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How To Sleep Better With Anxiety

Try A White Noise Machine To Help You Fall Asleep

Sleep, Anxiety, and Insomnia: How to Sleep Better When You’re Anxious

A low level of constant noise can be useful for distracting your anxious mind, shifting the focus away from troubling thoughts to the constant noise produced from a white noise machine. A simple fan also does the trick as does a sleep app on your phone. Just make sure that the volume is quite low barely audible to keep sound in the background.

What Do Anxiety Dreams Mean

Sometimes people have anxiety dreams because they have a lot of stress during their waking hours. Our bodies can harbor stress which can have physiological symptoms. After having an anxiety dream, its common for someone to wake up in a cold sweat. You may or may not even remember an anxiety dream. Nevertheless, its important to address your stress levels.

Everyone lives with some degree of stress, but we shouldnt allow it to take over our lives. If stress is keeping you up at night, its something you should work towards improving. If youre feeling extreme emotional, physical, or mental tension, youre showing symptoms of stress.

What kinds of things cause stress? As much as you may love your children, theyre not always easy to deal with and they can cause you a great deal of stress. Difficulty at work, moving to another location, life transitions, or the death of a loved one are additional reasons that stress may be encroaching on your life. All of these things can cause anxious dreams.

The quality of your rest affects your moods and attitudes during your waking hours. Severe anxiety can cause you to be hyper-aroused much of the time. Not being able to sleep will likely upset your natural biorhythms, making it even more difficult to fall asleep. The more stressed that you are, the more frequently you may have anxiety dreams and the more often you may wake up remembering at least part of them.

Things You Can Do to Get Better Sleep

How To Calm Anxiety And Get Better Sleep

Although the impacts of anxiety disorders can be substantial, they are one of the most treatable mental health disorders. This doesnt mean that reducing anxiety is always simple, but there are treatments that can help.

Any person who has persistent or significant anxiety and/or sleeping problems should talk with a doctor who can best assess their situation and discuss the benefits and downsides of the potential treatment options in their case.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment for anxiety disorders. It is a type of talk therapy that works to reorient negative thinking, and it has had success in decreasing anxiety. Studies have found that CBT can often reduce anxiety even in people who have insomnia. Addressing anxiety can pave the way for better sleep, but severe cases of insomnia may persist after CBT for anxiety. CBT for insomnia may be a useful next step in these cases.

Several different types of medications are approved to treat anxiety disorders including anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. These medications are intended to mitigate symptoms rather than cure the underlying anxiety.

Because of the multifaceted relationship between anxiety and sleep, getting better rest may help combat feelings of anxiety. Building healthy sleep habits can make going to bed a more pleasant experience and facilitate a consistent routine to enhance sleep.

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Eric Suni

Staff Writer

Alex Dimitriu


Eric Suni

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Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is not a single thing, but a whole spectrum of smaller disorders, with some people having more than one. Anxiety can be categorized in the following types below:

  • Agoraphobia The fear of crowded places
  • Generalized anxiety disorder Anxiety about a wide range of issues
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder A cycle of obsessions and compulsions that dictate certain parts of your behaviour.
  • Panic disorder The fear of panic attacks after experiencing panic attacks
  • Selective mutism Inability to speak or extreme shyness in social situations.
  • Social anxiety disorder The fear of being judged by others.
  • Phobia related disorders Extreme fear of a particular object or situation.

Build A Sleep To Transition From Day To Nighttime

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Set your night routine and follow it every night before going to bed. Do something which unwinds your mind it could be anything. For some people, it is reading a book, meditation or taking a hot water bath for 90 minutes or less before bed, playing with pets, listening to a slow song.

The important thing is you are giving yourself enough time to relax.

It means not thinking about the tiring activities like paying bills, listening to the news , talking about politicians, scrolling through the phone while going to bed.

Try to minimize the screen time at night because blue light from the screen will trouble you to sleep at night this will help you sleep better if you suffer from Anxiety.

