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How To Deal With Anxiety And Insomnia

How Can You Treat Insomnia

How to deal with sleep anxiety and improve your sleep when you have chronic insomnia

There are both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments for insomnia that you can discuss with your doctor. You may need to try some different treatments before finding the most effective one for you.

The American College of Physicians recommends cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia as the first route to treat chronic insomnia.

This process helps you recognize your emotions and attitudes that affect your sleep. You can then learn how to change them to get back some Zzzs.

Challenging The Worries And Thoughts That Fuel Insomnia

Its also helpful to challenge the negative attitudes about sleep and your insomnia problem that youve developed over time. The key is to recognize self-defeating thoughts and replace them with more realistic ones.

Challenging self-defeating thoughts that fuel insomnia
Self-defeating thought: Sleep-promoting comeback:
Unrealistic expectations: I should be able to sleep well every night like a normal person. I shouldnt have a problem! Lots of people struggle with sleep from time to time. I will be able to sleep with the right techniques.
Exaggeration: Its the same every single night, another night of sleepless misery. Not every night is the same. Some nights I do sleep better than others.
Catastrophizing: If I dont get some sleep, Ill tank my presentation and jeopardize my job. I can get through the presentation even if Im tired. I can still rest and relax tonight, even if I cant sleep.
Hopelessness: Im never going to be able to sleep well. Its out of my control. Insomnia can be cured. If I stop worrying so much and focus on positive solutions, I can beat it.
Fortune telling: Its going to take me at least an hour to get to sleep tonight. I just know it. I dont know what will happen tonight. Maybe Ill get to sleep quickly if I use the strategies Ive learned.

The Link Between Anxiety And Insomnia

Not being able to sleep, whether its not being able to fall asleep or waking up throughout the night, is incredibly frustrating but the feeling of anxiety that often accompanies it can be debilitating too.

Insomnia is often attributed to anxiety, as many of us brood on worries in the quiet of night. In turn, sleeplessness makes us exhausted, irritable and foggy, which can make anxiety during the day worse. So what is the relationship between the two and which triggers the other?

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What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Anxiety

When you cant sleep due to anxiety, you may experience behavioral changes, including:

  • Feelings of being overwhelmed.
  • Tense muscles.
  • Trembling.

Some people also have nocturnal panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden, intense burst of extreme fear. Nocturnal panic attacks only happen at night, and often wake you from sleep.

Ways To Manage Your Anxiety Related Insomnia

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Do you lie awake at night worrying? If so, youre not alone. Anxiety can cause many people to experience insomnia, as their worries disrupt their ability to sleep well. If this is something you are struggling with, there are a number of practical things you can do to manage your anxiety-related insomnia.

In this blog, we explore the link between anxiety and insomnia and give five top tips on how to reduce your anxiety and get a good nights sleep.

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What Is Sleep Anxiety

Sleep anxiety is fear or worry about going to sleep. You may be apprehensive about not falling asleep or not being able to stay asleep. Some people also have a distinct phobia, or fear, about sleep called somniphobia. They may think something bad will happen to them while they sleep, or that they shouldnt sleep because they need to stay alert and watchful.

Sleep and psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, often go hand in hand. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Similarly, if you have a sleep disorder, you might feel anxious or fearful before bed because youre afraid you wont get the rest you need. One condition usually makes the other worse, so it can feel like a never-ending cycle.

Whats Causing Your Insomnia

  • Are you under a lot of stress?
  • Are you depressed? Do you feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
  • Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
  • Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
  • Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
  • Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
  • Is your bedroom quiet and comfortable?
  • Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?

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Link Between Insomnia And Anxiety

Insomnia is a condition, wherein a person faces difficulty in falling sleep, staying asleep, waking up early or waking up feeling exhausted. On the other hand, anxiety is the bodys natural response to strain or stress, where you feel fear or apprehension about what would happen next. You might experience anxiety disorder if your feelings of anxiety last for six months or longer, are extreme, or are affecting your relationships and daily life.

