What to do when ruminations prevent sleeping or falling asleep?
Do you know that we spend 30% of the time of our lives sleeping to recover, regenerate ourselves physically and mentally?
Yet 30% to 40% of us will be, at one time or another, insomniac. That is to say, for several weeks, several months, for several years, we will encounter difficulties of sleep, nocturnal awakenings, with the impossibility of stopping to think, to ruminate the problems. So what do you do when ruminations prevent you from sleeping or falling asleep?
A study by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, professor of psychology at Yale in 1992, estimates that 63% of young adults and 52% of quadrats are “overthinkers”, ruminators.Ruminating the negative of a situation is a gateway to insomnia, and also to depression concludes a study published in the Plos on in 2013.
Two effective techniques to combine
The first is a physiological technique of control. This Oriental technique based on respiration and revisited by neuroscience is called cardiac coherence
For millennia, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, meditation have invited us to focus our attention on breathing. Our brain does not think two things at once, even though it thinks sometimes very quickly, zaping from one thought to another, often making us believe that we can think of two things at the same time. Thus, by concentrating on the presence of breathing, it interrupts the process of rumination and brings us back to the present moment.
Gone are the ruminations that keep us from being in the here and now, and thinking about something else. Gone are the ruminations that block our brain in the past event or the future anxious. No more ruminations of thoughts filled with negative feelings, which stress us more, and make us anxious or sad or angry.
The breathing practiced in cardiac coherence takes us a little further than that of Oriental techniques.
First, it corresponds to a breathing rate based on 6 breaths per minute for 3 to 5 minutes. This rhythm is obtained by expiring on 5 seconds and inspiring on 5 seconds to reach the point of consistency. This particular, voluntary, unnatural respiratory rhythm will resonate with the autonomic nervous system, which accelerates or calms the brain.
It is a body-brain physiological coherence.
This heart-brain coherence has many benefits:
- It lowers the level of cortisol, the stress hormone that has been stimulated by rumination,
- It produces more cerebral waves of alpha type (8-12 Hz) conducive to mental calm, while ruminations emit more brain waves of type beta (12-30 Hz),
- It generates a decline in average heart rate, a drop in blood pressure, an increase in oxytocin and DHEA, all it takes to feel much better about it.
When the cardiac coherence zone is reached, one experiences a state of equanimity, emotional well-being, a feeling of calm and serenity. We stopped the ruminations, the brain disconnected worries, we are refocused. Its physiological effects last on average 4 hours. This technique should be repeated every 4 hours if necessary.
The second technique to associate with the previous one is extracted from sophrology and trains the brain in positive psychology and control of thought through mindfulness to develop adaptability.
How to hope once the stopped ruminations do not fall back in, if the brain is not occupied by a positive or neutral thought. It is useful to re-educate his thoughts of “ruminators” with kindness on positive and nourish his mind of beautiful, good and good with visualization. Beaudelaire described the imagination as “queen of faculties of the mind” … rightly so.
The brain does not differentiate between a real or virtual image, it thinks and reacts according to that thought. Positive visualization is an antagonistic process to rumination. The aim of visualization is to let feelings, perceptions, emotions linked to this thought emanate, to induce a physiological modification of the body, the secretion of neurotransmitters (hormones sources of happiness), a new perception of the body Positive action.
The visualization is done in alpha wave, therefore very favorably following a practice of cardiac coherence, eyes closed for 60 seconds minimum, and it is even better if the visualization lasts 5 minutes.
Become aware and choose what makes good to visualize
- A picture of past or future vacation resources, a funny keepsake, a smile on a photo, to generate serotonin, the hormone of well-being, serenity,
- An image of tenderness with a close, an animal, a cuddly, to generate oxytocin, attachment hormone, confidence,
- Follow again the presence of his breathing, dynamic support to generate neutral attention,
- If one wants to sleep, a study published in New Scientist reveals that insomniacs that concentrate on thoughts containing relaxing images like a sunny landscape, a cascade of water, fall asleep on average 20 minutes faster than ‘ They usually did.
To be repeated at each beginning of rumination to indicate to his brain the procedure to follow, to pass in positive mode. The brain operates a rocking of attention.
These two combined techniques take the “ruminators” into a positive reality, strengthen their brains in positive action and invite them to let go in a more harmonious existence.