Getting a good amount of sleep is important if you want to be able to perform at your highest level the following day. Unfortunately, a great deal of individuals struggle with both falling asleep in the first place and then staying asleep.
Nervousness and difficulty sleeping are both frequent issues that can interfere with your capacity to drift off to sleep. You may lay wide awake for an extended period of time, pondering if you will be able to drift off to sleep before the start of another day. In addition, both ailments can exacerbate each other, leading to a worsening of symptoms. Experiencing difficulty dealing with anxiousness and/or problems sleeping is something that a lot of people go through.
Facts About Anxiety and Insomnia
It is common for people to go through periodic episodes of anxiety as anxiety is rooted in our ancestral defense mechanisms, such as “flight, fight, or freeze,” when confronted with a threat. Despite the shift in our worries from creatures in the wild to concerns like not making it to appointments on time, our brains still operate in the same way when we become afraid. We still perceive whatever it is that is giving us anxiety as a “danger,” prompting our minds to try to think of a way out.
There is nothing to worry about when it comes to everyday stress and anxiety; however, a large number of people in the U.S. are suffering from a more extreme and persistent form of these emotions, which may indicate an anxiety disorder. In total, around 40 million people in the U.S. have anxiety issues, making it the most prevalent mental health condition in the country.
Anxiety issues can be prompted by certain stimuli (named “phobias”), or it can simply be long-term excessive anxiety that interferes with everyday life, even when there isn’t a specific cause or any genuine risk. In these instances, the mind could release a rush of adrenaline into the body, leading to a person feeling racing heartbeats, having difficulty breathing, or struggling to stay focused at work or school. Moreover, worry can lead to critical sleep disturbances, like sleeplessness. Experiencing anxiety attacks can make people very tired; however, because of the anxiety and the feelings of concern or alarm, it’s possible that it can be harder to fall asleep.
An estimated 3 million people in America are affected by insomnia, a sleep problem in which people have difficulty falling or staying asleep for a significant amount of time. In many cases, insomnia is a symptom of a deeper issue (termed secondary insomnia), but it can also subsist on its own with no particular root problem or catalyst (labeled primary insomnia).
Individuals can experience both anxiety and sleeplessness independently of each other. In these scenarios, referred to as bidirectional comorbidity, the two diseases can aggravate one another, and it can be convoluted to treat each separately. Furthermore, worry can be a repercussion of other, more major mental health issues, which can complicate the treatment of people with both anxiety and sleep deprivation in combination.
How Anxiety Can Affect Sleep
Not getting enough sleep may raise the risk of developing anxiety while also being an outcome of existing anxiety. Sad to say, the two can mix up a great deal, resulting in one making the other worse.
Stress can interfere with your body’s natural sleep cycle as your mind is in a precarious state, eager to consider any probable outcomes surrounding the source of your anxiety. In addition, the fear of insomnia and apprehension about the quality of sleep can lead to various sleeping problems, resulting in a vicious cycle that exacerbates both anxiousness and insomnia. Lack of sleep due to insomnia can leave you feeling discontented and anxious, as your brain doesn’t get the sleep it requires to stay in balance.
It is not unusual to have worry connected to sleep. As stated by Winnie Yu, a contributor to WebMD, in her article “Scared to Sleep”, fear of sleeping is a type of worry concerning putting on a display. A lot of individuals may be agitated about not getting enough rest to be able to perform, but the tension from the attempt to get some shut-eye can cause individuals to remain alert for several hours. In addition, nightmares reoccurring, fear of sleep apnea (inability to breathe during slumber), and other similar issues can all cause sleep disruption.
Does Anxiety Go Away?
For people with a real anxiety disorder, the problem is not likely to disappear. Some folks may be able to effectively manage their anxiety problem with the guidance of a psychiatrist or psychologist, while drugs may provide additional control of the condition. Coping strategies may be beneficial for those with anxiety disorders, yet, unfortunately, there is currently no permanent solution for anxiety.
For those without an anxiety disorder, the occasional or intermitted moments of anxiety they experience is a normal part of life for many individuals. It is probable that short-lived anxiety will eventually lessen, and if it concerns a certain place or someone, getting out of such places and people could aid the distress to abate eventually.
Guide To A Restful Night’s Sleep
The littlest light coming from your alarm clock radio could be a hindrance to your getting enough shuteye. Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night lights. Do not use any lights when you wake up to use the restroom during the night. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.
Life as we know it developed in conformity to regular cycles of light and darkness known as circadian rhythms. Today’s electrical lighting has thrown off your body’s internal clock, causing your natural rhythms to be disturbed. A tiny amount of light travel straight through your optic nerve to the hypothalamus, which governs your circadian rhythm. Light alerts the brain that it’s time to begin the day and starts preparing your body to respond.
Do not set the temperature in your bedroom any higher than 70°F. Lots of folks have their dwellings, especially their second-floor bedrooms, temperature-wise much too toasty. Investigations have indicated that the most favorable temperature for sleeping is relatively cool, somewhere in the range of 60 to 68 degrees. Maintaining the temperature in your bedroom at a cooler or warmer level can disrupt your sleep. When you doze off, your internal body temperature of yours typically goes down to its nadir about four hours after your slumber begins. Experts presume that a colder bedroom might be better for sleeping, as it replicates your body’s natural temperature reduction.
Check your bedroom for electromagnetic fields (EMFs). These things may interfere with the functioning of the pineal gland and the output of melatonin and serotonin, as well as potentially causing other adverse results. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can search the web and come across many different versions, with prices ranging between fifty and two hundred dollars. Some professionals suggest disconnecting your circuit breaker prior to bed to cut off the electricity in your home.
