Everyone experiences nervous energy from time to time.
But some people experience this type of restlessness on a consistent basis.
Dealing with chronic restlessness can lead to sleepless nights, increased anxiety during the day, and lowered immune response.
What causes this type of energy, the type where you can’t sleep, can’t sit still, and can’t relax?
There are multiple reasons, and taking the time to figure out the underlying cause of your restlessness will help you find solutions that will remedy the situation and finally provide you with a good night’s sleep.
Common Causes of Nervous Energy – Why You Can’t Sit Still
When people feel restless, the cause is typically due to the fight or flight response in their body. They have a lot on their plate, so the body releases adrenaline and cortisol to help them deal with everything.
Unfortunately, with the busyness of life and the mental stimuli from other people and being constantly connected to the world via electronic devices – this response doesn’t always shut down.
Nervous energy can also be caused by:
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar depression
- Feeling dissatisfied with your life/career/family
- Demands from other people.
“I’ve Got a Restless Mind and Can’t Sleep” – What You Can Do About It
The complaint of “I can’t relax” is a common one. More and more people these days are complaining of restless minds and lack of sleep.
They’re exhausted from a hard, stressful day at work and running the kids from soccer practice to ballet to piano lessons.
But as soon as their head hits the pillow – they can’t sleep.
If you find that you can’t sit still, have a restless mind, or have high anxiety and can’t sleep, try these self-care tips.
1. Write It All Down
A good practice before bed is to write everything that’s bothering you down in a journal. Getting it out of your mind and down on paper is a way to release disquieting thoughts and help you rest.
Another option is to keep a notepad by your bed. Before you go to sleep, write down all of the things you have to do the next day. Mental lists are a common cause of a restless mind at night.
A great thing about keeping a notepad by your bed is that if you wake up in the middle of the night and remember something that needs to be on your list, you can quickly write it down, let it go, and go back to sleep.
2. Get in Some Regular Exercise
Exercise is a great way to ease mental tension. The body releases endorphins that calm the mind and boost a person’s mood.
Try to put in at least 30 minutes each day. Both aerobic and strength training exercises have the ability to affect the mind as well as the body.
In the evening, it might be prudent to practice some yoga or Tai Chi. These exercises are relaxing, not energizing, which means they’ll help your mind and body relax before bed.
Yoga and Tai Chi also help you to train your brain to focus on one thing at a time. In many cases, the goal is to focus on your breathing, a sound, your body as a whole (for balance), or on one particular thought.
Over time, this practice can help you calm a restless mind throughout the day – not just during exercise.
3. Daily Meditation
Like yoga and Tai Chi, meditation also helps to relax and focus the mind. Some people say that just starting with 10 minutes a day has helped them to reduce anxiety, including reducing or eliminating panic attacks.
Try it for yourself. Start with 10 minutes a day. You can work up to 30 or 60 minutes a day. If you do end up spending that much time in meditation, you don’t even have to do it all in one sitting – you can break it up throughout the day and still benefit.
Practice Regular Self-Care to Reduce Anxiety and Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Most people feel they’re too busy to practice regular self-care techniques.
What would help them is to view the time spent practicing these techniques as an investment in their overall health.
If you struggle with the idea of spending time on yourself, just think about all of the time wasted because you’re so tired or distracted from a lack of sleep.
Or what about the time you have to take off of work because of illness? In some cases, sickness is the result of lowered immune response. And high anxiety, coupled with a lack of sleep, can definitely take a toll on your immune system.
Simply committing to spending a few minutes every day participating in one or more self-care practices can help ease your mind. The result will be happy days, restful nights, and better overall health.