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.
Get Your Worries On Paper
Calming an already-stirred up mind can be challenging, so also implement some calming practices before you even get into bed.
Dr. Whitney Roban, a clinical psychologist and family sleep specialists number one piece of advice for people suffering from night-time anxiety is to keep a journal where you can write down all those clingy thoughts.
When you get these thoughts out of your head and onto paper, there is a good chance they will not infiltrate your mind when its actually time to go to sleep, Dr. Roban says. Many people also like to make lists in their journal of the things they need to do the next day.
Anxiety Disorders Are Linked To Alcohol And Drugs
There is a strong link between alcohol and anxiety. Research shows that people with anxiety disorders are two to three times more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives than the general population. But that’s not all: Alcohol and drugs can often cause panic attacks, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America .
People with social anxiety, in particular, may turn to alcohol in order to lessen their symptoms, but alcohol can actually make anxiety worse. About 20 percent of people with social anxiety disorder also have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder, notes the ADAA. No matter which problem comes first, the combination of drugs, alcohol, and anxiety can become a vicious cycle.
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How To Stop Panic Attacks At Night
Getting a good nights sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. Sleep promotes rest and relaxation, and gives us a chance to recuperate and let go of the stresses of the day. However, this isnt the case for the many individuals who struggle with panic attacks at night.
Here, we provide advice on how to cope with panic attacks at night, and give tips on how to reduce them.
What You Can Do
Sleep and anxiety disorders are treatable.
If you have an anxiety disorder, your doctor can recommend a mental health specialist. They will likely suggest medications, relaxation techniques, and cognitive behavior therapy to help you understand and better control your emotions and behavior.
If you have chronic insomnia, treatment depends on whatâs causing it. Sometimes doing a polysomnogram, or sleep study, can help you figure out what’s going on. Your plan might include medications, counseling, and learning about good sleep habits.
You can also do a few things to help break the cycle between anxiety and insomnia:
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Make The Necessary Life
Your anxiety is much less likely to rear its ugly head in the future if you commit to making lifestyle changes that protect your body, mind and environment from damage.
Now Im going to refer you to my page on how to get over a nervous breakdown.
I wrote that article for people who are on the far end of the scale with their anxiety theyve had a complete burn-out.
They may or may not have previously suffered from excessive stress or anxiety, but the advice for you is the same as it is for them.
Be sure to also visit my article on how to treat anxiety symptoms.
Next enlist your partners support
If You Can’t Sleep Get Up
Insomnia is frustrating, but lying in bed and trying to get to sleep is only going to make you feel worse. If you can’t get back to sleep within 20 minutes, get up.
“Some people get a sleep phobia where they get fixated on not being able to get to sleep, which can become a big anxiety worry,” Lidbetter says. “If you can’t go to sleep, get up and do something else. Reading can be therapeutic or you could practise mindfulness.
“Anxiety UK has a strong partnership with the Headspace people, which is a great app and something you can just practise which is relatively easy to do. It just sets the scene for a restful night’s sleep because it calms down your sympathetic nervous system and puts you into relaxation mode.”
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Prepare For The Next Day
Many people find it anxiety-provoking to think about all that they need to do the next day. Being prepared is one of the best things to do to avoid this type of anxiety. Get as much ready as you can, like having your clothes picked out, lunches and bags packed, and your alarm clock set. Putting a small amount of effort into preparation can help keep evening anxiety under control.
Treatment For Anxiety At Night
Getting good quality sleep is so important for a healthy and happy life it impacts on everything from your physical and mental health to your career and relationships. Creating positive sleep habits can begin with discovering relaxation techniques like breathing exercises. These are even available to download as an app on your phone, so you can learn the principles of meditation from the comfort of your own home.
Wind down by taking a warm bath before bed and ensure that your bedroom is a haven of calm. We are all addicted to our phones these days. Implement a no-electronics rule in the evening and make a conscious effort to use the time to re-charge yourself and not just your phone.
You can also invest in some blackout blinds or curtains for your bedroom to keep it dark. Your body interprets light as a signal to wake up, so blocking out any street lights or early morning sunshine may help you stay asleep longer.
Make sure you exercise regularly, because exercise will help in two ways. First, it helps combat anxiety by boosting your mood and reducing stress. Second, being physically tired will help you sleep better and make you less likely to suffer from disturbances like restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.
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How To Treat Anxiety At Night
Whether it occurs during the day, at night or in only specific settings, anxiety is treatable, either through the use of medication, therapy, changes to your habits and lifestyle or a combination of different approaches.
Treating anxiety can take time. Based on your symptoms and needs, your healthcare provider may suggest one or several methods to help you treat your nighttime anxiety.
Anxiety At Night: Causes And Treatment Options
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Its an experience just about everyone has had after switching off the lights and tucking into bed, our mind races through one worry after another, making it nearly impossible to relax and drift off to sleep.
