Don't Let Your Inner Critic Keep You Up at Night

Last Updated: DEC 29, 2023

We all have an inner critic—that little voice in our heads that tells us we’re not good enough and that we can’t do anything right. This inner critic often gets louder when we’re trying to sleep, making it difficult to drift off into a peaceful slumber. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what an inner critic is and how it can keep you up at night. We’ll also provide some strategies for managing your inner critic so that you can get the restful sleep you need.

The inner critic and sleep

What Is An Inner Critic?

Your inner critic is the part of your brain that evaluates your performance and compares you to others. It's the voice inside your head that constantly tells you that you're not doing enough or that you could be doing better. In its worst form, this voice can be incredibly harsh, leaving us feeling inadequate and overwhelmed.

The inner critic is an unconscious thought process that often manifests in negative self-talk, such as “you don’t have what it takes to succeed” or “you will never be able to make this work.” It can be damaging because it stops us from taking risks, trying new things, or even believing in ourselves. The inner critic is rooted in fear of failure and rejection, which makes it difficult for us to take any kind of action. 

How Does An Inner Critic Affect Sleep?

When we're trying to sleep, our inner critics often become louder than ever before. We start thinking about all the things we didn't accomplish during the day or worrying about what's coming up tomorrow. As a result, our minds race with anxious thoughts, which makes it difficult to relax and fall asleep. The more anxious thoughts we have, the harder it becomes to switch off and get some much-needed rest.

The inner critic has a way of keeping us up at night by running through all of our mistakes and flaws on repeat. We begin to ruminate on our failures, worrying about how we could have done better or why we weren't able to accomplish something. This type of thinking keeps us up because it doesn't allow us to let go of our past; instead, we just keep replaying everything over and over in our minds until the sun comes up. 

Managing Your Inner Critic To Sleep Better

If your inner critic is keeping you up at night, there are a few things you can do to manage it effectively:

Take a few moments before bed to write down any worries or concerns on paper so they don't rattle around in your head as much while trying to sleep. Once they are written down, tell yourself that these issues will be addressed in the morning when you are better rested and more capable of dealing with them effectively.

Practice mindful breathing exercises throughout the day to help reduce stress and anxiety levels overall. This will help create a sense of calmness when those anxious thoughts come creeping in during bedtime hours as well.

Engage in positive self-talk once those negative thoughts start flooding in at night time; replace them with kinder things such as "I am strong" or "I am capable". Acknowledge negative thoughts but don't let them take over - focus instead on positive affirmations until they pass away again naturally.

Acknowledge your thoughts - Recognise when your inner critic begins telling negative stories about yourself and acknowledge them without judgement; this will help give you distance from those thoughts so they don't keep spinning in your head throughout the night.  

Talk through any worries or concerns with someone else who is supportive; sometimes simply voicing our fears aloud helps us put things into perspective and allows us to move on from them more easily afterwards without letting them linger too long inside our minds while trying to sleep at night!

Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive for sleep; make sure it's dark enough (or use an eye mask if necessary), cool enough temperature-wise (use fans/aircon/etc) and noise-free (use earplugs/white noise machines). All of these elements combined will help create a comfortable sleeping environment free from distractions that might otherwise keep us awake longer than necessary.

If your inner critic has been keeping you up at night despite all efforts taken thus far, try talking with a mental health professional who can help identify where these negative thoughts are coming from and provide guidance on how best to manage them moving forward for a better quality of sleep overall. No one should have to suffer from lack of proper rest due to their own negative thinking patterns - there are ways out of this cycle so don't hesitate reaching out for assistance if needed. Remember - you're not alone in this journey towards getting better ZZZs each night!