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How To Sleep When You Have Anxiety

What Are The Types Of Anxiety Disorders

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

Anxiety is a core element of a number of specific disorders, although not all are categorized strictly as anxiety disorders.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder : People with GAD have significant, looming worries about many different things that can cause an overarching sense of anxiety.
  • Panic Disorder: Extremely intense episodes of fear, known as panic attacks, that usually last for a few minutes at a time are the defining feature of Panic Disorder.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: This disorder involves an extreme fear of social settings and potential embarrassment in front of other people.
  • Specific Phobias: Specific phobias are intense fears caused by particular triggers. Some of the most common specific phobias include agoraphobia and separation anxiety.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : In OCD, a person obsesses about an issue in a negative way such that it provokes anxiety, and this causes a compulsion, which is their attempt to control or eliminate that anxiety. Compulsions are repeated ritually and can directly impact everyday activities.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder : This condition can arise after a person is exposed to a painful or disturbing situation. People with PTSD may relive the stressful event, feel on-edge, and have potentially debilitating anxiety.

So Those Are The Three Steps That You Can Take When Youre Trying To Sleep Better When You Have Anxiety

Theres another thing that you can do and that is grounding.

I have an excellent free grounding meditation that you can listen to, and it will take you through the steps that you need to ground and anchor your energy in the present.

It stops your thoughts and your energy from floating around out there like space junk, brings everything back into you and allows you to connect with the core of the earth again.

Grounding is what you want when youre winding down and trying to relax and get a full energizing and restorative sleep at the end of the day.

Tonight, follow the above steps to sleep better when you have anxiety, and have a nice, wonderful and relaxing peaceful sleep.

Love + light

Follow A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is the best way to improve sleep for people with anxiety. Diet plays a significant role in how well you sleep. Overeating food or not eating enough food can lead to sleeplessness.

Overeating food can cause indigestion, interfering with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. In addition, if you eat too little food throughout the day, your body will likely go into starvation mode at night, which means it wont produce enough melatonin when needed.

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How Can Healthier Sleep Habits Treat Sleep Anxiety

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.

How Can Medication Treat Sleep Anxiety

How to Cope With sleep Anxiety Naturally: Practical Tips for Better ...

Your healthcare provider may recommend medication to treat anxiety or other mental health disorders. Medication can also help improve the symptoms of sleep-related disorders such as restless legs syndrome or insomnia.

But some medications might actually increase your anxiety or make sleeping harder when you first start taking them. If you experience these side effects, talk to your healthcare provider. Many over-the-counter sleep aids can also be habit-forming. Dont start any medication for anxiety or sleep without your healthcare providers supervision.

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How Can I Make Living With Sleep Anxiety Easier

Anxiety or sleep problems can affect every aspect of your life, from your performance at work to your interactions with others. It may help to talk about your sleep anxiety with a therapist, co-workers, friends or loved ones. Support groups can also connect you to a community of people dealing with similar experiences.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Sleep anxiety is a feeling of fear or stress about falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleep problems and mental health disorders such as anxiety are closely intertwined. One can often make the other worse, so it can feel like a never-ending cycle. But anxiety and sleep problems are both treatable. Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and work together to build the right treatment plan. Common treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy , good sleep hygiene and medication.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/13/2021.

References

Reason #: Too Much Focus On The Day

Nighttime anxiety can be caused by over-focusing on stress before sleep. Knott says that this is because our body can perceive work stress, relationship issues, and social contact as dangerous, and prepare us to fight or flee. Being fixated on your worries during the day and anticipating stressful activities for the next day will make it more difficult for your mind to relax.

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What Causes Sleep Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural part of being human. Were meant to feel afraid or worried in dangerous situations. Stress and anxiety trigger our bodies to release hormones that help us react quickly to escape harm. But if you have chronic anxiety, you might feel stress or worry all the time. You may feel fearful of everyday situations like driving to work or even falling asleep.

Chronically high levels of these hormones, especially before sleep, can make it hard for your body to relax. You may have difficulty falling asleep. If you do fall asleep, you may wake up during the night with stressful or worrisome thoughts and not be able to fall asleep again.

The combination of a anxiety and insomnia can also be caused by a condition where there isnt enough thyroid hormone in your bloodstream and your metabolism slows down .

Research suggests that anxiety can affect rapid eye movement sleep. This is the phase of sleep when you tend to have vivid dreams. If you have anxiety, the dreams may be disturbing or turn into nightmares that wake you.

Just as anxiety can affect sleep, sleep can affect anxiety. Sleep anxiety is a common characteristic of insomnia, wherein the individual begins to experience anxiety during the day and evening about poor sleep, which may help cause another night of bad sleep.

Stress Relief Techniques To The Rescue

Why Anxiety Affects Your Sleep… & Vice Versa (& How to Cope)

Activities that switch on the bodys natural relaxation response feel great, Buenaver says. And they have been proven by research to improve sleep. They help by reducing the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and by slowing your heart rate and breathing. Your body and mind calm down.

Yoga, tai chi and meditation are helpful stress relief techniques. So are these two simple exercises that Buenaver recommends to patients who are struggling with sleepless nights.

Gentle breathing:

  • In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It may help to close your eyes.
  • Breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. As you inhale, breathe down into your belly. Focus on your breath.
  • If youd like, repeat to yourself, Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am coping.

