Sleep is a natural physiological state characterized by lack of external activity and a unique state of consciousness. The natural cycle of wakefulness and sleep is linked to natural light sources. The change of day and night has influenced the emergence of so-called circadian cycles in the human body. Circadian cycles are internal clocks affecting the intensity of biological processes and are linked to light. Visual receptors transmit signals about light levels to the brain, which then triggers the production of either of two hormones.
Cortisol, the wakefulness hormone, starts being produced at dawn, preparing the body for awakening by raising temperature, blood pressure, and protein levels. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is produced when it gets dark, preparing the human body for sleep by calming it, and lowering temperature and pressure.
The psycho-physiology of wakefulness and sleep is regulated by the brain. Its activity depends on the state of neurons. Neurotransmitters, produced by wakefulness centers, are necessary for active neuron functioning. Inhibitory cells are involved in weakening neuron activity.
During sleep, the human brain switches modes and analyzes information received during the day. Unnecessary information is erased, while necessary information is archived (in long-term memory).
Thus, sleep not only allows the physical body to gain strength but also organizes the “mind.” Sleep disorders can negatively affect both physical and psycho-emotional sensations.
Insomnia is a clinical syndrome of sleep and wakefulness disorder that occurs when there is time for sleep. These disturbances can affect both the quality and structure of sleep: interrupted sleep, short sleep, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty falling asleep.
Insomnia can result from various body diseases: asthma, heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, etc. It can also occur as a side effect of certain medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, etc.)
Insomnia can also arise from nervous conditions, accompanying depression, neuroses, and overexertion.
Psychosomatics of Insomnia
The brain controls the function of falling asleep, but when the mind is overstrained with certain experiences, the nervous system also becomes tense, leading to malfunctions.
Psychology links insomnia to strong emotional experiences related to the past (e.g., thoughts and emotions of the previous day) or the future (e.g., anxiety about upcoming events). If a person were focused on the present, they would not suffer from insomnia.
Another cause of insomnia is internal dialogue, usually triggered by resentment or conflict with someone, where a person internally continues the confrontation.
To fall asleep, one needs absolute trust and letting go of control. However, fear, masquerading as various emotions such as anger, resentment, disappointment, and worry, binds the person.
Let’s consider these psychological causes of insomnia.
Louise Hay sees fear, distrustful attitude towards life, and a sense of guilt as causes of psychosomatic sleep disorders.
Lise Bourbeau believes that insomnia affects overly emotional people. Such people typically exhibit anxiety as a causeless fear, anticipation of unclear danger.
Bourbeau writes that people with rich imaginations also suffer from insomnia. They do not live in the present but imagine what could happen (forgetting that it might not happen at all).
Dr. V. Sinelnikov sees the causes of insomnia in fear, anxiety, struggle, and hustle that fill a person’s head during the day. At night, the subconscious tries to solve troubling and unresolved problems. To prevent this, Sinelnikov advises changing the approach to worrying problems: not to fight them, but to trust the world that sends these problems.
Sinelnikov also names excessive attachment to something or someone as a cause of insomnia. In this case, a person dreams only about this object, which prevents them from calming down and sleeping.
Workaholics who are reluctant to allocate nighttime for sleep and their enthusiasm to work make them forget about sleep.
Also, people who work night shifts experience disrupted sleep-wake cycles, leading to insomnia.
Often, unfulfilled promises or debts (when a person feels they should have done something but didn’t) prevent peaceful sleep.
Sinelnikov also mentions envy as a cause of insomnia. When a person constantly thinks about what others have and they don’t, these thoughts torment them, making it difficult to fall asleep peacefully.
Or, when a person is full of resentment or anger, thinking about their offender, healthy sleep does not come. The offender also suffers as the negative thoughts of the offended reach them quickly (according to scientific research, the speed of thought is faster than the speed of light) at an energetic level, bringing unpleasant sensations to the offender.
Paths to Healing
For a person to fall asleep calmly and easily, they need to consciously end the day and trust the night, meaning:
- First, at the end of the day, tell yourself that the day has passed, along with the hustle and bustle, that tasks were done as much as possible. If there are unfinished tasks, the next day will bring new opportunities.
- Second, demonstrate trust in yourself, the world, and the night. As it is said, “the morning is wiser than the evening.” This is confirmed by scientific research. As we know, the brain sorts all the information from the past day at night, removing unnecessary and obstructive information. Therefore, in the morning, the mind is clear because there is no interfering informational clutter, allowing concentration on the main task.
- Trust the World. The World sends tasks daily through people and events that come to us. But the World also provides hints for solving these tasks. However, in the hustle, people fail to notice hints and tips, labeling tasks as “problems,” leading to depression. They forget that it’s not the problem itself, but their perception of the task, their attitude.
- Perceiving something as a problem, a person puts themselves in an emotional dead-end (instead of searching for solutions, they start complaining: “Again!”, “What’s this all about!”, “Why?” etc.). But perceiving a task as a task, the mind automatically starts looking for a solution. And it finds one.
- The next important point in healing insomnia is learning to stop obsessive anxious thoughts.
- If these thoughts are about an internal dialogue with an offender, remind yourself that you are playing one-sidedly, and there will be no winner, only an exhausted victim who remains the loser in this imaginary dialogue. Ask yourself: “Do I need this?” After this question, you will likely want to concentrate on more pleasant thoughts.
- If obsessive thoughts bother you for another reason, ask yourself right away: “What exactly am I afraid of?” (as fear is always the basis of anxiety and worry), “Is there a basis for this?”, “Can my anxiety help me?” etc.
- Considering that fussy thoughts and empty anxiety cannot help but can harm, start looking for your ways to relax. Yes, each person will have their methods, as we are all different, so there cannot be a universal way.
- Remember what you like to do, what fills you, brings you peace of mind: listening to favorite music, being in nature, walking, reading favorite books, watching favorite movies, playing sports, visiting parents, hobbies, etc. This will help shift your attention from unpleasant thoughts to pleasant and light ones.
- Now pay attention to your body – such a native, devoted body. And start thanking it sincerely, with love. Say “THANK you” to all your organs: “THANK you, my Heart!”, “Thank you, my Nose!” etc. For having them, for them doing their job, and thus, helping you live (and if you lacked any of them or something didn’t work)! Isn’t your body and organs worthy of this? Of course, they are. More so, they need your gratitude and love (you can say, “I love you, my Heart!” etc., especially if something hurts).
- If you practice this procedure daily, your body will soon strengthen, flourish, and rejuvenate.
- And then – everything is just beginning: THANK the World (God) for everything you have and everyone you have (for parents, partner, children, etc.)…
- There will likely be no room for obsessive thoughts in your head. And with grateful attitude and love for yourself and the surrounding world, peace of mind will come.
Be GRATEFUL and healthy!