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When blog authors write with conviction, we’re often moved by their words. In fact, some of the best blog posts I’ve read are so raw with emotion, I actually feel the author’s pain.

Granted, these are probably the most difficult blog posts to write, however, by penning our deep rooted feelings, we’re releasing that pain into blogosphere. Not only can that be therapeutic, but it may have an additional benefit, as well.

Today’s Lesson

As a subscriber to the Real Age newsletter, an article in a recent issue caught my attention. In part it said:

Do It Write

Take time every day to jot down your worries or note how you’re feeling. People with insomnia who did this as part of a study fell asleep faster than the people who wrote about their hobbies or didn’t write at all. Writing may help you process some of the thoughts that are keeping you up at night

With so many blog authors writing about their daily concerns, business worries, health issues and thinking errors, might this be true?

Could blogging actually be the answer to those who have insomnia?

Today’s Assignment

What do you think?

Does blogging about everyday concerns help you to sleep better?

Might blogging have additional (mental and.or physical) health benefits?

Has blogging been therapeutic for you? Are you resting easier at night? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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  1. For some people, yes, I think that blogging about their concerns might help them sleep better, especially if they don’t have someone to talk to who understands their worries. For me though, blogging is often the thing that keeps me up at night until I can finish my post!

    Hunter Nuttall´s last blog post..MBTI Trial Week 1: Extraversion (Recap)

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hunter – You bring up a good point. If a blogger doesn’t have someone to talk to, their cyberspace friends become their soundig boards.

    Blogging keeps me up, too. I’m a night owl and often have bursts of creativity in the wee hours and don’t want to lose that.

  3. A few years back those who were depressed, single etc found happiness in online chatting etc. Now it has become more web 2.0 stuff like social networking!

    Blogging, well… hmm, it might help a few people to get rid of their boredom, a few rookies to express their otherwise-inhibited views and some others to make money. It may hence heal a small percentage of people.

    By and large, overuse of computers will only damage your health (back, eyes, hands due to RSI issues and overall fitness levels). I am already feeling ten years older than my actual age! And I forgot the last time I slept for 7 hrs…

    Cheers,
    Ajith

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..How much is your blog worth? Check out these online tools!

  4. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    I am blessed that I don’t have trouble sleeping, so I don’t think blogging has made a difference in that regard.

    But I do think blogging (and journal writing as an alternative) is a good way to release tension and worries. I believe it’s better to release stress in some way rather than holding it in and pouring your feeling and thoughts into words is one good way.

    I’m a morning writer, but blogging is giving me “insomnia” b/c I often try to read others’ blogs before bed and am staying up later and later.

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..Listen to Me Speak — Lessons From a Family Caregiver

  5. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting. Today in training I learned about a study where viewers were more depressed and tired from watching sitcoms. It was related to some other research on the power of repitition of keywords. They were able to create positive or negative feelings simply be repeating certain words within a body of text. Imagine the impact of the words in posts? You can lift yourself up, or bring yourself down, or lift others up, or bring others down.

  6. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. Since I’ve began blogging I find my mind is crystal clear and ready to write, just when I want to go to sleep. And it’s usually past midnight by then. I think I’m over-stimulated with blogging. It takes longer to fall asleep but it happens eventually. Could be hormones too though 😉

    Physically blogging has not been good. Ahem…I’ve gained 10 lbs since June and Winter is fast approaching. I’m making a frantic effort to get back out walking so hoping to drop that weight off again soon. Oh joy!

    Davina´s last blog post..Blog Action: Pass The Change, Be The Change

  7. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ajith – That’s true. Many do (and have) found companionship online. But, you’re right, overuse of computers can create a different set of problems. It would be great if we could find that “happy medium”, but that appears to be easier said than done.

    Hi Linda – I agree. Reducing stress in our lives is beneficial. If some can do it via blogging, that’s a good thing.

    But, like you, blogging keeps me up later than my usual bedtime.

    Hi J.D. – I totally agree with the power of words. If we were to write a post and comments turned negative, it would quickly deflate our attitude. The same would be true if we got negative on another person’s blog. It could be very destructive to the author.

    Hi Davina – I hear you, and wonder why that happens – creativity peaking when we should be winding down. For me, part of that is because my day is done and it’s “me” time. I’m thinking I need to adjust my schedule and find my “me” time earlier in the day.

  8. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging plays a bigger role in keeping me awake than putting me to sleep. 🙂

    For those who stay awake because of their troubles, blogging about it seems a good way to express, get things off the chest and finally fall asleep as their mind relaxes.

