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Are you jolted awake at 3 in the morning and then cannot go back to sleep? Over-thinking at this time is a very common but you would not want to carry on with this habit. The thoughts at this time can be punitive and distressing and you might get caught up in it and unable to find a way o get out of it and get peaceful sleep. The concerns that plague you during this time might not appear during the daytime. But, there is a very understandable scientific and biological reason why you get these thoughts at such an odd time.
3 am is the time when we might experience an avalanche of intrusive, depressing and anxious thoughts. All our fears and perceived failures might plague us and not let us sleep. It is certainly bizarre that these thoughts come at such an odd time but there is a perfectly rational explanation to it which experts have broken down for us. Firstly, the things that you should not do when you are getting these thought are use Google to find out why this is happening, keep dwelling on the thoughts and give in to the anxiety.
At 3 am, our core body temperature starts to go up and our sleep drive starts to reduce. the time when we experience the deepest sleep is between 10pm to 2am. Which is why at 3 am our sleep is not so deep and this cause us to wake up. Our stress hormone, cortisol also starts to rise which is a signifier for us to wake up for the next day. Around this time in the sleep cycle, we're at our lowest ebb physically and cognitively. From nature's viewpoint, this is meant to be a time of physical and emotional recovery, so it's understandable that our internal resources are low. Other reasons why we suffer from anxiety at this time is because we are all by ourselves with no one to confide into, we are at our most vulnerable stage, no cultural assets, no way to cope.
Instead of giving in to all our fears, experts recommend other techniques to avoid falling in that trap. When you are getting these negative thoughts, the rituals of Buddhism seem to be of real help. Buddhism has a strong position on this type of mental activity: the self is a fiction, and that fiction is the source of all distress. Stop focusing on self at this time. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Practice deep breathing and focus on your breath. Each time your mind takes to back to the negative thoughts, work on bringing it back to focus on your breathing.
Last but not the least, try to convince yourself to not thinking of these thoughts during the day. Tell yourself that there is no reason to worry and practicing meditation before sleeping also might help break this pattern. Although this is a very human habit, it is best to work on breaking it rather than indulging in it.
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