I used to write to try to teach and impress. But as I move to a new country and experience life differently, I feel more like writing from my heart instead of for impression. This article might not be the most structured, but I hope it is helpful for you or someone who matters to you.
In the past years, people have come to me asking about insomnia. I also know close ones who go through troubled sleep. Some have found ways, some still have not.
If you are experiencing insomnia, or know someone who is experiencing insomnia, the first question to ask is.. why?
Why are you waking up or unable to go to sleep? Is it repetitive or once off?
What is your mind, body, heart, intuition, instinct, soul or spirit trying to express at night when your logical active brain is resting and quieter? What needs taking care of, or needs to be heard that hasn’t been given space for?
Moving along these lines of thought…
Some of the causes could be:
1) You’re in transition, and it’s unsettling
You’re going through a transition in life. It could be in career, relationship, life direction, lifestyle, country, social, environmental or any other major transition. The transition feels unsettling, unfamiliar and worrying for your heart and mind. In the middle of the night, when everything goes quiet and you’re no longer so busy, these subconscious “worries” are like little voices or bubbles underneath the surface. They start to make some noise and come up as thoughts, discomfort, awakeness or other forms.
How do you know you are in transition?
Transition periods could come in the form of an obstacle, or multiple obstacles signalling the end of a phase and that it is time to let go and move on to the next.
It could also be a new phase of life you are going through and there are unfamiliar grounds to walk.
2) Hormonal Changes
When our body goes through hormonal changes, which happens for both women and men at different stages of life, it creates chemical changes in the body. This might also affect your sleep.
3) You’re holding on and not letting go of something
This is somewhat related to the first point. You might be holding on to something which is no longer matching or updated to the current situation in your life. This could be a past relationship, a past notion of who you should be, an expectation of how life should be, a past position or reputation you used to enjoy but is no longer here.
The holding on is tough. The letting go feels scary. The holding on is a struggle and effort happening subconsciously throughout the day, only to surface at night.
4) Fears and uncertainty of the future
In an ideal situation, you are able to predict what is going to happen, prepare yourself and take the right steps while maintaining a comfortable amount of control of the situation. This usually happens in routine life when things are predictable and moving smoothly.
However, when changes come, what used to work might no longer work. Your experiences, habits and thought frameworks might no longer be able to predict the next steps.
Things might fail, come into harm’s way or change suddenly for you, someone or something you care deeply about. While you try to be strong and keep going on the outside, sometimes the deeper fears and worries remain and surface in the quiet of the night.
5) It’s Inspiration Time!
After the dust and busy-ness (sounds like business read differently) of life has settled, your creative mind finally has space to explore. Sometimes inspirations come in the middle of the night and you find yourself awake with ideas, music, motivation to do something.
You know that you ‘should’ be sleeping, but there is a nigging sense at the back of your mind saying, hey let’s get up and do something now.
6) Something isn’t right
In life, we might make choices that do not sit well with ourselves. Or we might have missed out on something important amidst all that hustle and bustle.
Thankfully, sometimes we get reminders to work on the important things that we have missed out. Or to re-evaluate and reflect on our life choices and consequences. The reminder might come up in the night, and it is a good chance to understand deeper on what is off-track or what needs further attention and thought.
There might be more causes that I have not covered. Feel free to reach out if you have ideas and we can add it onto this list!
At this point, maybe you are wondering…. how to manage or even overcome insomnia? Are there ways to make it better and finally get a good night’s rest?