How Can Healthier Sleep Habits Treat Sleep Anxiety

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Sleep habits, or sleep hygiene, are your routines around bedtime that can affect your sleep. Your healthcare provider may ask you to keep a sleep diary for several weeks. This is a daily log of your sleep habits. It can help identify things that might make it harder for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Some common ways to improve your sleep hygiene include:

  • Avoid drinking lots of fluids before bed, especially alcohol.
  • Do relaxing activities before bed, such as meditation or listening to soft, peaceful music.
  • Dont consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Dont go to bed unless you feel sleepy.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • If you dont fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, quiet and softly lit.
  • Only use your bed for sleep and sex. For example, avoid watching television or doing work in bed.
  • Set a goal of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
  • Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Try not to eat right before bedtime. If youre hungry, have a light snack and not a big meal.

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How Anxiety Affects Sleep

Sleep problems caused by anxiety arent limited to people with diagnosed anxiety disorders.

The spectrum ranges from everyday kind of problems that might make us anxious and affect sleep all the way to people diagnosed with anxiety disorders who are likely to have ongoing problems, Dr. Neubauer said.

Anxiety can affect sleep at any time, but most commonly causes difficulty in falling asleep. People with higher levels of anxiety may feel anxious all the time and have trouble staying asleep. In general, Neubauer said, the risk for awakening in the night parallels the degree of anxiety.

People with persistent insomnia also become anxious about sleep, he said. The more anxious they are about sleep, that undermines the ability to sleep well, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In fact, a June 2013 study in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that sleep deprivation contributes to anxiety by heightening peoples anticipatory and stress-inducing response processes.

What Causes Anxiety Disorders

The exact cause of anxiety is unknown. In fact, researchers believe that there is not one single cause but rather an interplay of factors that include a persons genetics, family history, and exposure to negative life events. Some health problems and drugs can also contribute to symptoms of anxiety.

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Keep A Regular Sleep Wake Cycle

Being worried that they wont sleep can make insomniacs go to bed earlier in the hope they will sleep sooner, or stay up later because turning in simply fills them with dread. This chopping and changing can create something called social jetlag, says Guy. Just keeping regular bedtimes and wake times is simple but really important.

Sleepless Nights Try Stress Relief Techniques

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In a recent national survey, 44 percent of adults said stress had causedsleepless nights at least once in the previous month. All that tossing,turning and staring at the ceiling can leave you feeling tired andmore stressed the next day. If youre caught in this vicious cycle ofanxiety and insomnia, theres good news: Simple stress relief techniquescan help you sleep better and feel calmer.

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Write Out Your Worries

The number-one thing that keeps me awake at night? My own thoughts.Sometimes they’re anxious thoughts, sometimes they’re negative thoughts, and other times it’s a rapid stream of consciousness that I can’t turn off.When this happens, I force myself to write down every single thing I’m thinking in a physical notebook. Not a computer or phone, but old-fashioned pen and paper.I simply write down any thoughts that come to mind, especially the negative ones. As soon as I put just one to paper, they all seem to come pouring out of me. Don’t hold back no one has to see what you’re writing.But the result is like draining grease out of a pan. I often marvel at how this simple, five-minute exercise makes me feel instantly sleepy, as if I spent the day taking care of all my problems while running a marathon. I feel lighter, and once I’m in bed, my mind is gloriously quiet.

Think You Have Insomnia

If you find youre having trouble sleeping at least three times a week, try talking with your doctor about your options.

Theyll probably perform a physical exam and have you keep a sleep journal for a few weeks. From there, they might refer you to a sleep specialist who can complete a sleep study.

Also known as a polysomnogram, a sleep study electronically monitors your sleep activities so a specialist can interpret whats going on with your brain and body while you sleep.

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Dietary Supplements Melatonin Plus

If youre looking for accurate information on what are proven home remedies for insomnia, the insomnia forum will be a good source. There we will find first-hand news, users opinions on how they themselves cope with this disease, and even information about dietary supplements that can help in its treatment.

