One minute you’re tired, the next you’re wondering why giraffes have long necks. Sound familiar? Our late night thoughts can be quite bizarre.
You’ve had a long day at work and are seriously tired. You haven’t stopped yawning for the last two hours, and you’re seriously considering sleeping on the sofa because you can’t be bothered to get up and actually go to bed. Something you’ve experienced? I know I have. But the scene doesn’t end without late night thoughts.
You do everything you need to do before you get into bed: get yourself comfortable, waiting for the deep bliss of sleep to take over.
You’re wide awake. The evolutionary theory of existence starts running through your mind. Tell me you’ve experienced this before!
Most of us instantly wake up and start running over random thoughts before we sleep. Sometimes even delaying sleep because our minds won’t let us rest! These late night thoughts are more common than you think. Do they actually mean anything? And, should you be worried that you’re suddenly pondering why flamingos are pink? [Read: How to overcome the things that keep you stuck]
Should your late night thoughts cause you concern?
There are two ways to look at this. And it entirely depends upon the types of thoughts you’re having and whether they’re recurring or not. For most people, it’s a case of eating too much cheese before bed, or spending too much time on Netflix. However, if your thoughts are due to worries affecting your day to day life and invading your sleep too, it’s time to take action.
We all have worries, but some are worse than others. I’ll tell you my personal story and then you’ll understand why I’m quite so passionate about this late night thoughts issue.
I have suffered from anxiety my whole life. Sometimes it peaks and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always there, bubbling under the surface. I always know when my anxiety is about to peak because I start running through a million disaster theories before bed.
Most of these theories have an extremely low chance of ever happening, but at the time, I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose all monetary employment, my house is going to fall down, or my hair going to fall out.
Can you see how ridiculous it all sounds?
The thing is, when you’re in the moment, when it’s dark, it’s quiet, and everyone else is sleeping, these thoughts can prey on your mind. What you need to realize however, and something which freed me from my late night funk, is that it’s all rooted in fear. [Read: 13 avoidable habits that will change your life for the worse]
Don’t let the fear eat you
Fear will eat you alive if you allow it to do so, and when the world is sleeping, everything seems more terrifying. The late night thoughts suddenly go from simple thoughts to facts, and it can be enough to stop you from sleeping.
The other issue here is that sleep deprivation is a real thing. If you’ve ever suffered a few bad nights of sleep, you’ll know how groggy, completely off your game, and agitated you feel. Imagine that over the course of a week or so!
Late night thoughts are harmless in general, but when they start to invade your sleep and even stop you from getting a good night of shut-eye, it’s time explore where these thoughts are coming from, break them down, and figure out whether there is something you need to do in order to push them away from your life. [Read: How to stop having negative thoughts that drag you down]
Why do we have random late night thoughts?
Scientists really don’t have a solid answer on why a very random thought invades your mind when the sun goes down and the stars are out. It can be something going on in your life at that moment, or it can be something so unbelievably random that you don’t want to tell anyone for fear of them thinking you’re crazy.
Of course, you’re not going crazy, and it’s probably down to a very simple reason. Some of the most common reasons for random late night thoughts are:
– Eating too much, too close to bed
– Consuming a lot of sugar in the hours before bed
– Exercising right before sleep, and not giving your mind and body enough time to relax
– Watching a high octane movie before bed
– Listening to fast-paced music before bed
– Scrolling through social media while in bed *huge no no!*
– Overthinking small events which occurred throughout the day
The most common reason could be the simplest of them all. When we eventually go to bed in the evening time, we’re relaxing for what is probably the first time all day. Most of us rush from one commitment to another, never really taking the time to simply enjoy the hours we have, so when we eventually put our pajamas on and lay in our comfortable bed, we wind down.
For the first time all day we’re not thinking about the next item on our to do list, and it seems strange. Your mind is so used to constantly being switched on, it needs something to think about! Enter the most random late night thoughts known to man!
I’ve laid in bed and pondered how fish fingers are made before, now such is the strangeness of my evening thoughts!
What I’m trying to get over to you is that there is nothing wrong with you if you do have late night thoughts that are quite random and don’t have a pattern. But, if you have late night thoughts which are recurrent, worrying, and based on fear, you need to address them.
Ask yourself these questions
– What is it that I am scared about? Really break it down into the simplest term and cut out all the other stuff that you’ve probably attached to it in your overthinking frenzy
– How likely is it that this event/problem is actually going to become a reality?
– If it did become a reality, could I figure out a way to cope with it?
The chances are, once you’ve identified the issue and really broken it down, you’ll simplify your thoughts instantly. Most of us overthink every tiny detail. Literally making a mountain out of a molehill. A tiny problem suddenly becomes earth shattering. The likelihood of the worst case scenario actually coming to fruition is so tiny, it’s not even worth thinking about!
Another useful method is what I like to call the ‘push it away’ method. I used this quite successfully when dealing with anxiety. In this case, you visualize the problem you’re thinking about as a color or an object, whatever works for you. Then picture yourself pushing it away with your hand, and saying “no” very firmly.
You can say it verbally if you want or just inside your head, whatever you want to do. You then visualize the problem being pushed so far away that you can’t see it anymore. The more you do this, the better you feel. Try it for yourself!