Being too tired to sleep seems like such as strange paradox. But in fact, it's not that uncommon, and most people experience it in special situations.
By giving you some insight into the functions of this phenomenon, I hope you'll be able to overcome this form of insomnia in the future.
So, being too tired to fall asleep can be caused by two major things.
Think about it, these two are actually the main causes of not being able to sleep. Even if you feel tired, your mind might still be in a hyperactivity mode. Perhaps you feel worry, anxiety or stress. In any of those states, it's nearly impossible to sleep!
Or you're simply too exhausted. Your body is sending too many signals too your brain causing it to be kept alert at all times.
Besides these two, there are of course some other reasons related to pain, sickness, etc. but I won't go into these in this article.
So let's tackle one at a time starting with the unrelaxed mind.
Even though your body is incredibly tired and ready to sleep, you might not be able to fall sleep because of your head. The reason is that your mind simply isn't in a suitable state. Sure, it can also be tired and all you feel is like you need some rest, but the inability to focus and be calm up at the top will affect your entire body.
So in essence, your focus is scattered. The reason can vary, but the cure remains the same. What we have to do is to take some time to unwind before going to sleep. And it's not just about relaxing, it's also about getting your mind focused and still.
I mean, otherwise you could just claim that the best way to relax is to lie in front of the TV. No, I say, it’s not. Your mind will surely become even more shattered from all the new impulses.
But how do we do it then?
My own top three ways I sometimes use to relax the mind before going to bed is:
If you've ever done it, you know it works. Imagine your mind to be a glass of water that's been shaken around all day. Only when you're able to sit still for at least 10 minutes will true stillness have a chance to appear in your glass.
Your mind can finally become calm again.
I especially like this method and it has proven to be very useful when you think you're too tired to sleep, and also as a remedy against anxiety and worry. What I mean is that you should spend a short period of time before going to bed dedicated to things such as:
What all these activities have in common is that they are still, slow, calmed down and focused. This will put your brain at ease by being able to do only one thing at a time. I bet you can find some other similar activity so just try and have fun =)
This good old classic way to fall asleep actually works. If you have a good novel that brings you into a new world, then this is an excellent way to distract your mind from all the worries of the present. Instead it will focus on a new fresh situation as a way to cool down.
As you can see, there are no crazy or revolutionary stuff on this list, but just sound and solid methods that actually works if you're too tired to sleep.
If you've ever done some extreme form of exercise or workout, then you might recognize what I'm talking about here. I remember once when I came back after 14 hours of tough hillwalking in the Scottish highlands.
My legs! My arms! My everywhere - ouch! But it was not pain in the conventional form, it felt more like all the energy had been sucked out of me.
And this created a problem. Simply because it takes some energy to go to sleep, I was unable to fall asleep. I just kept lying there in despair of not being able to get the recovery I needed.
I was simply too tired to sleep. So what did I do?
Well, the only thing I could in that moment, I took something against my pain. However, if you're in a better location than a tent, I suggest one of the following:
Great muscle relaxation method since the heat will make your blood circulate faster, hence creating a comfortable feeling.
And as a bonus you will find it easier to fall asleep when your body temperature drops afterwards.
Nothing beats a massage when it comes to getting your body relaxed. So if you manage to convince your partner to give you one, then you're golden! =)
If you really can't get your muscles to relax just a little bit, then taking some type of pill once isn't that bad a solution. Just don't make it a habit :-)
For the exhausted body, the only remedy is to get relaxed. If you have some other tricks up your sleeve, then please go ahead with them. And remember, this is not a really common situation, but if it does happen, try the methods above.
There is actually a third possible reason that I haven't mentioned yet - that your sleep schedule is out of sync. If you've been up for an excessive period of time (say 40 hours straight) you might find it hard to fall asleep just because your body doesn't expect it.
What helped me get back to reality the only time that has ever happened to me was to meditate.
So remember, if you ever happen to be too tired to sleep, then there are always ways to get past that. So sleep well and sleep long =)
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan
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