    However, based on what I have read, for true insomniacs, nothing helps. They don’t stay awake for any reason. They just “can’t” fall asleep.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..How To Balance Life Effortlessly

  9. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    This is an interesting aspect to blogging that I’d never really considered before, Barbara.

    I can actually see how blogging can help the blogger to offload some of their concerns in life.

    This is as long as it’s not done in a negative way, but in a spirit of working together with your readers for mutual benefit.

    Together, the blogger and the audience can examine an issue and develop solutions together.

    All writers interweave the events of their life into the content they produce. Many of the greatest authors used their work to explore their own concerns.

    That’s really what a blog community is to me, Barbara…

    A place where the writer and reader share experiences in order to both benefit in some way.

  10. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Does blogging make sleep easier? Only because I’m up so many hours doing this, that by the time I make it to bed – I’m so tired I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow!!

    But on another level , blogging can very much have real mental health benefits. I find that, by writing, I open myself up more, I understand better who “I” am, and I connect with the inner feelings I have that might otherwise be suppressed. And that’s a great personal benefit that I get from blogging. And one of the main reasons this is such a powerful process for me…

    Lance´s last blog post..Life’s A Balancing Act

  11. For me …. its a mix of both worlds.
    It is therapeutic when I can express my thoughts via the blog. However, over the years the blogs has grown and now, sometimes… when I don’t have an idea to blog about.. it can be stressful…

    Shamelle- TheEnhanceLife.com´s last blog post..People-Pleasing: The Price Of Being Too Nice And What To Do About It

  12. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I guess it would depend on what you’re blogging about. My blog doesn’t lend itself to therapeutic topics too well. I find writing morning pages (freewriting) as soon as I wake up helps – as you get everything troubling you down on paper and it doesn’t feel so bad.

    I had severe insomnia for years and I found the only way to cure it was break the pattern – get up early and go to bed early. You can take medication to get you into that pattern.

    Mind you – if I have one sleepless night – it’s a real struggle to get back into the pattern again.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Be A Business Success Story, No Matter What Your Age

  13. Eric HammNo Gravatar says:

    For me, it depends on the way I am addressing an issue in a post. If I’m doing it as an ‘Authority’ on the subject it will not have very much in the way of therapeutic qualities. It’s only when, as you mentioned, I share my ‘raw’ feeling on the issue, that I feel a release of stress, anxiety or worry. This is when I notice my eyes growing heavy right when my head hits the pillow.

    Eric Hamm´s last blog post..Blog Action Day 2008: The Many Faces Of Poverty

  14. @ Cath – I’m with you on all of the above you said. I’ve always struggled with insomnia and my blog does little to cure it for me as I write about things that actually keep me up at night thinking rather than feeling good because I got what I wanted to say down on 0’s and 1’s.

    @ Barbara – I’ve heard this method before – how to break the “thinking too much at night” cycle by writing down your issues before you go to bed and then telling yourself you’ll get to them tomorrow.

    But for me, blogging has actually probably kept me up more at night than it has put me to sleep LOL.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..eVentureBiz Web Hosting Services Ad Feedback

  15. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I think writing is therapeutic. Writing helps people organize their thoughts and figure things out they might not have necessarily done otherwise.

    Blogging has the added benefit of discussion. Sometimes an insightful comment can turn your day around.

    I don’t think any activity on the computer would help people sleep better though. I know I sometimes get less sleep because the computer seems to suck away my time.

    Writing is the key here. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a blog or on paper.

    Chase March´s last blog post..Poverty in Schools

  16. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Activity vs sleep – the double-edged sword! I think women struggle with insomnia due to hormonal changes. For a while in my old neighborhood, other lights would be on in the houses where women my age lived at 3 in the morning. It seemed the whole world was up at that hour.

    I find if I can’t sleep, getting up and out of bed to do something is okay. Now my sleep patterns are better, but just like older people I’ve known, now I’m going down and getting up earlier and earlier. Maybe it’ll come full circle! 🙂

    Betsy´s last blog post..ENERGY

  17. Ulla HennigNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I have a private journal on the web which has some therapeutic effect – I am trying to write about my achievements, problems, daily life. I am the only reader.
    I don’t want to bother the public with very private things. I wrote a piece about stress in my blog which is open to the public, which I think is a bit personal, but not too personal. I would not want to go beyond that.

    Ulla Hennig´s last blog post..Fallen Leaves

  18. Interesting. Maybe if you are using blogging as a journal/diary. When I blog about something that was worrying me, or a relationship issue, I have already worked through it and put it to rest. Only then do I share it on my blog in the hopes have helping someone else who might have the same concern. I never work out my issues online. I have a personal journal for that.

