Highly Sensitive People's Brain Processing Time Can Impact Sleep, by Julie Bjelland, LMFT
Do you often struggle to get to sleep after a busy day? Most of my HSP psychotherapy clients and students in my online HSP course tell me that examples I give from my life as a highly sensitive person often help them. So I'll share one about the day my niece gave birth! I got to be there to witness this fantastic day with her, and it was full of emotions as you can imagine. When I got home, I felt like I was buzzing. Many of you may relate to this feeling? I think it was my nervous system on overload. I also felt elated.
That night, while trying to fall asleep I was still buzzing and was unusually tired the next day. In the past, I used to feel panicked when I couldn't fall asleep when my mind was racing, and that would turn into a night without sleep. Then the following day I would be overly sensitive and emotional and go into a shame spiral for however I may have reacted that day. But this time was different. With the understanding of my HSP brain through training, I comforted myself that night and just said to myself that I need to lay and allow myself to process the day. I took away the panic, and after about an hour of calm processing, I fell asleep!
Was I still tired the next day from all of that? Absolutely. But it is a more manageable tired feeling because I was kind to myself and knew I just needed to let myself process the day. That's one example of using what we know about our HSP brains to help us. We need to allow for our minds to do the deep processing it requires. Because of this knowledge of my HSP brain, I didn't waste so much energy being hard on myself or have to deal with a potential emotional meltdown from being overly tired. I hope that example of me using tools to help bypass what we often experience as an excessively activated emotional limbic system helps a bit. :)
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~Julie Bjelland is a psychotherapist, global HSP consultant, and leader in the field of high sensitivity and has helped thousands of highly sensitive people around the world. As an HSP herself, Julie understands what it is like to live with high sensitivity and strong emotions. Julie teaches an online course for HSPs and is the author of several books. www.juliebjelland.com.