Relocate any alarm clocks and other electronic gadgets away from your sleeping area. It is advised that if these gadgets need to be operated, they should be kept at a distance of at least three feet from your bed. Remove the clock from view. Staring at it all night won’t do anything but cause extra stress and worry by the time 2 a.m. rolls around. …3 a.m. … 4:30 a.m.
Avoid using loud alarm clocks. Having your body suddenly awakened sharply is highly straining. If you are consistently getting enough rest, there may not be a need for an alarm clock. I discarded my conventional alarm clock a long time ago and instead used a sun alarm clock. It has all the attributes of a regular alarm clock – including a digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, and snooze function – and a specific built-in light that gradually intensifies, replicating a sunrise.
Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are in the habit of using your bed for activities like watching television or completing work, it may make it more difficult to reach a state of relaxation and fall asleep; as a result, refrain from doing these activities while in bed.
Consider separate bedrooms. Investigations in recent times point toward the fact that having a companion on the bed while going to sleep, either a partner or a pet, has a detrimental effect on the overall quality of sleep for lots of individuals, particularly when the other person is not a sound sleeper or tends to snore. If your sleeping partner is consistently disrupting your sleep, you may want to consider having two bedrooms.
Preparing for Bed
Get to bed as early as possible. The bulk of your body’s renewal process, particularly that of your adrenal system, is accomplished mainly between eleven at night and one in the morning. Moreover, your gallbladder releases toxins throughout this timeframe. If you are not sleeping, the poisons will accumulate in your liver, causing further damage to your well-being. Before electricity became widely used, people typically went to bed at sunset, as other creatures do, which is in keeping with what nature wanted for humans.
Don’t change your bedtime. You ought to have a consistent schedule of going to sleep and arising at the same time daily, including on the weekends. This will aid your body in establishing a sleeping pattern, thus making it easier to fall asleep and wake up in the morning.
Establish a bedtime routine. One could look into mindfulness techniques such as meditation or controlled breathing, as well as using scented oils or requesting a massage from one’s partner. The trick is to identify an activity that helps you to unwind, then do it regularly to help reduce the stress of the day. (Lavender of great quality is known to be especially effective.)
Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains, and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. When your blood sugar gets too low in the later hours, it may be difficult to return to sleep.
Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. Your body heat will go up in the later part of the night but will drop by the time you go to bed, making it easier for you to sleep. When you get out of the bath, a decrease in the temperature tells your body that it is time to go to sleep.
Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep
Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many medications, both prescribed by a doctor and available over the counter, can have a negative effect on sleep. In the majority of cases, the illness that has prompted medicinal drugs to be consumed can be taken care of by utilizing the guidelines laid out on my website.
Avoid caffeine. At least one research has revealed that for some individuals, caffeine is processed inadequately, consequently making its consequences endure a long time after consuming it. Consuming coffee or tea in the afternoon may hinder certain individuals from dozing off later in the evening. Take notice that some drugs have caffeine in them (diet pills being one example).
Avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it will only be a temporary feeling that will likely not last long. After a short amount of time, you will awaken, but you may not be able to fall back asleep. Drinking alcohol will prevent you from plummeting into the more intense phases of rest, which is when your body carries out the majority of its reparation.
Make certain you are exercising regularly. Doing some form of physical activity for 30 minutes or more on a daily basis can better your quality of sleep. Be careful not to exercise too near bedtime, as it could disturb your sleep. Evidence suggests that it is most beneficial to exercise first thing in the morning if you are able to do so.
Lose excess weight. Bearing too much weight can raise your chances of contracting sleep apnea, which can have serious negative effects on your sleep. Please refer to my nutrition plan for recommendations.
Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. It is especially applicable for sugar, grain, and milk that have been processed for preservation. One possible re-phrasing: Sensitivity reactions can bring about excess congestion, upset stomach, swelling, and flatulence, as well as other difficulties. Get an exam from an experienced natural medicine doctor to assess your adrenal glands. Researchers have discovered that sleep deprivation could be a result of heightened, adrenal stress.
Consider a Sleep Study for Insomnia and Mindfulness-Based Therapy
Ultimately, if you are having difficulty getting to sleep, professional assistance may be a helpful solution. People who experience insomnia can reap many advantages from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other approaches based on mindfulness. This is similar to how those receiving care for anxiety-related problems can benefit.
Taking part in a sleep survey could assist in recognizing particular habits related to your bedtime rituals. It may be that your brain does not have a complete cycle of REM sleep or your respiratory system is restricted by sleep apnea. Sleep studies can be used to discover any problems connected to sleeping, and if needed, a medical expert or mental health practitioner can be consulted for treatment of the root cause.
As previously stated, the Guardian article titled “A Cure for Insomnia” provides an in-depth analysis of a successful sleep experiment. Hugh Selsick, the designer of the research and medical facility, incorporated a strict bedtime routine with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and saw remarkable outcomes.
Zehavah Handler was so deeply affected by the findings and activity of the study that she made a decision to abandon her business and make an attempt at establishing a sleep study center of her own. According to the article, her sleep schedule and mental state have improved dramatically:
Handler reported that some backslide happen at times when someone’s routine is altered, such as when taking a vacation or celebrating Christmas, but she stated that if the rituals taught in the Insomnia Clinic are followed, it will only take a few days to get back on track.
If All Else Fails
At present, my go-to solution for managing sleeplessness is using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can quickly grasp the fundamentals of this calming tapping method. Tapping into the body’s bioenergy system with EFT can help to address the underlying emotional causes of sleeplessness, bringing a sense of equilibrium. The effects of the results are often enduring, and the advancement is remarkably quick.