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4 Ways to Reclaim Your Sleep From Pandemic-Related Anxiety

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If you’d like to learn how to be effective during the hours you’re awake so you can accomplish everything you desire, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


This pandemic has done more than simply create a blanket of uncertainty. According to a study by Sleep Standards, it has also negatively affected the sleep patterns of more than 50% of Americans over the past few months. If my math is correct, that works out to a minimum of 164 million people — so it’s no wonder we’re feeling a sort of collective exhaustion.

Most of this has to do with the brain. When you spend the day thinking about COVID-19 — even if it’s only periodically — you’re asking it to process much more than usual during sleep. Add stress into the mix, and it’s near impossible to get some shut-eye. After all, stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone known to affect sleeping patterns.

From my personal experience, the current state of things hasn’t been conducive to sleep. It’s like you’re living in a feedback loop where increased anxiety impacts the quality of your sleep, sleep deprivation adds to your anxiety level, and you face even more sleepless nights. 

The goal is to find ways to prioritize self-care, and one method that seems beneficial is something called passive recovery.

The Power of Passivity

Long story short, passive recovery is all about looking for opportunities to recharge the body without extra effort or work. If you create more time for passive recovery, it’s going to help reduce your stress load — and interestingly enough, sleep is an ideal passive recovery method.

Some experts will tell you it’s the “greatest performance-enhancing drug” that too few people use, especially in the entrepreneurial space. However, I can’t even count how many entrepreneurs have bragged about how little sleep they get at night.

You obviously can’t make stress magically disappear, nor can you change what’s happening with COVID-19. What you can do is control your response to the situation and try to put things into a better perspective. Examine how stress is affecting your body, find ways to coexist with this new state of being, and help others do the same.

If you don’t, you might as well count your business as one of the American organizations that lose a collective $411 billion annually due to sleep-deprived employees, according to researchers from Rand Corporation. At the same time, research shows that entrepreneurs who fail to prioritize sleep are actually less effective at weighing business opportunities (and more likely to make mistakes during that process).

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

Although managing stress and making room for sleep can be difficult right now, there are some factors within your power. Here are some ways you can regain control of your sleep patterns:

1. Minimize your stress load

Sleep can become almost an afterthought when you let your itinerary take on a life of its own. Still write down tasks for a later date, of course. But with only so many hours in the day, you need to spend less time on mundane work. Otherwise, you’ll just keep yourself in that vicious cycle of borrowing an hour or two from those forty winks.

As you add each task to your schedule, determine whether it’s something that could wait until tomorrow — or the next day, for that matter. This should give you the room to prioritize sleep so it can grow into a sacred activity.

2. Reframe your perception of wakefulness

Consider an ideal 24-hour day where you’re awake 16 hours and asleep for eight: That’s a 2-to-1 wakefulness versus sleep ratio.

Let’s say you actually get seven hours of slumber, though. On the surface, that’s one less hour at bedtime. But it’s more than that: You’ve added an extra hour of burden to the wakeful brain. Your delta — or difference between two values — is no longer eight. It’s now 10, with 17 hours awake and seven hours of sleep. That extra hour being awake is actually costing you two hours of restfulness.

Now, let’s say you receive just six hours of sleep per night and spend 18 hours awake. Your wakefulness versus sleep ratio is 3-to-1. That’s 50% more stress on your body just by getting two fewer hours of sleep per night — but it’s only a 25% difference from the ideal eight-hour sleep block.

Given enough time, that’ll tap your reserves. Allow your brain the necessary hours to be idle so you can wake energized each day.

“Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.” – Robert A. Heinlein

3. Optimize bedtime habits

If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, the first thing to examine is your bedtime routine. I’m a strong proponent of unplugging well before bed. After all, wrapping up a two-hour call before climbing into bed simply isn’t a good recipe for a restful night. Make time to unwind instead. Likewise, put that charging station in another room so you’re not tempted to pick up your phone at night when it’s left on the bedside table.

Overall, blurring the line between spaces for work and rest can make it difficult to switch off at the end of the day and can eventually affect your circadian rhythms. Medical professionals recommend setting clear boundaries to give you a chance to wind down before bedtime.

4. Talk to others in your household

You need some level of communication around sleep with those in your household. If someone is more of a night owl but their partner needs to get up early, for example, sleeping arrangements should be negotiated. The same applies to snoring, tossing and turning, middle-of-the-night snacking, and so on.

When the plan is to prioritize sleep — and you have a sleeping partner — make sure you understand and are respectful of each other’s needs. Whenever I have my 5-year-old with me, for instance, rest is an entirely different experience.

Sleep is like the foundation of your home: Build it on a sandlot, and it’ll quickly sink. Instead, be sure to understand the context of your individual sleep situation. Examine your sleep-related behaviors holistically to find long-term solutions that support a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have any tips for getting a good night’s sleep? If so, share them with us below!

Seth Casden is the CEO and co-founder of Hologenix, a company dedicated to developing products that enhance people’s lives by empowering them to take charge of their health. Celliant, its flagship product, is a responsive textile using infrared technology and is clinically proven to temporarily increase local circulation and improve cellular oxygenation, resulting in stronger performance, faster recovery, and better sleep. The FDA has determined that Celliant products are medical devices, as defined in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and are general wellness products. Before founding Hologenix in 2002, Seth earned a degree in business administration and worked in private equity. His mission is to continue exploring how responsive textiles can improve the quality of people’s lives and amplify their potential.

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Life

The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.

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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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