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How To Treat Sleep Anxiety Disorder

Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress

Drug Free Treatment for Sleep Disorders and Anxiety

Coping Strategies

Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:

Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress

For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.


If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.

Easing Anxiety Improves Sleep

The good news about anxiety and insomnia being so closely related is that, if you help one problem, you also help the other.

For example, Neubauer said, if you have an anxiety disorder, then getting treatment with cognitive therapy, meditation, or medication can have the indirect effect of improving sleep.

Short of getting treatment for an anxiety disorder, said Neubauer, there are ways people can, on their own, sleep better. For instance:

Practice relaxation techniques. Many approaches, such as nighttime meditation or yoga, can combat anxiety. Neubauer recommends you start by learning new relaxation techniques earlier in the day so youre not putting too much pressure on yourself before bedtime. Then, once youre comfortable with it, you can do it later in the day.

Get into a regular sleep routine. Going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day lets the bodys internal circadian clock work better. Getting up at odd hours can undermine that rhythm.

Schedule some idle time before bed. A common problem is that, when people get into bed, its the first time theyve had to ponder the day, Neubauer said. Try to sit down and think about the day before you get ready for sleep. Jot down any concerns on a piece of paper if you need to remember tasks for the next day. Dont use the time before bed to pay bills or other anxiety-inducing activity.

Sleep Issues Common To Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Up to three-quarters of people with GAD experience fatigue, insomnia, and fretful sleep. As with many anxiety disorders, the arousal caused by the anxiety heightens alertness and interferes with ones ability to sleep. Its difficult to fall asleep in the first place, and the sleep one does get is often fragmented and less refreshing. As a result, individuals become sleep deprived and experience fatigue during their waking hours.

Because sleep becomes associated with worry instead of rest, anxiety develops around bedtime, in addition to the other anxious thoughts one is dealing with. Add to this increased worry about how well youll function the following day due to being sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation worsens mood and increases irritability for everyone, regardless of whether theyre dealing with GAD. However, research from 2013 suggests that individuals who are prone to worry the kind of people at risk of developing an anxiety disorder like GAD are even more susceptible to the negative effects of sleep deprivation surrounding their mood and ability to regulate their emotions. When individuals with GAD are sleep deprived, theyre even more on edge, anxious about the future and anticipating threats.

Also Check: Can Internal Medicine Doctors Prescribe Anxiety Medication

What Are Anxiety Disorders

anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder , panic disorder or panic attacks, and nighttime panic attacks. A nocturnal panic attack occurs at night and may occur with or without daytime panic attacks.

With some anxiety disorders, the feelings last and may worsen over time. Anxiety disorders are also likely to create problems with relationships, work or school, or other activities.

Top Recommendations For Sleeping With Anxiety

Guided Meditations for Anxiety: Beginners meditation to ...

Getting good sleep makes you better equipped to manage your anxiety during the day time. Here are our top tips for sleeping better with anxiety.

  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. Only use your bedroom for sleep and sex.
  • Set and follow a calming bedtime routine. Activities might include taking a warm bath, reading, journaling, and listening to soothing music.
  • Keep the bedroom dark, cool, and relaxing. Get rid of clutter. Remove electronics from the room and consider using blackout curtains. Use a lavender-scented diffuser. Sleep on a comfortable mattress.
  • Practice relaxation techniques when youre ready to fall asleep, including meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. These stimulants keep you awake and also trigger many of the same physical responses your body has to anxiety.
  • Exercise early in the day and outside if possible. The sunlight will boost your mood, and the activity early on will make you tired later at night. Plus, exercising too close to bedtime will mimic the feeling of adrenaline you experience with anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Explore CBT and other psychotherapy options to help address your anxiety. Make sure to tell your doctor about your sleep problems so they can include it as part of your treatment.
  • For more in-depth information on the relationship between sleep and mental health, check out our our other guides here:

    • Addiction and Sleep

    Recommended Reading: Can Adderall Help With Anxiety

    Additional Resources For Phobia Anxiety

    • Healthline reviews a long list of specific phobias as well as risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options for each.
    • The governments MedlinePlus resource page on phobias shares links to booklets, recent research, and directories to find local psychologists and therapists.
    • Individuals can share their experience with others and lean on peers for support in online forums such as the Phobia subreddit and Phobia Support Groups.
    • MedicineNet offers a local resource directory for phobia support groups and health professionals.
    • Self-Treatment for Phobias is an online booklet prepared by Anxiety Care UK as a self-help treatment plan for phobias.

    Relaxation Techniques For Sleep Anxiety

    Here are some simple relaxation techniques for sleep anxiety.


    This is a relaxation technique that requires mental focus in order to boost self-awareness, relax the body, and bring peace to the mind.

    How to mediate:

    1. Remove all distractions from the room or find a quiet area to lie down.

    2. Keep your eyes closed as you breathe in deeply and slowly, focusing on keeping your breathing relaxed.

    3. If you get distracted by a sound or a thought comes to mind, dont pay attention to it but let it go and focus your attention on your breathing and keeping your mind blank.

    4. Inhale deeply then hold your breath for a few seconds then exhale slowly keeping your breathing controlled.

    5. Repeat this process 10 times, focusing on breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly. Do not hold your breath longer than required only for a few seconds.

    6. Start off by meditating for 5 minutes then as time goes on increase your meditation time to 10, 15, and finally 20 minutes.

    Meditation takes time to master as it requires the utmost concentration and mental focus and is a simple relaxation technique for sleep anxiety.

    Visualization exercises

    This relaxation technique for sleep anxiety involves the power of imagination and strong mental focus. Visualization exercises are good for calming the mind and relaxing the body.