Read Also: How To Deal With Breakup Anxiety

Transform Your Room Into A Sanctuary For Sleep

Here are five tips for transforming your bedroom to promote better sleep:

  • Make your bed a relaxing haven: Make sure the bed feels firm enough for you. Choose a pillow that helps you keep your spine aligned as you sleep. Investing in a weighted blanket can be helpful for those who suffer from anxiety. It also assists in managing stress reduction at night.
  • Block out the light: Even light from a cable box, phone, or alarm clock can disrupt sleep. Limit any light sources that you can, install blackout shades or curtains, and consider covering or putting tape over indicator lights on electronics. Investing in a good sleep mask is another way to keep all of the annoying light sources at bay.
  • Invest in a sound machine: Often, unusual sounds can wake us from sleep. Having some sort of sound machine or noise masking app can help keep a consistent sound. It drowns out other potentially disruptive noises.
  • Turn clocks away from you: When we cant sleep, we tend to focus on the clock. That isn’t helpful. To avoid this, turn your clock away from your gaze before you lay down. If you use your phone for a clock, make sure to put it far enough away so you won’t be tempted to pick it up to check the time.
  • Dont Lie In Bed Awake

    Lying awake will only give your brain time to start another firestorm of worries and anxieties.

    If you cant fall asleep after 20 minutes or so, try restarting that bedtime routine.

    Dont turn on bright lights, of course, but go do a low-stress activity like pet your cat or drink a cup of tea for a few minutes to help give your body another chance at winding down for the night.

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    What Causes Anxiety Before Sleep

    According to clinical psychologist Emily Knott, Anxiety before bedtime often takes the form of a phenomenon referred to in psychology as pre-sleep arousal.

    Knott says that pre-sleep arousal may cause the body and nervous system to enter a state of heightened awareness that may take the form of problem-solving, thinking about your own thoughts, focusing on stimuli in the environment such as noise and light, and ruminating about the consequences of not being able to sleep.

    While there hasnt been extensive research conducted on sleep and anxiety, there are a few reasons why your anxiety may be worse at night. Here are possible causes.

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    If youre struggling to fall asleep due to anxiety, it could be that treating the anxiety will help solve your insomnia and lack of sleep as well. Anxiety disorders should only be diagnosed by a licensed therapist or medical professional, and these professionals can also help you find treatment regimens as well as, potentially, medications to control the condition. You should not try to self-medicate for anxiety disorders, and should only medicate per the medical advice and supervision of a psychiatrist.


    One of the most common and effective treatments for anxiety disorders is continued and guided therapy with a professional counselor or therapist.

    The branch of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be effective for many people, as it helps patients suffering from anxiety disorders create new, positive thought pathways that can help when in anxious situations. There are three different types of CBT, each with an individualized approach in treatment, including interpersonal therapy, thought records, and modern exposure therapy.

    Another form of therapy is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, also known as ACT. This form of therapy is more focused on mindfulness training and taking action based on personal values, and is unique in that it is not focused on symptom reduction.


    Shifting Your Perspective

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    Sleep Anxiety: How To Manage Your Symptoms At Night

    When people experience sleep anxiety – which is also known as somniphobia or sleep phobia – they fear going to sleep at night.

    Some believe it to be evolutionary in nature, as before we had the trappings of modern life, we would have been most vulnerable when we were asleep. But nowadays, it is typically an unfounded fear that actually goes on to have a damaging effect on our health and wellbeing.

    Within this blog, we will look at the reasons behind sleep anxiety, as well as the strategies that people can use to manage the symptoms that stop them from getting to sleep at night. We will also provide information on the support available for you at Priory Group hospitals and wellbeing centres, where we provide treatment for people with anxiety disorders, phobias and sleep disorders.

    Learn Stress Reduction Techniques

    Learning to reduce stress and anxiety in your everyday life is vital to learning how to sleep better with anxiety. Try these techniques for reducing stress and anxiety:

    • Get regular exercise. Exercising regularly reduces stress and helps you relax, but avoid exercising just before bedtime as this can cause more difficulty in going to sleep.
    • Learn to meditate. Meditation relaxes both the body and the mind, but you dont need to be a guru to reap the benefits. Simply relaxing in a quiet area and concentrating on your breathing while visualizing a calm and stress-free environment, such as a nature scene, will help you release the stress of the day.
    • Listen to calming music. There are a wide variety of choices from your favorite tunes to compositions specifically designed to induce relaxation and relieve stress. Choose music that makes you feel good, but avoid loud or upbeat music with higher beats per minute as this may energize you and make sleeping more difficult.
    • Take up a relaxing hobby. Whether you choose photography, searching for sea glass on the beach or gardening doesnt matter, as long as you find the activity relaxing.

