top of page
Search

What keeps you up at night?

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

Even with Halloween around the corner I bet its no longer things that go bump in the night that keep you awake. It’s another kind of monster that appears after dark…the Mind Monster.


The Mind Monster creeps in after dark uninvited and starts whispering in your ear. It tells you tales of thing that might go wrong; feeds you lies which as you lie there in your bed you slowly believe, and it always makes sure you feel anxiety in its presence.


It’s more persistent than us, it consistently comes every night and often says the same things over and over again.


Its methods work and we slowly believe this Mind Monster and much like the stillness of the night we are paralysed, we decide to no longer pursue that dream, take that risk or even worse we add yet another reason to our long list of why we are not good enough. The Mind Monster wins once again.


You squeeze your eyes shut even more tightly hoping to trick the Mind Monster into disappearing, but it knows this trick and knows that your mind is still there for the taking.


Does this sound familiar? Sadly, I’m sure it does……….

Even with Halloween around the corner I bet its no longer things that go bump in the night that keep you awake. It’s another kind of monster that appears after dark…...the Mind Monster.


The Mind Monster creeps in after dark uninvited and starts whispering in your ear. It tells you tales of thing that might go wrong; feeds you lies which as you lie there in your bed you slowly believe, and it always makes sure you feel anxiety in its presence.


It’s more persistent than us, it consistently comes every night and often says the same things over and over again.


Its methods work and we slowly believe this Mind Monster and much like the stillness of the night we are paralysed, we decide to no longer pursue that dream, take that risk or even worse we add yet another reason to our long list of why we are not good enough. The Mind Monster wins once again.


You squeeze your eyes shut even more tightly hoping to trick the Mind Monster into disappearing, but it knows this trick and knows that your mind is still there for the taking.


Does this sound familiar? Sadly, I’m sure it does……….



You are just about to close your eyes and are looking forward to a good night’s sleep, usually completely exhausted from your day and wham worry and doubt sets in.


You suddenly panic about an unpaid bill, you worry about your kids or just generally about your relationships and family. Then you move onto your job or a big meeting coming up, how your business is going to survive, perhaps you even throw in a narrative of what you would have liked to have said to someone but didn’t – and of course this is on repeat!


Its October…yikes so maybe you’re even allowing yourself to start worrying about Christmas. How will I afford it, how can I be in the same house as my family for 3 whole days (if Boris allows us)….your mind is screaming. This list grows and grows, and the worry gets bigger and bigger. Its consuming.


Your mind and you start to spiral, and sleep feels further and further away.


Now we all know we are not alone when it comes to visits from the Mind Monster, this monster is busy. We understand through conversations with our friends that it has visited them as well. If only we could switch on the lights and that would be enough for it to disappear but alas much like the Monster, we need to be a little more persistent than that.


Constant worry and negative thinking can really take its toll on both our mental and physical wellbeing, add to that a lack of sleep and well life becomes a lot harder to manage.


We all worry from time to time its perfectly normal but if worrying is as much a part of your night-time routine as brushing your teeth then it’s time to take action.


It would be wonderful if there were a quick fix to our worries and I’m certainly not going to try and pretend there is or that I have the answers but I do have some tried and tested techniques and tips to help you on your way to a restful and peaceful night’s sleep.


Here are 7 tried and tested by me sleep inducing worry reducers. Given in no particular order.


1. Get out of bed. This might sound counterproductive, but it works, why lie there suffering, get up and distract yourself. If you’re lying next to someone while you toss and turn it’s highly likely that you are becoming highly annoying to them too. A little distraction can be a great way to realign and reinvite sleep. So, after 15 minutes or so of not sleeping get out of bed and do something calming and soothing. This might be listening to music, reading a book, some gentle exercise or meditation. Just make sure the activity is relaxing not stimulating.


2. Make a cuppa. Ditch the caffeine and make a nice cup of decaf or herbal tea. The actual action of making the tea is another great distraction plus it’s comforting to hold a warm mug. The right tea can encourage sleep and is calming and soothing when we have things on our mind. You should also avoid adding sugar to your tea at night.


3. Write it down. If lists of things to do or a conversation to be had are on your mind, write it down. Often the simple art of making notes can clear the mind and leave you free for sleep. Worrying we will forget things on top of the worry itself won’t help you sleep so have a note pad beside your bed ready and try to avoid using your phone at night to make notes.


4. Trick your Mind. If worry sets in focus on something else. My particular favourite is thinking about a lottery win. I really go to town on what I would buy, where I would live, who I would share the money with and where I could help. Before I know it I’m asleep and there is still money to be spent.


Shush don’t tell anyone…..I’ve also been known to be the star contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in my mind when sleep eludes me.


5. Go Dark. Stop looking at your phone, TV, computer, all tech at least an hour before bed as they play havoc on our internal clock. You may also be tempted to scroll through social media which might be adding to your anxieties.


A friend of mine sets an alarm at 8pm every day to remind her it’s time to switch off the phone, grab a good book, herbal tea and relax.


6. It’s good to Talk. Allow yourself a worry section to your day. Make your worries real, bring them to life by talking about them. Working through them with a friend or partner can really help share the burden and also decipher which are fact and which are the stories you are telling yourself.


Again, try not to talk about your worries too close to bedtime. You may also find it useful to write down what is worrying you and put fact or story against each worry. This can help with perspective and usually means a few worries come of the list.


7. Mindfulness and Meditation. Big favourite of mine here. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment without interpretation or judgement. Why not try this when you are making a cup of tea before bed, close your eyes after you have opened the box of tea and breathe in the scent of the tea, really listen to the sound of the water hitting the tea, the smell that rises as the tea brews. Look how the water changes colour, what sound does it make as you stir the tea. What does the cup feel like in your hand, smooth or rough? Breathe deeply as you raise the cup to take a sip. What are you feeling, what are you experiencing? Drink taking your time and enjoy.


Download the blog by Kate Waring on my website to read more on Mindfulness.


An easy way to start with meditation is the Full Body Scan Meditation, you begin by bringing attention into your body;

  • Close your eyes and notice how your body feels as you lie in bed

  • Notice the position of your body in the bed, how does the fabric feel against your skin

  • Take a few deep breaths, as you inhale, and exhale feel yourself becoming more and more relaxed with every breath

  • Notice any weight to your body, any pressure, do you feel any heat or coolness

  • Now slowly take the time to notice every part of your body, notice the top of your head, your forehead, cheeks and jaw and as your notice relax.

  • Keep breathing deeply as you relax further

  • Relax your shoulders, your arms and chest, right down to your fingers

  • Relax your stomach and hips, move down your legs from your knees to your toes. Relax every part of your body

  • Slowly work back up the body relaxing every part of you as you do

  • Notice how relaxed your body is and ready for sleep

  • Take deep breaths and fall into the most restorative and relaxing sleep.

Sleep well my friends

Nikki xx


I hope you have enjoyed this month’s blog; please feel free to share with your friends. I always love hearing from you with your fabulous tips and ideas so get in touch at nikki@nikkihillcoaching.com


For further information on how Mindset Coaching can help you sleep better and worry less, contact Nikki today.

49 views0 comments
bottom of page