Is Late-Night Mental Chatter Ruining Your Sleep? Try This

By Homaira Kabir
February 26, 2023

Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.

Recently, I had not been sleeping well. At some point during the night, I’d wake up with a mind on full alert. Events from the day or the past week that had felt trivial at the time—what someone said, the way they looked, or what I said or didn’t say—would play on a loop in my head like a record. Sometimes, it would get stuck in a particular groove, such as on an incident I’d long forgotten. Or it would start obsessing about something that, in all likelihood, would never happen.

It was really hard breaking away from the mental chatter. The more I tried, the wider awake I became. Most mornings, I’d get out of bed feeling like I hadn't slept at all. If you’ve had sleepless nights of your own, you know what a terrible feeling that is. You sense you've been robbed—not only of your night, but also of your day. Your mind is slow and it’s hard to focus. You have little energy to start new things, even things you’d really like to do. Worst of all, you walk around with your emotions on edge, ready to off-load them on anyone and anything that tests you in the slightest way. And boy, is life testing us these days.