The next night, you begin worryingeven before you climb into bedthat you'll have a repeat of the night before. Soon your body begins to retrain itself not to sleep in bed at night and to catastrophize about every little problem instead. What began as a simple inconvenience has mushroomed into a chronic sleep problem.
- Designate a notebook as your worry journal.
- Spend about half an hour with your worry book every afternoon or evening, several hours before bedtime.
- List bothersome issues on the left side of the page.
- Think about what you can do to help resolve these issues and write your plans on the right side of the page.
- Close the book, put it out of sight, and don't think about these issues until the following day.
"People with insomnia lie in bed and think, think, think," she says. "If they put a notepad by the bed, they can write down all the stuff they're thinking aboutthe grocery list, pay that billso they can release it."
In addition to writing down your worries, you may also find that meditation and relaxation techniques will help relieve nighttime stress.