When anxiety occurs at night, it can be a serious annoyance that takes its toll on your ability to sleep, as well as your ability to focus the next day.
A range of factors can cause or contribute to nighttime anxiety, from worries about your health, life or the coming day to things like your daytime caffeine consumption.
Just like other types of anxiety, nighttime anxiety is treatable with the right combination of good habits, therapy and, if required, anti-anxiety medication.
Below, weve explained why anxiety often occurs at night, as well as the specific symptoms you may experience if youre prone to nighttime anxiety.
Weve also shared practical, science-based treatments that you can use to take control of your thoughts and prevent night anxiety from interfering with your sleep and quality of life.
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Blueprint For Better Livinga Guide To Better Sleep
Anxiety piles up at night because anxious preoccupation is avoidable when a person is actively using their brain and body to carry them through the day, says Dr. Kate Cummins, a licensed clinical psychologist. When you have a list of to-dos or business meetings to participate in, your thought process is geared towards frontal cortex functioning, which is the judgment, planning and reasoning areas of your brain. Once you are finding yourself at the end of your day, your frontal cortex has the ability to relax a bit, shifting gears into things you enjoy or pieces of you that are not connected to higher level functioning, mainly in your emotions and limbic system. When your thoughts start connecting to the emotional part of your cognitive functioning, especially at night, the anxious thoughts or anxious emotion that has been lying dormant all day has a place to go, and becomes the forefront of your thinking patterns.
How do we stop this vicious cycle? Weve compiled a list of helpful tips in two parts: things you can do while in the grips of anxious thoughts, and things you can do to prevent them, before you go to bed.
Practice Anxiety Management On Your Own
Whether you’re working with a therapist or not, there are some anxiety-reducing techniques you can perform on your own. These tactics are easy to follow and help curtail sleep-related anxiety.
- Take time to wind down before bed: An active mind is an anxious mind just waiting to sabotage sleep. This is why a wind-down routine is non-negotiable in the 1-2 hours before your target bedtime. Give yourself sufficient time to slow down and let go of the day’s stressors. Sliding into the right frame of mind for sleep means less tossing and turning in bed later.
- Do a brain dump: To break the bad habit of rumination, pen down your fretful thoughts on a piece of paper. Add the “Brain dump” habit to your Energy Schedule to jot down your worries or be productive by planning your next-day to-do list. What you’re essentially doing is taking a load off your mind, making it easier for you to doze off.
- Engage in relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques help nip your body’s stress response in the bud before it progresses to full-blown anxiety. The RISE app offers four types of relaxation techniques â progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, diaphragmatic breathing, and relaxing sounds. You can perform them at any time of the day and at night. Experiment and see which one work best for you.
If you’d like to learn more about how to dial down your nighttime anxiety levels, check out our in-depth guide to “How to calm anxiety at night.”
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An Increased Amount Of Exercise
Increasing your dog’s amount of exercise can be a superb way to remove the nervous energy they may have had at bedtime.
No one can deny that a physically tired dog is definitely more likely to fall asleep more easily.
In addition, the exercise contributes to a good chemical balance in the brain as serotonin is produced.
What Are The Best Interventions To Beat That Anxiety For No Reason Forever
Much of the above can be due to health problems that cause inflammation.
Dr Kelly Brogan, MD has discovered ways to deal with that anxiety for no reason without the need for any medication. Hop over to her website to see if her way to treat the problem might suit you.
Also, the above signs and symptoms can be treated with hypnosis. Self-hypnosis with the aid of a professionally created download is super user-friendly and effective in treating a huge number of conditions.
Look at these . Or, see my article: to have all your questions answered.
I also want you to consider getting some professional help too, as your anxiety for no reason may well be related to how you view yourself, your perceptions of the world around you, what you tell yourself about those perceptions, how you react to all of the above.
Your being on edge so often might be worsened by your imagination.
Those waves of anxiety may, in part, be caused by your brains reality simulator which is always on stand-by to dish up the worst possible scenarios.
Do also ask yourself
- Is there any chance you sometimes use anxiety to get out of things you just dont fancy for reasons other than your fears?
- Might you also be suffering from social anxiety?
- Could you possibly be setting yourself up to be the vulnerable one in your relationship ?
- Have you ever had a nervous breakdown?
All of these can play a role when youre plagued by anxiety for no reason.
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Dealing With The Symptoms Quickly And Effectively
The best way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety quickly is to calm yourself with the aid of a . You can listen to the soothing voice of a professional hypnotherapist in the comfort of your own home.
Best of all, each time you listen, you not only reduce the symptoms right away, but you build on its success bringing you one step closer to recovery.
At the same time, challenge yourself to continue to take steps out of your comfort zone in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Use A Weighted Blanket
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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