Causes Of Insomnia: Figuring Out Why You Cant Sleep
In order to properly treat and cure your insomnia, you need to become a sleep detective. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases. But your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Try to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once you figure out the root cause, you can tailor treatment accordingly.
Wake Up At The Same Time Every Morning
Our bodies follow a daily circadian rhythm, and waking up at different times throws it out of whack. It is best to keep your wake-up time consistent. Dont sleep in, even on weekends. When the alarm goes off, get out of bed and start your day regardless of how much youve slept, said Dr. Rosen. You may not feel great for a few days, but youre reinforcing that when youre in bed, you sleep. The same goes for your bedtime: Keep it consistent. The less you deviate from your normal bed and wake-up times the better youll sleep.
Force Yourself To Get Out Of Bed
Many sleep experts will tell you to get up when you can’t sleep, and I think there’s some truth to this.In my experience, lying awake at night for a long time causes my brain to associate my bed with not sleeping, creating even more anxiety. When I can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes of lying in bed, I get up, walk around the house, and do an activity that doesn’t require much brain power. My go-to: coloring in adult coloring books with gel pens. It’s soothing, mindless, and better than lying awake feeling anxious and frustrated.
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Get A Bed That Fits You
When you sleep on an uncomfortable mattress, pressure points build up on your body, causing you to toss and turn. A supportive mattress and pillow provide support to the contours of your body and neck, and keep you cool and comfortable for sleep.
For drool-worthy sleep at a price point that wont break the bank, you may want to check out the Casper Original Mattress. Engineered for cool, comfortable sleep, the Casper Original provides targeted layers of support and unique cooling perforations so you can spend less time counting sheep and more time catching Zs.
If youre looking for that sleeping-on-a-cloud experience, the Casper Nova Hybrid may be the right option for you. As our most plush mattress yet, the Casper Nova provides sturdy support with a luxuriously soft top layer so you can sleep worry-free.
Hatch Rest+ Sound Machine And Nightlight
Full disclosure: The Rest+ is technically designed for kids but hear me out. When I used it, it helped me sleep better than it helped my son sleep.
My brother bought it for my son for Christmas and at the time, my son was still sleeping in a bassinet in our room, so I set up the Rest+ near my bed and it didnt take long for me to become dependent on it.
I found the sound machine features incredibly soothing, though other people might find the white noise feature more soothing.
Sound machines can give your brain something for your racing thoughts to focus on and listen to as you lay down to sleep.
The color night light might also be helpful, as you can program it to match your bedtime routine and program the light to slowly dim as you drift off to sleep.
If you prefer not to get a product meant for kids, the company also recently came out with the Hatch Restore aimed at adults specifically. It has many of these same helpful features to create a bedtime routine without any of the baby-focused ones.
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Kick Coffee To The Curb
Coffee is a stimulant and if you drink enough of it, it can trigger your “fight or flight” response. This often amplifies feelings of anxiety and heightens our senses, making it difficult to unwind and venture off to sleep! If you’re looking for a natural coffee substitute, check out the Morning Drops, our secret weapon to boosting energy and igniting your inner sunshine .
Teapigs Snooze Sleepy Tea
Everyone has heard that chamomile tea can help you sleep. Why? Well, its commonly called a mild tranquilizer and has an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to specific receptors in your brain that may decrease anxiety and help make you sleepy.
This sleepy tea takes chamomile up a notch by also adding in lavender, another ingredient that has been used for centuries to help calm nerves. The tea is also naturally caffeine free and, well, its simply delicious.
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How To Sleep When Stressed
Stress management is key to a good nights sleep, and how well you manage stress can depend on your day-to-day lifestyle. In addition to following a balanced diet and exercising throughout the week, you can alleviate stress through controlled breathing and other relaxation techniques. A healthy work-life balance is also important, as is your ability to productively release stress during situations that cause stress, and not at other moments.
Laying in bed when you are too stressed to sleep can be counterproductive. If you havent gone to sleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, try getting up and relocating to another area of your residence for a relaxing activity such as reading, meditating, or listening to calming music avoid watching TV or other activities that involve blue light devices.
Some people also experience anxiety when they wake up in the middle of the night and see the time on their bedside clock. Avoid looking at your clock if you wake up cover the display if necessary.
How To Stop Worrying About Sleep
So we know that there is a link between anxiety and insomnia, and that the worrying may actually be leading to worse health problems than the insomnia itself. But how do we break the cycle between worry and insomnia to get a better nights sleep?
To help you overcome your fear and reduce the dread associated with sleep, try some of these methods:
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Get Your Negative Ions
Negative ions are actually biologically active and make a positive impact on the natural 24-hour cycle. Created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, ultraviolet rays, the vital energy of plants and moving air and water, they are not harmful even if their concentration is high. Offices, factories, and shopping malls are places where we will encounter an excess of positive ions.We should very frequently expose ourselves to places with very high concentrations of negative ions such as these:
So try taking a camping trip and see if that has any effect on your sleep.
On Your Mark Get Set Sleep
Maybe Insomnia is a new issue for you. Or maybe youâve been dealing with sleepless nights since you were young and are just fed up with your brain not knowing when to just shut off. No matter the situation, it is important to know that treatments for insomnia are available, and that no one has to be left suffering in the dark.
