Breaking the Cycle: How Anticipatory Anxiety Sabotages Our Lives

"...and then every day I go to bed with all these negative thoughts in my head and I toss and turn for hours. This has been going on for weeks now. I really need a good night's sleep. Of course I'm always tired during the day. Every evening, I dread turning off the light. I know I won't be able to sleep again!“

It's a classic vicious cycle that my client describes. Sleep specialists call this psychophysiological or learned insomnia: After a few bad nights, an internal pressure to perform starts to arise ("I really have to sleep now!"), and the associated tension naturally makes you lie wide awake in bed - again. If this happens several times in a row, something builds up that psychologists call anticipatory anxiety - nicely illustrated in my client's story above. You expect the worst to happen for sure. Continue reading ...

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