    However, blogging does help me sleep better for another reason. It’s because it fulfills a passion in me, and makes me a happier and more content person. This can only contribute toa better night’s sleep.

  19. NaTuRaLNo Gravatar says:

    Fortunately for me, I can go to sleep with no problem. I do think writing period, whether it be blogging, writing on a piece of paper or in a journal is therapeutic. Blogging doesn’t help me sleep better because I’m up writing. Writing gives me peace and sometimes closure. Inner peace helps me sleep.

    NaTuRaL´s last blog post..Why Poverty?

  20. John EdwardsNo Gravatar says:

    For me writing in general whether it is blogging or just keeping a journal really helps me think through and worked out concerns I have in my life. Most of the time however these are not going to be published on a blog or on the Internet. Most the topics that are going to be published are very different and they are the ones that usually end up keeping me up at night to work on.

    John Edwards´s last blog post..Baltimore Real Estate

  21. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been blessed with good nights of sleep — except when the cats get a bit rowdy. I think any “downloading” of worries is a good thing (unless the post you just wrote is controversial and you fear reprisals or something). A burden shared is a burden cut in half, yes?
    Lori

    SpaceAgeSage´s last blog post..Yes, I survived the week-long media fast — and learned lots!

  22. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging or without blogging, I just have a problem sleeping at night. In fact, blogging sometimes keep me up because I keep thinking about my next post or what somebody posted…Here’s what sucks, I’m usually up all night, alone because everyone in my house sleep like a log.

    chris´s last blog post..The Morning Ride

  23. GavinNo Gravatar says:

    Telling others about your insecurities and worries is an ideal way to get them off of your shoulders.

    Blog away and enjoy the sleep

    Gavin´s last blog post..Car makers are working with game designers

  24. Blogger DadNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with those who say it is more likely robbing sleep. It’s hard to say for me because it seems like I always have SOME project – writing or drawing – that can only get done at night.

    There are some isolated people I know who for them, the internet is their only contact with the outside world. For these people, I would guess that blogging might be counterproductive if they stay up all night waiting for people to comment on their blog.

    Blogger Dad´s last blog post..Eight Questions Interview with Ron Mattocks of Clark Kent’s Lunchbox

  25. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    I have “heart posts” and then I have “head posts”.
    The heart posts are wonderfully therapeutic for me. I am really scared to hit “Publish” on these, but they do give back the most. Sharing is the best thing about blogging.

    You just come up with the most creative questions Barbara. I love your blog!

    Maya´s last blog post..The key to happiness and balance is right with you, just learn to use it – Part 2 of the thinkmaya framework

  26. Not really. Blogging actually means I get LESS sleep because I tend to read blogs late into the night and go to sleep way too late!

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Women Who Say No To Photoshopping

  27. Pink InkNo Gravatar says:

    Most of the time, I write essays that I’ve processed in my mind and heart, those are my cool, calm posts. But today I posted about something that I felt strongly about, and it’s those “hot” posts that make me feel good – yes, it’s cathartic! – but sometimes also a little leery as to how people would react to it. But then as long as I am true to my subject and not slanderous towards others, I don’t worry too much anymore.

    I used to write in a journal. Now my blog is my journal, and it’s definitely great therapy! 🙂

    Pink Ink´s last blog post..Day In the Sun

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Avani – Isn’t that ironic how that works? We blog more and sleep less.

    Hi Scott – You’re right. If we blog, and vent about a particular subject, our community can often shed new light on the matter and help us (and other readers, too), see the bigger picture.

    Hi Lance – Blogging can be very powerful. Like you said, it opens your eyes to who you really are. Plus, like you mentioned in an earlier comment, we find ourselves opening up to “strangers”.

    Hi Shamelle – Welcome to the BWAB community. It sounds like you’ve been blogging for so long the therapeutic affect has worn off. And you’re right, finding new topics to blog about can cause stress.

    Hi Catherine – I’ve read that before, about writing morning pages (free writing). It sounds like a great way to unload expected pressures of the day.

    Hi Eric – I have to agree. When I’m writing about blogging issues and creating a lesson/assignment, it’s just that. But when we add personal stories or experiences, we’re often releasing them.

    Hi John – So, you’re another night owl, too. Blogging when the house is quiet and we should be sleeping 🙂

    Hi Chase – That’s true. Insightful discussions are available with a blog. And yes, being on our computers can use up huge chunks of our time.

    Hi Betsy – That’s funny about the lights being on in the neighborhood during the wee hours. Might they be bloggers, too?

    Hi Ulla – Yes, we do need to draw the line with how personal we want to get. Often a handwritten journal is best.

