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  • Make Insomnia a Thing of the Past

    Insomnia is a parent’s worst nightmare. You’re so busy during the day-taking care of your child, working, stressing. You just want to be able to sleep peacefully at night. But sleep is an elusive master for so many people. Especially highly sensitive parents. We process everything so deeply, so it’s really no wonder that we can’t turn off our brains at night.

    Depth of processing is one of the hallmark features of highly sensitive people. Even though popular psychology admonishes us to “just let it go”, that is just not realistic for a highly sensitive person (HSP). We have to process elements of our day, in one way or another. One of the most effective ways is to exercise. This isn’t about weight loss (although that’s a positive side effect). When you sweat it out, you feel better. You don’t have to directly think about what’s bothering you. But you will feel a little lighter mentally when you’re done. If you can exercise outside in the morning for 30 minutes, that’s ideal. But really the most important thing is to find a time and activity that you like. Exercise sweeps the cobwebs from your mind. It’s a natural way to process your emotions.

    Another great tool to beat insomnia is to journal. It’s so important to literally get the thoughts out of your head-and on paper. We tend to get easily overwhelmed and overstimulated by anything. In fact, overstimulation is a feature that all HSP’s have in common. We have sensitive nervous symptoms that absorb the energy around us. Writing can make the world feel more manageable. It doesn’t have to be a long entry, unless that feels right for you. Even just jotting down a few lines can be effective.

    Sleeping well also becomes easier when we meditate. Meditation is a powerful method aimed at clearing your mind. Learning to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment is the goal. You will never turn off your mind, but you don’t have to. HSP’s are emotionally responsive and very empathetic. These are wonderful traits, except when you’re stressed out and your emotions are at high alert. A daily meditation practice can help you to be mindful, understand yourself, and calm yourself. There are so many different types of meditation, so explore and find which one resonates for you. There are many free apps with guided meditations, such as Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, and Stop, Breathe & Think.

    Last but not least, create a bedtime routine that nourishes you. It might involve meditation or writing. It can be reading a great book. Practicing yoga. Drinking tea and not thinking about anything at all. Listening to relaxing music. Whatever you decide to do, your bedtime routine will help you look forward to the evening as a time of self-care. With time and practice, insomnia will become a thing of the past.