Anxiety about falling asleep at night can significantly disrupt sleep. Those who struggle with sleep anxiety may become trapped in a loop of not getting enough sleep due to their disorder and the added stress from their anxiety-related symptoms. Those without GAD may also have trouble sleeping.
Anxiety before bed can be a symptom of a sleep issue, but it is one that can be helped. The cycle of sleeplessness caused by anxiety can be broken with the correct treatment. Keep reading to find out how to overcome insomnia and get a better night’s rest.
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What Is Sleep Anxiety?
Sleep anxiety, a subtype of performance anxiety, is characterized by a recurrent pattern of worrying thoughts right before bedtime. The mind has much to do during the day, but when it’s time to sleep, it can find it difficult to occupy itself, and it may turn to worrying ideas and feelings as a result.
Stress and insomnia are two symptoms of anxiety that can feed into each other. If you suffer from nocturnal anxiety frequently, it might be difficult to determine whether your sleeplessness is a direct result of your anxiety or vice versa.
How Does Anxiety Affect Your Sleep?
Symptoms of sleep anxiety are similar to those of other anxiety disorders, except they manifest while you’re in bed or asleep.
A few examples of sleep anxiety symptoms are:
- Anxiety or unease that won’t go away
- Extreme anxiety
- Accelerating heartbeat
- Contracting muscles
Nighttime panic episodes are a kind of this acute anxiety that can strike suddenly and unexpectedly. Anxiety over falling asleep or staying asleep can prevent you from getting quality sleep. It’s possible that the stress and worry you feel as a result of this will make it difficult to sleep.
Why is it important to deal with sleeplessness?
Sevaral doctors agree that Anxiety about going to sleep can keep you awake. And rest is crucial to your well-being as everyone knows. Learning and memory consolidation occurs as you snooze. Also, it aids in flushing out the harmful substances that accumulate in the mind throughout the day. A lack of sleep can make it difficult to focus during the day, increasing the likelihood of mistakes and injury.
The chance of developing or experiencing a worsening anxiety disorder is increased by a lack of sleep or by poor quality sleep. Also, they can increase the chance of numerous health issues if used for an extended period of time, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic hypertension
- Heart disease
Sleep is crucial to your physical and emotional well-being. Sleeping properly on a regular basis can do wonders for your anxiety, and it can also help you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the day.
According to top-certified psychiatrists, there is a correlation between the quality of one’s sleep and the degree of anxiety, as evidenced by studies. Anxiety can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, but not getting enough shut-eye can have the opposite effect. If you have trouble sleeping, you may avoid bed altogether, which might make your lack of sleep worse.
Lack of sleep, according to the literature, can stimulate brain regions that cause excessive worrying, which in turn causes additional anxiety and makes falling asleep even more difficult.
Having trouble falling or staying asleep due to anxiety is rather frequent. Many treatments exist, which have allowed patients to control and even conquer their sleep disturbances.
1. Behavioral and cognitive therapy (CBT)
In cognitive behavioral therapy, the goal is to alter one’s behavior by first altering one’s thought processes. Furthermore, there is CBTI, or cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia, which is a subset of CBT designed to treat sleeplessness. It may take some time for CBT to show results, but once it does, they tend to last.
2. Better sleeping habits
In order to have a good night’s rest, it’s important to develop good sleeping routines and set up a comfortable sleeping space. No sleep issue is required to benefit from proper sleep hygiene practices. It is recommended that people who are undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy also work on improving their sleep hygiene.
Several highly regarded medical experts have suggested that meditating before bed can be helpful in relieving anxiety. In addition, diaphragmatic breathing relaxation techniques can significantly reduce anxiety right before night, according to a recent review of the literature.
Even just a few minutes of sitting still and breathing deeply can help. Learning to meditate and quiet your thoughts can help you deal with stress both during the day and at night. These restorative yoga positions will help you wind down and get ready for sleep if you struggle to meditate.
Your doctor may recommend anti-anxiety medication if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety. Your tension and worry symptoms, as well as your insomnia, may respond well to anti-anxiety medication. Unfortunately, certain drugs may have unintended negative effects or make anxiety worse. Prior to resorting to medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral changes in sleep routines would typically be tried.
Insomnia and related sleep anxiety can become a self-perpetuating cycle, with the former contributing to the latter. But, there are things you can do to get back on track if you’re struggling with sleep anxiety and worried about getting a decent night’s sleep. Communicate with your anxiety doctor about your symptoms so you can develop a treatment plan that works for you.
1. Why is it crucial to learn how to handle anxiety?
One of the most prevalent mental illnesses is anxiety. The physical body is vulnerable to the mental stress of anxiety. Studies have shown that those with anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for developing additional physical health issues. Thus, if you take care of your anxiety, you’re also taking care of your body.
2. What kind of adjustments in routine can help alleviate anxiety?
Modifying your lifestyle by getting more sleep, relying on your friends and family more, learning to cope with stress in healthy ways, and exercising regularly may also be beneficial. Keep in mind that it could be a while before you feel the effects of these adjustments on your anxiety.
3. Does aging help with anxiety?
If you have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, know that there is hope. It is possible for MDD and GAD to go into remission and for symptoms to reduce with age.