Anxiety can be quite a challenging condition to deal with especially at night. Have you ever been terribly exhausted at night, but the minute you drop on your bed and turn off the light, your mind gets reeling down a hole of intrusive thoughts?
Nighttime anxiety can be quite scary. And you know what feeds it? Worry. Worrying about overwork, financial and relationship problems, family, and many other similar situations.
Anxiety before bed is quite a condition many anxiety patients experiences. As much as it is normal to be anxious over many life situations from time to time, it could be quite detrimental to your health if it interrupts your night’s sleep.
Anxiety insomnia occurs when your anxious state affects your sleep, and when you don’t get enough sleep, you are vulnerable to many health problems. In this piece, we shall be looking at how affects your night’s sleep and how you can calm yourself.
How Does Anxiety Affect Sleep?
Anxiety insomnia is a common condition for many anxiety patients, and for the record, it isn’t only those diagnosed with anxiety that actually experience this challenge. Everyday problems can make a normal person anxious and it can even go as far as affecting sleep.
Many people find themselves too anxious to sleep because of the numerous problems they worry over. For others, it may have become an underlying challenge. More so, anxiety can affect sleep at any time but the most common condition is preventing you from falling asleep in the first place.
With your mind cluttered with disturbing thoughts, you can hardly reach dreamland not to talk of falling asleep, and the more you are deprived of sleep, the more your anxiety heightens. In a June 2013 study in the Journal of Neuroscience, it was suggested that sleep deprivation worsens anxiety and it also induces a stress response.
So, you see. Anxiety and sleep are linked at their core. Anxiety prevents sleep, and deprivation of sleep worsens anxiety as well.
Symptoms of Sleep Anxiety/Anxiety Insomnia
When you can’t sleep as a result of anxiety, you are bound to experience a change in behavior such as
- Feeling irritable
- Feeling there’s danger or trouble coming
- Feeling overwhelmed
You could also experience nighttime anxiety effects physically before bed. They include:
- Digestive problems
- Fast breathing
- Tensed muscles
- Profuse sweating
Also, many sufferers of anxiety insomnia have regular nocturnal panic attacks. A panic attack occurs when one experiences a sudden fearful feeling. They mostly happen at night and they often wake you from sleep.
How to Cope with Nighttime Anxiety
Practice relaxation techniques:
To combat nighttime anxiety, you can begin yoga and nighttime meditation. However, always learn and practice these relaxation techniques during the day so as not to put yourself under much pressure before bedtime. Melatonin supplements such as melatonin gummies can be extremely helpful as well, augmenting our body’s natural instinct to sleep.
These relaxation techniques will put you in a more relaxed state during the day. It may also help you to sleep better at night and you can also take some nice herbal tea before turning in for the night. Herbal tea is one of the drinks that will help you sleep better and it could also be quite helpful in making you sleep easier.
Have a sleep routine:
Going to bed and waking up around the same time daily conditions the body to adapt to the routine. However, rising at odd periods could interrupt that culture and this could affect your night’s sleep. Be sure to have a sleep routine.
Anxiety and sleep share quite a delicate relationship and if sleep is in any way interrupted, it could worsen your anxiety problems. Sleep timely, wake timely.
Take out some time to think about how your day went before bedtime:
You don’t have to get in bed and begin to think about how your day went for the first time. Try to do that before retiring to bed. Night-time anxiety can take root with an influx of thoughts in bed. If you have pressing concerns, jot them down on a piece of paper.
If you have tasks to do the following day, write a to-do list. Also, be sure not to use the time before bedtime to do anything that could be anxiety-inducing.
Try to preserve your relaxed state until you lay down to sleep.
Screen time? Scratch that:
Of course, you should know that smartphones and other screen devices affect sleep. Thus, being in bed with any screen device could worsen anxiety and insomnia. Research indicates that the blue light that emanates from most screen devices has the capability of interrupting the circadian rhythms of the body.
This interruption may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. So, 30 minutes before bedtime, ensure you put away your smartphone and other screen devices. It will help you sleep better and faster.
Cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake:
Taking a glass of alcoholic wine before bedtime isn’t nighttime anxiety friendly. The sleep that mostly occurs after an alcoholic drink is usually disrupted and somewhat light. You won’t want to have such an inconsistent sleep pattern as they could leave you vulnerable to nighttime anxiety problems.
More so, caffeine can stay for many hours in your system. So, when it is evening, avoid it.
Try to occupy yourself with other fun-filled activities whenever you think about an emotional or anxiety-inducing issue:
Thinking and worrying over problems are at the core of anxiety triggers. Anxiety insomnia thrives with worrisome thoughts. Thus, whenever you think about them, try getting out of bed and occupying yourself with activities such as reading a book, yoga, and the likes that could really work.
More so, if you use your bedroom only for sleep and sex, you will be conditioned to fall asleep whenever you lay down in your bedroom. This is another way to combat nighttime anxiety. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep.
Whether you are an anxiety patient or not, you should always be watchful about how you worry and stress over things and issues. Being mentally stable is also dependent on a very healthy sleep routine.
You could try all these methods to combat anxiety. However, if it looks like it’s getting out of your control, be sure to see a doctor.