What It Says About Your Personality When You Have Trouble Sleeping At Night

December 10, 2018

I’m familiar with ZzzQuil. And Valerian Root. And Melatonin. And wine. (Not together, of course.) For plenty of years, I had an active brain that simply wouldn’t let me get to sleep. Lying down in pure silence and darkness, I kept worrying about everything that had to get done tomorrow while also piling on all of the chores and responsibilities I failed to do that day. These days, it helps to keep a television on while trying to doze — simply because it helps silence my brain a little bit. It’s not the healthiest, but when it comes to sleeping, we often do what we can.

Insomnia is when you constantly have difficulty falling asleep. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, at least 1 in 3 people have — at the very least — minor cases. Insomnia may not be forever, but it’s a problem that has a lot of consequences. Simply put, we aren’t our best selves when we’re tired.

But, what does it really mean when insomnia strikes?

For one, it means you’re the type of person who handles a lot. You likely take on a chunk of the emotional labor in the household. That means you’re constantly thinking about the small chores that need to get done to make things easier for everyone else. Whether that’s remembering to pack lunch, or when and how to pay a medical bill, or keeping family birthdays in mind, your brain can get crowded very easily.

Since your brain is constantly in action, it’s hard to shut those operations down. It wouldn’t be a surprise if you are more anxious than your partner or your siblings, if you’re still living at home. When you put yourself in charge of so many tasks and responsibilities, you have more worry if they don’t get completed before the end of the night.  It’s hard for the emotional burden to not make your heart race.

But, it’s a tough pattern. When you stop sleeping because of too much responsibility, you aren’t as efficient. According to Huffington Post, there’s definitely a scientific link between stress and lack of sleep.

Here’s the good news. Your insomnia is a big hint that you care. You want things to improve, and you want your job to be done right. By trying to change up your routine and divvy up the emotional labor, your sleeping habits may very well improve.

Also? Take it easy on yourself. Allow yourself time to relax, whether that’s a bath before bed or just reminding yourself that nobody has it all together. “Stop worrying” may seem laughable, but just telling yourself that everything will be okay (even if you don’t believe it) does help. Take things day by day, and always give yourself time to breathe.