    Also Check: How To Deal With Anxiety Attacks

    Reason #: Poor Sleep Cycle

    According to Lawson, insomnia and anxiety share a strong relationship, meaning sleep problems or insomnia can cause anxiety and vice versa.

    If youve always been anxious or struggled to fall asleep, you may have developed a pattern of poor or interrupted sleep. This makes your body most susceptible to stress and insomnia. Types of Anxiety Disorders

    Research also shows that sleep disorders occur in almost all psychiatric and anxiety disorders. Some of these include:

    • Generalized anxiety disorder: Worry over everyday events, making it difficult to relax.
    • Social anxiety disorder: The anticipation of social situations can often prevent sleep at night.
    • Compulsive-obsessive disorder: Research suggests that intrusive thoughts and fears can keep people up when theyre trying to fall asleep.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder: The constant re-experiencing of traumatic events can induce nightmares and rob people of sleep.

    Invest In A Fan Or Humidifier

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    Do you get the stress sweats? A fan may not put you to sleep, but it can definitely help you get better quality sleep!

    Not only will a cooler body temperature help you stay asleep , but the white noise from the fan can be a source of comfort.

    If you are prone to allergies, a fan may do a little more harm than good since it can make dust and allergenic particles fly around the room. If this is the case with you, you can try a cool-mist humidifier!

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    Get Rid Of Your Clock

    Clocks can be a common trigger for anxiety, especially when youre trying to fall asleep. Instead of having a clock by your bedside where you can glance at it every time you struggle to fall asleep keep a clock outside your room instead. Looking at the clock will only cause your anxiety to get worse, so avoid it altogether.

    How To Sleep With Anxiety

    Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep.

    Not sleeping enough can make anxiety worse, research has found. “There is a pretty strong correlation between sleep troubles and anxiety,” says Mayra Mendez, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist.

    However, there are ways to get a good night’s sleep even if you are dealing with anxiety, Mendez says. Here’s how:

    Read Also: How To Stop Heart Palpitations Due To Anxiety

    Get Into An Everyday Sleep Routine

    Getting onto the bed and waking up at a particular time daily sets the bodys internal time unit mechanism higher. Waking up at odd hours will undermine that rhythm. Try waking at the same time each day regardless of however well or, however, poorly you have got slept. In this fashion, your body will adapt your sleep cycle, and you will start falling asleep and waking up every day at a particular time.

    Tip: No matter how worried you are about your sleep, worrying about sleep will not help. So dont force yourself for an 8 hours sleep or stop forcing yourself to sleep at a specific time in the night. You will sleep better when you relax your mind.

    Insomnia Due To Anxiety


    My anxiety levels started to spike back when the pandemic struck earlier this spring and the severity of its toll started to crystalize. Its now the beginning of December, 10 long months later, and while theres hope on the horizon with the promise of multiple effective vaccines, things are also looking bleak. The number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are starting to go through the freaking roof and so is my anxiety.

    I either find myself waking up multiple times per night, moving in and out of consciousness and never really getting a solid night sleep. Or my eyes flicker wide open at 3 am and, well, thats it. Maybe Ill fall back asleep for 30 minutes at 5:30 am. But then by 6 am, my toddler is usually awake .

    My mind fitfully churns through different fears and worries. I ruminate on and obsess over all manner of things, both in my control and not. I find myself get stuck, falling deeper and deeper into that dark, ladder-less chasm of anxiety. Oof, its gloomy, indeed.

    Below, I offer my simple tips to help you fall back to sleep. Although these are first-step tactics, I find them to be highly effective. But first, I wanted to dig a little deeper into the nature of my anxiety. I do so because Ive come to learn that they are pretty universal, and are probably plaguing you, too.

    Also Check: How To Find Out If I Have Anxiety

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