    Hi Panther – What a great way to share. Once the “problem” is behind you, it’s much easier to write about it. And you’re right, the solutions you came up with will often help others.

    Hi NaTuRal – That’s true. Writing can give us closure – whether in a blog on in a journal.

    Hi John – It’s a catch-22, isn’t it? Whether we’re writing to work through our problems, or writing to keep a blog updated, our minds are always busy with new thoughts.

    Hi SpaceAgeSage – Ah yes, “A burden shared IS a burden cut in half”. Well put!

    Hi Chris – LOL – I like to write/read when the house is quiet, but have learned my limits. I’m cranky if I don’t get enough sleep.

    Hi Gavin – Welcome to the BWAB community. Yes, it does help to share. Our blogs could become our free therapists.

    Hi Blogger Dad – So true. Staying up all night watching blog stats would be counter productive. The bad part is that we’re all in different time zones so comments and stats would change at all hours of the day or night.

    Hi Maya – Thank you. I know what you mean about the “heart posts”. They often become our best work.

    Hi Vered -Haha. I think you and I are often on the same blogs at the same time since we’re in the same time zone. It gets addicting, doesn’t it?

    Hi Pink Ink – You have me curious now. I’ll have to come by and read your “hot” post. It sounds like it was therapeutic for you to write.

  29. Like some others here, I’ve gotten less sleep since taking up blogging. Oops! I wouldn’t trade it, though, and it just takes more inner strength to turn off the computer and call it a day.

    Sara at On Simplicity´s last blog post..Weekly Links: Stinky Couch Edition

  30. Glee GirlNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t usually have problems sleeping, but I do recall reading about research that found blogging has a positive effect on one’s emotional wellbeing, even people who had been feeling depressed before they started blogging (can’t recall where I read it or the specifics, sorry).

    This doesn’t come as any surprise to me, but it seemed to surprise the researchers. I think they thought bloggers were all lonely, bitter friendless losers with no social skills who had no choice but to conduct their lives via meaningless online interaction. Fools!

    It always annoys me when people attack online ‘socialising’ as meaningless and phoney – they so clearly have no idea what they are talking about.

    Glee Girl´s last blog post..The joy of to-do lists…and dinner is arranged

  31. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sara – Like you, I wouldn’t trade the sleep for the joy of blogging. It does take strength to turn off the computer, plus it teaches us to be more efficient so we can blog/read faster and get more in each day. 🙂

    Hi Glee Girl – How interesting that the researchers were surprised blogging is good for our well being. I would have to believe those who attack online socializing haven’t taken part in it, and certainly have no idea how communities that form in and around blogs are filled with supportive and genuinely caring people.

  32. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging keeps me awake. If I’ve got thoughts swirling in my head, it is definitely more difficult to fall asleep. For me, blogging is therapeutic, allowing me to express my inner thoughts but timing-wise, it’s best that I refrain from publishing my posts dead in the night.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Blog Action Day 08: Poverty

  33. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    Yes. Yes and Yes! Blogging is an outlet for me. When I write about my worries and everyday “issues” I sleep like a baby at night! But then I do stay up late blogging…so by the time I hit my pillow I am out! Either away…blogging has helped me sleep better at night!

    Caroline´s last blog post..Mirrors and perspective

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Evelyn – Isn’t that funny how that works? We blog to express ourselves, but then get so caught up in the process, we stay up late wanting to share what’s in our head.

    Hi Caroline – Like you, I’m “out” when my head hits the pillow. I always think how great it would be to have a few more hours each day, however I doubt it would change how many hours I sleep.

  35. SireNo Gravatar says:

    If anything blogging keeps me up when I should be asleep. It could be because I’m struggling with a particular idea or because I am so engrossed in what is happening is the blogosphere around me. The thing is when I do go to bed I am so tired that I fall asleep quite quickly.

    As for how it affects someone with insomnia, fortunately I have never had that problem.

    Sire´s last blog post..The Meaning Of Life In A Poem

  36. I have no issues sleeping…I find I’m able to focus more and motivate myself now that I know I’m capable of continuously doing something. Blogging is a staple of my weekday, and I enjoy it.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..A Mother And Her Child

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sire – Welcome to the BWAB community. I hear you. Blogging keeps my mind active too. It’s a hard habit to break, isn’t it?

    Hi Matthew – Blogging is a fabulous hobby (?), isn’t it I agree, it does help to keep us focused.

  38. SireNo Gravatar says:

    It certainly is. I never for the life of me thought that I would get so involved in blogging or that I would love it so much. Just goes to show you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things.

    Sire´s last blog post..Can You See The Human Apparition In This Splash Of Water