Specialists recommend one in particular, Melatonin Pluswith research-proven efficacy directly resulting from the appropriate selection of natural active ingredients, which are:

  • melatonin
  • hop cones containing lupulin, an ingredient with sedative and sleeping effects
  • chamomile, a source of essential oils that help us sleep through the night
  • Indian ginseng root, relieving symptoms and effects of stress, allowing to maintain calmness even in the most nervous situations
  • tryptophan, which conditions the correct production of melatonin in the pineal gland
  • l theanine, which facilitates falling asleep
  • GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter whose deficiency is another cause of sleep problems
  • Vitamin B6 , which improves nervous system function
  • saffron, which is relaxing and helps maintain a good mood and mental balance regardless of the situation we find ourselves in.

Melatolin Plus is a supplement that works comprehensively, tackles most causes of insomnia, is completely safe to use and can be taken without the risk of side effects. At the best price, you can buy it through the manufacturers website and finally get a good nights sleep.

What Is The Relationship Between Anxiety And Sleep

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Serious sleep disturbances, including insomnia, have long been recognized as a common symptom of anxiety disorders. People who are plagued with worry often ruminate about their concerns in bed, and this anxiety at night can keep them from falling asleep.

In fact, a state of mental hyperarousal, frequently marked by worry, has been identified as a key factor behind insomnia. People with anxiety disorders are inclined to have higher sleep reactivity, which means they are much more likely to have sleeping problems when facing stress.

Sleeping difficulties have been found for people with various types of anxiety including generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD. In several studies, over 90% of people with PTSD associated with military combat have reported symptoms of insomnia.

Distress about falling asleep can itself complicate matters, creating a sleep anxiety that reinforces a persons sense of dread and preoccupation. These negative thoughts about going to bed, a type of anticipatory anxiety, can create challenges to healthy sleep schedules and routines.

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At the same time, strong evidence indicates that sleeping problems are not only a symptom of anxiety. Instead, sleep deprivation can instigate or worsen anxiety disorders. Researchers have found that people who are prone to anxiety are especially sensitive to the effects of insufficient sleep, which can provoke symptoms of anxiety.

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Give Yourself Enough Time For Sleep

The average adult needs eight or nine hours of sleep per night. Its important that you give yourself the chance to get this amount of sleep.

Where possible, try to go to bed at least eight hours before you need to get up. If you go to bed too late, you may find that you are constantly checking the clock throughout the night and worrying about getting enough sleep. These negative thought processes can add to your anxiety, making it even more likely that youll struggle with insomnia.

How To Minimize Anxiety And Maximize Sleep

To get to sleep more easily, you can try changing some of your pre-sleep habits to decrease your mental and physical stress levels. Habit-changing takes time and persistence, but if you stick to these changes, you will find yourself adapting and feeling less anxious overall in no time.

Avoiding the anxiety that keeps you from getting the sleep you need can be difficult, but following the above all-natural and healthy techniques may be all that you require taking back control over your sleep schedule.

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Treating Insomnia With A Better Sleep Environment And Routine

Two powerful weapons in the fight against insomnia are a quiet, comfortable bedroom and a relaxing bedtime routine. Both can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep.

Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Noise, light, a bedroom thats too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can all interfere with sleep. Try using a sound machine or earplugs to mask outside noise, an open window or fan to keep the room cool, and blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide the support you need to sleep comfortably.

Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends. Get up at your usual time in the morning even if youre tired. This will help you get back in a regular sleep rhythm.

Turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. Electronic screens emit a blue light that disrupts your bodys production of melatonin and combats sleepiness. So instead of watching TV or spending time on your phone, tablet, or computer, choose another relaxing activity, such as reading a book or listening to soft music.

Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime. This includes checking messages on social media, big discussions or arguments with your spouse or family, or catching up on work. Postpone these things until the morning.

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