If you struggle with insomnia, have you ever experienced this: after a stretch of poor sleep you sleep surprisingly well, but during the day you feel even more anxious than before? I definitely had it. Sleep anxiety can increase after a good night too.
Moreover, sometimes it gets us in the yo-yo pattern when every good night is followed by a bad night, which in its turn followed by a good night again and so on. Pretty exhausting, right?
Today, I will try to break down what might be happening when we get into the situation when a good night becomes a “bad news” — and most importantly how to move on from there.
👑 1. As sleep came, there is something to lose again
Insomnia comes from the fear of losing sleep and once we get what we wanted, we naturally don’t want to lose it. This desire makes us do something to protect that result and maintain it. And since insomnia thrives on sleep efforts, the more we try to hold on to that result, the less sleep we get. And it’s all because sleep is beyond our control.
💊 Antidote. Nobody can ever lose the ability to sleep, even during insomnia. When sleep anxiety keeps us awake no matter how long — behind that layer of heavy emotions, messy thoughts and physical feelings there is still our sleep drive that will kick in the moment the brain feels that it is safe to sleep. By sleeping better now, you didn’t actually gain anything, it’s been with you all along. Take it for granted.
🤔 2. We can’t understand what “worked” last night
The brain always tries to find connections, this is how it makes sense of the world. And because it now tries to problem-solve sleep (it is wired to do so in uncertain situations), it wants to understand which actions worked. But oftentimes sleep comes “out of nowhere” which makes it so difficult to find any connection. In other words, we feel puzzled, frustrated or worried because we can’t figure out what we did right and we don’t know how to recreate that result.
💊 Antidote. There is nothing out there that can produce sleep. No substance, no ritual, no thought or mindset. Sleep is a function that is executed by our bodies, we have no conscious control there. This is why we can’t figure out what worked… because nothing worked! Nothing is supposed to work 🙂 Sleep is not something that we do but something that happens to us.
😓 3. You feel the need to continue the battle
This might be an unexpected one, but sometimes we feel so tired of all that fighting with insomnia that we decide to give up… and that’s the night when sleep happens! After being fully surrendered, we realize that after we slept better, we have to keep the battle going — and it might make us more anxious!
💊 Antidote. Sleep happened so easily because you abandoned the fight. Not because you somehow ‘won’ the fight. Insomnia is the game we can’t win, since the mere act of trying to win creates insomnia in the first place.
Take care ❤️🩹
🫂 Feeling stuck on your recovery path? I’ve been there. And I know that you can get through this, too. If you need support, gentle guidance or simply someone to talk to – consider a 1-1 coaching session. Learn more