Progressive muscle relaxation:

  • In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Take a few gentle breaths, in and out.
  • Begin tensing groups of muscles one at a time as you breathe. Hold the tension as you inhale, then release it as you exhale. Take a few breaths as you notice how relaxed each muscle group feels.
  • Start with the muscles in your head, neck and face. Move down to your shoulders, hands and arms, back, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
  • Repeat for any areas that are still tense.

As you go through this exercise, feel the presence and absence of tension so you can spot lingering tension and do something about it, Buenaver says.

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Still Struggling To Sleep Talk To Your Doctor

As we wrap up Dr. Farrell-Carnahans excellent advice for getting sleep during this anxious time, wed be remiss if we didnt remind you to consider treatment if your insomnia is chronic.

Dr. Farrell-Carnahan recommends asking your doctor if cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia might be work for you. She also suggests the Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicines website for learning more about insomnia, CBT for insomnia, and other kinds of disordered sleep.

What are your tips for when you cant sleep due to anxiety? Please share them with us in the comments!

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Sleep With A Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets have been found to be an effective way to help calm anxiety and help you fall asleep, thanks to what’s called deep-pressure stimulation. A 2020 study found that people who use a weighted blanket have lower rates of insomnia and anxiety. Using a weighted blanket isn’t the only thing you should do, but it is an easy way to integrate comfort into your nightly routine. You can choose from the hundreds of options on the market or even make your own weighted blanket.

Use A Weighted Blanket

Somniphobia: What to Do If You Have Sleep Anxiety

Weighted blankets are a type of heavy blanket that typically weighs between 5 and 30 pounds. Theyre known for producing calming effects by mimicking the feeling of a hug using deep pressure stimulation. Because weighted blankets can help increase serotonin and melatonin while decreasing cortisol, they have been shown to promote feelings of calmness and peacefulness.

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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.
  • If You Cant Sleep Do Something Relaxing

    Its normal to sometimes find it difficult to fall asleep. If you get into bed at your normal bedtime but cant doze off within 20 minutes, its okay to get out of bed for a little while.

    When youre out of bed, try to engage in relaxing activities such as reading a book, listening to soothing music or writing down your thoughts from the previous day.

    Doing so can help you unwind until you feel sleepy enough to return to bed.

    While youre out of bed, make sure not to switch on too many lights or engage in any activities that will increase your alertness.

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    How Can I Teach My Child To Get Over Their Fears

    Teach your child skills to get over their fears. For example:

    • discuss ways to respond to nighttime fears, such as by âbeing braveâ and thinking positive thoughts
    • tell your child how you deal with something that frightens you

    You can also try reading stories about children who are afraid and conquer their fears.

    For example, for younger kids:

    • âDavid and the worry beast: Helping children cope with anxietyâ by Anne Marie Guanci
    • âThe huge bag of worriesâ by Virginia Ironside

    For older kids:

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    How To Sleep With Anxiety

    How To Know If You Have Anxiety

    Anxiety can be quite a challenging condition to deal with especially at night. Have you ever been terribly exhausted at night, but the minute you drop on your bed and turn off the light, your mind gets reeling down a hole of intrusive thoughts?

    Nighttime anxiety can be quite scary. And you know what feeds it? Worry. Worrying about overwork, financial and relationship problems, family, and many other similar situations.

    Anxietybefore bedis quite a condition many anxiety patients experiences. As much as it is normal to be anxious over many life situations from time to time, it could be quite detrimental to your health if it interrupts your nights sleep.

    Anxiety insomniaoccurs when your anxious state affects your sleep, and when you dont get enough sleep, you are vulnerable to many health problems. In this piece, we shall be looking at how affects your nights sleep and how you can calm yourself.

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    Anxiety And Sleep Deprivation: The Dangerous Cycle

    According to the Anxiety and Depression Association in America, anxiety is a side-effect or reaction to stress. It can appear in a number of different ways, from physical changes in blood pressure to anxious thoughts and feelings of tension.

    Though anxiety may not make you feel great its not a bad thing. Like physical pain, feelings of anxiety are intended to warn the body and mind that something is potentially dangerous.

    Some short-term issues with stress can also draw your attention to things in your life that you need to correct. For instance, if youre always anxious about going to work, maybe you need to look for a new job?

    Sleep anxiety, on the other hand, is a disorder. Youre feeling nerves, when you shouldnt be. This anxiety isnt protecting you from anything. Its just stopping you from falling asleep, which isnt good for anyone.

    Unfortunately, anxiety and sleep deprivation are issues that go hand-in-hand more often than youd think. The National Institute of Mental health suggests that over 40 million people in the US alone suffer from some manner of anxiety that affects their sleeping.

    Doctors have begun to describe sleep disorders and anxiety as comorbid concepts. In other words, they both feed each other. The less you sleep the more anxious you feel, the more anxious you feel, the less you sleep.

    There are many answers to the question what causes anxiety attacks at night?

    The good news?

    Are You Sleep Deprived

    Once you know what to look for, sleep deprivation becomes pretty apparent. For instance, if you feel thirsty, hungry, mentally foggy, or forgetful, you could be sleep deprived. The same holds true if you feel aggressive. If you feel sleepy while driving, or drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven’t had enough sleep. Furthermore, if you often fall asleep within five minutes of your head hitting the pillow, you are probably suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

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