Many individuals on my free sleep training course for insomnia find sleep difficult because they worry excessively about their sleep.
The more they worry about sleep, the more difficult sleep becomes.
What may start out as just a few nights of sleeplessness can turn into long-term, chronic insomnia.
Before they know it, they're stuck in the vicious cycle of insomnia; worry makes sleep difficult, which leads to more worry and even more sleep issues.
In other words, the more we think about stressful situations (such as an inability to sleep), the more our sleep suffers.
This cycle has been confirmed in studies, too.
A recent study published in the journal SLEEP looked at over 2,000 individuals with no history of insomnia or depression.
They found that stressful events or repetitive, unwanted thoughts about stressful situations were significant predictors of risk for insomnia one year later.
Researchers also found that those who were more likely to find stressful thoughts intruding on their sleep were also more likely to develop depression.
The best thing to do is avoid worrying about sleep. This is often a primary component of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia - and is one reason why CBT is such a powerful and effective insomnia treatment.
Last updated: March 19, 2015