Anxiety Causing Sleep Issues? How to Sleep Better Despite Anxiety

Close-up of alarm clock on night table

 

10 Tips to Sleep Better When Dealing With Anxiety 

Sleep is a basic human need. It’s essential for us to function and perform better, to prevent illnesses, to recover from illnesses, and so much more. Not having enough sleep can lead to many problems, including anxiety. However, stress can also cause sleeping difficulties.

 

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, and nervousness. It affects how one acts and performs, mostly in a negative way. Often, if not all the time, anxiety and sleep deprivation feed off each other. Stress can cause sleep deprivation, or sleep deprivation can cause you to have anxiety. Either way, it’s a vicious and challenging cycle.

 

Fortunately, it’s not an impossible situation. There are ways you can help you get out of the cycle. To learn how to get more sleep despite anxiety, try the following tips:

 

 

#1 Positive Thinking Therapy

There’s this new therapy for insomnia that is positive thinking which might work for the same for anxiety. It’s changing all your negative thoughts about sleep into positive thoughts. For instance, instead of saying “I can’t fall asleep,” say “I will be able to sleep well tonight.” If you say “I’m not going to sleep well because of this,” change it to “I can do this, and I will be able to sleep soundly tonight.” Simply put, it’s the law of attraction in practice.

 

It may seem like a long shot but the mind is quite a mysterious thing, and this therapy has worked for many. Negative thinking won’t help with the anxiety. Thus it won’t help with your sleep deprivation either. Try it out!

#2 Inhale, Exhale

When you begin to feel anxious, one of the first things you’re told to do is to breathe. So take a moment to stop what you’re doing, and focus on your breathing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, and repeat until you feel calm. Focused breathing helps calm the nerves and the mind, thus reducing the stress. Then, the more relaxed you feel, the easier it will be to fall asleep.

 

 

#3 Try Yoga

In general, exercise will help you sleep better. However, yoga is also calming and helps you focus on your breathing and your movements. It helps you be more control of your mind. Yoga will contribute to reducing the stress you feel from anxiety, therefore helping you get your much-needed sleep.

#4 Invest in Your mattress and Pillows

Your mattress and pillows can make or break your sleep. You should take time to select the perfect ones for you because it will be with you for years to come. Ideally, get a mattress and pillow that suits your sleep position. It should support a natural curvature of your spine; prevent any pressure points, while still being comfortable.

 

It’s easier to find a mattress for back sleepers. For side sleepers, you will need more pressure relief. Thus, a mattress topper for side sleepers is a standard addition to the bed. Pillows also require attention and detail. They also need to support a natural head, neck, and spine alignment.

 

#5 Have a Thinking Time before Hitting the Bed

A thinking time before hitting the bed is to identify what’s bothering you or causing you to be anxious. Think about what is worrying you; write it down along with some solutions. If you don’t address them, your mind will keep thinking about it and will rob you of sleep. One way you can address your anxiety is by creating a to-do list for the next day or week.

#6 Limit Caffeine Intake

Limit caffeine intake especially in the afternoon, so you will not have a hard time sleeping at night. You should also avoid alcohol, big meals, and food that take longer to digest before bedtime. Instead, have a warm cup of milk about an hour before bedtime to help you fall asleep.

 

#7 Put Your Phone Down

In dimming your lights, you should also turn off all your TV, cell phones, and tablets. Apparently, the light from your phone affects your sleepiness. Plus, having your phone is just a terrible idea because it’ll keep you scrolling and scrolling, robbing you of sleep. It doesn’t help with anxiety either.

 

#8 Stick to a Schedule and Follow a Routin

As much as possible, try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Thar will eventually create your body clock work better. Also, create a routine that prepares you for bed. The method can include some of the other tips on this list like a thinking time, exercise, etc.

 

#9 Play Relaxing Music

There’s a reason why babies sleep through lullabies. It’s relaxing. So, play some music, preferably with no words to ease you to sleep. Some sound machines are also helpful in reducing stress levels. Many find that the sound of waves or rain can help them fall asleep.

#10 Let Someone Know

Anxiety should never be faced alone. You need someone to assist you in and hold you accountable. Talking to someone about what’s bothering you helps you release some of the stress. In return, they might give you some help about what you can do. You don’t have to face things alone. If it’s horrible, consider a doctor or therapist even. They might see the need for some medication that will help with the underlying problem.

 

Wrapping Things Up

Sleep deprivation and anxiety go hand in hand together. Almost always, you can’t have one without the other. It is important that you take measures to address either or both of them. Usually, when you address one, you’re also addressing the other. The most important thing is that you take the first step, which is the most difficult.

 

 

By-  Sandra McElroy. “My mission is to help BedtimeFriends readers research, & pick mattresses, pillows & various other sleep products that suit their needs, & budget.”

 

References:
https://www.verywell.com/how-breathing-exercises-help-with-anxiety-and-insomnia-3015268
https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/sleep-disorders
https://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/falling-asleep-with-anxiety.aspx

 

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