    How to do visualization exercises:

    1. Clear all distractions from your room and lie down on your bed.

    Read Also: What To Do When Suffering From Anxiety

    What Is The Difference Between Somniphobia And Insomnia

    The two issues are similar, but not interchangeable. Somniphobia is an anxiety disorder and a sense of fear that keeps people from sleeping even when they are tired. Common fears that fuel this problem are connected to health problems, the idea of dying, worrying about nightmares or nighttime behaviors.

    Insomnia, on the other hand, is a chronic sleep disorder that makes it difficult for people to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomniacs tend to stay awake late, or wake up early, no longer feeling sleepy.

    Pro Tips On How To Treat Insomnia Due To Anxiety

    How to Treat Anxiety Disorders with Zoloft

    After a long, stressful day, one looks forward to a good nights rest to replenish depleted energy but you, on the other hand, are stuck in a constant battle to find sleep. If you constantly spend your nights awake with your thoughts racing without a destination, you are clearly anxious and need to learn how to treat insomnia due to anxiety.

    Feelings of anxiety are normal as anxiety is simply the bodys response to situations of uncertainty that make us feel nervous or stressed for example the interview for a job you want, the first day at a new school, or moving to a new place.

    However, there is nothing normal about consistent anxiety problems especially when it contributes to your sleepless nights, which is why youre interested in learning the best tips on how to treat insomnia due to anxiety.

    If youre finding it impossible to fall asleep or anxiety keeps waking you up at night or if youre wondering whether or not your anxiety and sleep deprivation problems are related then look no further, youre in the perfect place. This guide on how to treat insomnia due to anxiety has all the answers you need.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Pass Out From Anxiety

    Are There Any Risk Factors For Sleep Anxiety

    Risk factors for somniphobia include other sleep disorders and negative sleep experiences, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and other medical conditions. Those with a family history of anxiety and sleep disorders are also more likely to experience somniphobia. This type of phobia is more common among women and children.

    Natural Remedies For Anxiety

    Natural remedies for anxiety are those that donât involve conventional medications . They include things such as herbs, aromatherapy, and performing certain actions that promote relaxation. Some people with anxiety use natural remedies alongside conventional treatments to find relief.

    Examples of natural remedies for anxiety include:

    Exercise isnât just good for your physical health itâs also beneficial for your mental health. While the connection isnât well understood, studies do show that exercise can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

    Getting active helps to take your mind off of the issues bothering you. It also triggers your body to release endorphins, which are natural feel-good hormones.

    Herbal Remedies

    Several different herbs and herbal supplements may help alleviate anxiety symptoms, helping you to relax and feel calmer. Some of the more well-known varieties include:

    Studies show that chamomile can help with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. While many of the studies on herbal supplements for anxiety are limited, the results are promising.

    You can find many of these supplements in capsule form. Many people also drink herbal teas to help them relax.

    Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to improve health and overall well-being. Many scents can help to boost your mood, help you relax, and reduce anxiety.

    Scents to use for anxiety include:

    • Lavender

    Deep Breathing Exercises

    Weighted Blankets

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    Do People With Sleep Apnea Have Panic Attacks

    Scientists studied the relationship between sleep apnea and anxiety. They discovered that anxiety and mood disorders, are psychiatric disturbances that are often found in patients with insomnia and sleep apnea.

    It’s no wonder that many people with obstructive apnea have daytime anxiety or panic attacks and nightmares during the night.

    Some CPAP users even have anxiety using their CPAP mask during sleep, pulling their mask off.

    If you have sleep apnea and anxiety, you’ll find in this article tips and exercises to treat your problem.

    In this page you’ll learn:

    • Types of anxiety in patients with sleep disorders,
    • Anxiety symptoms – How to know if you have anxiety,
    • Why sleep apnea causes anxiety,
    • Sleep apnea and nocturnal panic attacks,
    • Can anxiety disorder aggravate sleep apnea?
    • Treatment for sleep apnea anxiety.

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

    Insomnia Remedies â Natural Sleep Aids &  Tips

    GAD is defined as a chronic, excessive, and pervasive anxiety or worry that lasts for at least 6 months. It is present more days than not. In addition, the anxiety that characterizes the condition affects numerous aspects of life, including work or school as well as other activities. This anxiety is difficult to control. There are often other symptoms associated with GAD, including:

    • Restlessness or feeling “on edge”
    • Easy fatigue
    • Muscle tension
    • Insomnia or restless sleep

    GAD is a chronic condition and it rarely completely remits on its own. It often has a waxing and waning nature, with times that it may be better or worse. It often coexists with depression. GAD has important effects on sleep.

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    Definition Of Sleep Difficulties:

    Sleep problems are common in children with between 2540% of youth experiencing sleep difficulties such as sleep anxiety, insomnia, frequent waking, delayed circadian rhythm, or night terrors at some point during childhood or adolescence. More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report .

    Untreated sleep problems can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, hyperactivity/behavioral problems, moodiness/irritability, as well as concentration/attention difficulties and in turn often affect functioning across a variety of domains including academic, occupational, behavioral, and social. Sleep disruption often co-occurs with anxiety and depression. Common problems also include difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night, or waking up early. Over time, many also develop sleep-related anxiety.

    How Can I Treat Anxiety

    Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment option is cognitive behavioral therapy , which helps provide people with tools to cope with anxiety when it occurs.

    There are also certain medications, like antidepressants and sedatives, that work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. They may even ward off the most severe symptoms.If youre looking to go a more natural route, though, there are little and big ways you can help combat anxiety.

    You can make adjustments to habits, like exercise, sleep, and diet. You can also try something totally new, like aromatherapy or meditation. No matter what your lifestyle demands, theres a natural way to help reduce anxiety for everyone.

    Also Check: Why Does My Relationship Give Me Anxiety

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