• The Link Between Rumination and Sleep

    by Lauren King, PsyD
    on Apr 18th, 2017

Have you ever had trouble shutting your mind down at night when attempting to sleep? You may be experiencing something called rumination. To ruminate is to continuously think about situations or life events happening at work, with family, relationships, and financial issues. Overthinking about these situations causes mental distress and disrupts sleep. People often ruminate about causes or consequences of poor sleep. We may think repeatedly about how fatigued we were that day or how much trouble we had concentrating.

Research has shown that rumination is associated with a variety of negative consequences, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, binge drinking and binge eating.

When people continuously ruminate at night in bed, they may think they are effectively problem solving or analyzing a situation. However, losing sleep while engaging in repetitive thinking is not typically productive as people will ruminate about the problem so much and for so long so that they never even develop a solution to the problem. Your time would be better spent sleeping, cleaning, or enjoying some other activity.

What do you do if you are experiencing a lot of rumination?

It’s important that you are not thinking about incomplete tasks, re-hashing the events of the day, or problem-solving a situation before getting into bed. If you think you have insomnia or if rumination is having a negative effect on your sleep, you may want to consider a treatment called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). CBT-I is provided by a trained clinical psychologist and it’s one of the best treatments to consider because little to no medication is used in CBT-I. CBT-I focuses more on creating positive lifestyle habits and patterns that will encourage the body to fall asleep and remain sleep every night.

To learn more about CBT-I visit our website at www.bluepointmed.com. Bluepoint Medical Associates has convenient locations near you in Centreville, Lake Ridge, Springfield, Fredericksburg and Leesburg, VA. To schedule an appointment with our psychologist, Dr. Lauren King, to help you decrease rumination and get a better sleep at night, call 703-385-8222 or request an appointment on our website and a representative will contact you to confirm as soon as possible.




Tartakovsky, M. (2011). Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to Stop. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/01/20/why-ruminating-is-unhealthy-and-how-to-stop/

Selby, E. (2010, February 24). Rumination: Problem Solving Gone Wrong. Psychology Today. Retrieved on December 1, 2016 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-self-sabotage/201002/rumination-problem-solving-gone-wrong


Author Lauren King, PsyD Licensed Clinical Psychologist, CBT-I Provider

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