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Overthinking at Night?

Six strategies for better sleep

Overthinking at night — about insomnia and other matters — is a common problem for many of my patients with sleep disorders. It interferes with falling asleep or going back to sleep, and prevents peaceful rest when they can’t sleep anyway.

Overthinking usually refers to thought processes such as racing thoughts or perseveration. The content — such as worries or the next day’s demands — may also be maladaptive. It may be fueled by a diagnosable condition such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or hypomania. It can also be stimulated by intense experiences such as stress, exciting plans, perfectionism, insecurity, caffeine use or a painful or worrisome life event.

There are many psychological tools to help with overthinking, but two people with comparable struggles may not benefit from or prefer the same tools. We insomnia specialists try to have available sizable and diverse tool kits that address cause or manifestation without sacrificing specificity.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Washington Post.

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