For more information about causes, side effects, and treatments, visit the Sleep Foundationâs Insomnia Hub. You can never be too well read on the subject– and in fact, knowing more about why you canât sleep might help take away some of your anxiety!
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How Does Stress Affect Sleep
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder derived from stress. Insomnia is defined as persistent difficulty with sleep onset, maintenance, consolidation, or overall quality. It occurs despite adequate time allotted for sleep on a given night and a comfortable place to sleep, and people with insomnia experience excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability and other impairments when they are awake. Current estimates suggest 10-30% of adults live with insomnia.
- Problems or dissatisfaction at work
- Divorce and other marital or family difficulties
- The death of a loved one
- Major illness or injury
- Crucial life changes
Not everyone develops chronic insomnia due to constant stress, but those with anxiety disorder are at higher risk of experiencing insomnia symptoms. Additionally, changes to ones sleep schedule that occur due to life events or changes can also lead to insomnia. Once chronic insomnia takes hold, people often feel anxious about sleeping and other aspects of their lives. This increases day-to-day stress, which in turn exacerbates insomnia symptoms.
Other daytime impairments related to insomnia that can bring about or contribute to stress include:
If someone experiences insomnia symptoms for fewer than three months, then this condition is referred to as short-term insomnia. Just as chronic stress can precipitate chronic insomnia, acute stressors can bring about short-term insomnia symptoms. These stressors may include:
Cut Off Caffeine At 2 Pm
Caffeine has a half-life of six to eight hours and a quarter-life of about 12 hours. That means that if you drink coffee at 4 p.m., youll still have a quarter of the caffeine floating around in your brain at 4 a.m., said Dr. Breus. Avoiding caffeine in the evening is a no-brainer. But ideally you should steer clear of caffeine after 2 p.m. so your body has enough time to metabolize and clear most of it from your system.
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How To Manage Insomnia Caused By Anxiety
According to the Sleep Foundation¹, 35% of adults in the United States suffer from insomnia. If you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night, you may have insomnia. This sleeping disorder can also cause individuals to wake up too early or feel tired and sleepy throughout the day.
Although sleep patterns can vary from person to person, most adults require a minimum of seven hours of sleep, while children generally require about 9-12 hours.
Insomnia is often associated with other chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety. We’ll further review the causes and symptoms of insomnia and how best to manage stress-induced insomnia.
Why You Should Steer Clear Of Sleep Meds
Sleeping pills and other sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals can offer a short-term solution to a temporary bout of insomnia. And plenty of people use them. But often, prescription sleep aids come with unpleasant side effects like headaches, sore muscles, constipation, dry mouth, daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and more. Add them all up, and theyre about as badif not worsethan your garden variety sleep deprivation.
Still, even if youre one of the lucky few who dont experience side effects from taking sleeping pills, you likely wont benefit for long. Most people quickly build up a tolerance to the sedative effects of sleeping meds. This either means that you have to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect, or they stop working altogether.
Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.
Either way, it doesnt add up to a healthy sustainable solution. Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.
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How To Beat Back Night
Whatever the case may be, trying to fall asleep when your mind wont quit is nothing short of maddening.
Why do anxious thoughts flare up at night and how can we combat them?
During the day, we have dozens of tasks occupying our energy. Bedtime brings a halt in activity that can be a difficult transition for our brains.
Sleep Anxiety Tips: How To Calm Anxiety At Night
*This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. Visit the links within the text for sources. Casper has not independently verified the sources. While some of us may toss and turn some nights, every night can be a restless night for others. If youve ever struggled with sleep anxiety, you know the feeling of anxiously watching the clock as you worry about not being able to fall asleep and waking up sleep-deprived the next day. There are many statistics that reveal Americans struggle to sleep on a regular basis. As it turns out, anxiety and sleep are connected in a number of ways. Fifty percent of those who are sleep-deprived say that their anxiety impacts their ability to sleep at night. Its important to understand how anxiety can affect your ability to get a good nights rest. This guide covers what sleep anxiety is, the effects of anxiety-induced sleep deprivation, and science-backed tips for decreasing anxious thoughts, as well as how to set yourself up for better sleep.
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Create A Plan For Emergency Situations
I keep emergency medication in case my insomnia gets out of control and I havent slept in many days.
I use it sparingly and only in emergency situations as I dont want my body to become resistant to it and have it stop working, as well as not wanting to further damage my memory and cognitive functioning.
If your insomnia is not responding to anything and you are at your wits end, there are a couple of things you can do.
It may sound a little out there but I know what its like to be so sleep deprived that youll try anything.
The ONLY time in my life when my insomnia went away was when I was active everyday AND I was living on farms, out in the woods, and otherwise outside, pretty much directly on the Earth.
I had ZERO PROBLEMS sleeping for several years while sleep in a tent or in a wooden cabin with no wires or electricity running through the building.
And its not just me.
My sleep specialists son has severe insomnia and she told me that the only thing that got rid of his insomnia was sleeping outside.
I believe this has something to do with the conductivity of the Earths magnetic field and the grounding properties of the negative ions from the Earth that I spoke about earlier.
When youre in any kind of situation that feels like life or death, you must do whatever it takes to save yourself.