How to Stop Worrying in Bed

by | Stress Management

We’ve all done it.  Lying in bed till all hours unable to relax tossing and turning.  You just manage to fall asleep and then BUZZ BUZZ the alarm clock goes off, and it’s time to wake up again.  It’s exhausting and a thorough waste of time and energy because it doesn’t change anything.  Often the exhaustion that comes with lack of sleep makes coping with whatever you are worried about even harder.

Have you ever worried so much that you start to worry about not sleeping? That’s the sort of worry that will increase your alertness and make it even more unlikely that you will fall asleep.


How to stop worrying in bed


During the Day

Devote time to thinking during the day – even including thinking and worrying about not sleeping.  Set a special time aside and say I am going to spend the next 10 or 20 minutes worrying and then I am not going to let worry come into my head again until tomorrow when I set time aside for worrying again.  This technique helps you to manage your worrying and gives you permission to put your worries aside.

Avoid doing work tasks till late at night.  It can be hard for you mind to switch off from processing work problems.  This can make falling asleep really difficult.

Respect our bedroom space.  Make your bedroom a pleasant calm environment that is conducive to sleep.  If possible make sure that you only use your bedroom for sleep.


At night in bed

Use coping statements e.g. ‘stop – I thought about this today, and I can think about it again tomorrow now is time for sleep.’

You cannot go mad or have a breakdown through lack of sleep.  You will be tired, that’s all.  Say to yourself, ‘I can get through tomorrow’.

It is normal to wake up in the night.  One person in thee wakes regularly at night.

Try thought switching.  Switch your thoughts to pleasant peaceful thoughts.  Daydream, imagine a pleasant scene or an interesting book or film you have seen, go on a shopping spree.

Turn your focus to your breathing and concentrate only on the air going in and out of your lungs.

Slowly count backwards in your mind from 28.  Every time a thought enters your head start back at 28 and slowly count down again.  Keep going until eventually you relax enough to fall asleep.

Passive listening.  Turn your focus to the sounds you can hear.

Read a book, try to read something relaxing not something that will stimulate your senses.

Practice a relaxation technique or play a relaxation tape.

Listen to music.

Don’t try to go to sleep.  Sleep will come naturally if you are relaxed enough.

Keep a note pad by the bed if there is something you need to remind yourself to do in the morning.

Don’t get annoyed with yourself

Accentuate the positive! Focus on the pleasant aspects of the situation – you are warm, you have a roof over your head, you have an interesting book to read, we are not at war etc etc.

Remind yourself that resting and relaxing in bed is almost as restorative as sleep.  Experiment, it will take time for you to find what it is that will work for you to help you fall asleep, so try not to be impatient with yourself.  A relaxation technique provides the body with a state of deep rest comparable with sleep.


Choose Don’t Change

With Love
Elizabeth R-J

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