mind can look beyond this too and hopefully find that missing solution that can help you achieve a better outcome.
Now that your dealing with the bigger issues in a better way, there may still be worries that seem to trouble your sleep pattern, so now try this exercise. At least 2 hours before bedtime sit with a note book and download all your worries onto the page, no matter how irrational they may be. Give yourself no more than 15 mins, or continue until there are no more worries left. If you can’t change or alter something, then we have to accept it, for the other worries that are irrational we have to let them go and for the rest maybe we can find a better solution. The next night read through the notes from last night crossing of the irrational things, and rewrite the unchangeable things into a positive statement. IE the dog is 15 years old and I don’t know how long he has left. But worry isn’t the answer, I choose to give him as much time and love as I can today. Then set the timer again and work to download the worries onto the note book and stop when you’re finished or the 15-minuet timer has gone off and continue to do this every night. Over time you will see that irrational thoughts becoming less, more solutions will start coming and the acceptance to the things we can’t change will start to grow.
Again, change takes time, there is no magic wand, but you will start to notice your hard work is beginning to pay off, as you find yourself less worried and sleeping better. Just imagine now how much better your library will look and feel, this peace will travel through your mind not only in the day time but also while your sleeping.
Thanks for dropping by Sara x