Anxiety and Insomnia: 8 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

– Posted in: Anxiety, Stress

InsomniaIf sleepless nights are your main complaint, then you are not alone.

Insomnia is cited as being the cause of at least $63 billion in lost productivity from the American workforce on an annual basis due to lowered productivity from fatigue.

It has been reported that between 30 – 35% of adults express symptoms of insomnia at some point in their lifetimes.
 
 
The symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Exhaustion
  • A reduced attention span
  • A higher likelihood of making mistakes
  • Changes in emotional well being
  • An urge to sleep during daytime hours

When coupled with anxiety, insomnia can have even more devastating effects, as those who live with anxiety already spend much of their waking hours dealing with mental and physical stressors.

Insomnia is not just limited to having a lack of sleep, though it can also be viewed as having poor quality sleep. It has been found that the elderly and women in general are more likely to develop insomnia than other groups.

Insomnia can also be seen in people who have issues with sleep duration as they wake too frequently or it can be because the person wakes too early on a consistent basis.

There are multiple types of anxiety disorders, ranging from general anxiety disorder or GAD to phobias to obsessive-compulsive disorder or as it is more popularly known as OCD. Considering that over 40 million adults in America alone are thought to have anxiety, the fact that insomnia and anxiety are reported to be very well bonded, gives urgency to the need to find ways to manage these disorders.

The science relating insomnia to anxiety

Insomnia is one of the key aspects in identifying disorders such as PTSD, acute stress disorder and general anxiety disorder (GAD). A further aspect intrinsically linking anxiety and insomnia is that those with both a major depressive disorder (MDD) and an anxiety disorder tend to have a far worse experience with insomnia.

Chronic insomnia can lead to anxiety disorders

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, those who have insomnia for long bouts of time or are suffering from chronic insomnia, are more likely to develop anxiety because of the elevated levels of stress.

This is especially true within these individuals due to the continual fatigue. The same study published in the journal, Sleep, found that those with chronic insomnia also have a greater chance of developing depression.

This study states those who are consistently reporting insomnia should also be checked out for other symptoms that correspond with anxiety. These patients should also be constantly consulted with over a long term period in order to be vigilant against the development of anxiety.

How to combat your insomnia

1. One of the best ways to induce exhaustion is to exercise

This will create muscle fatigue aiding in the production of the necessary physical fatigue that will help you get to sleep faster and maintain that sleep for longer periods.

2. Have a smaller dinner

Another tip is to have a smaller dinner to reduce the digestive load that your body is required to take on before bed time.

3. Drink tea

Perhaps an even better idea would be to drink tea.

Decaffeinated tea, unlike coffee or other caffeinated beverages will not lead to a spike in your nervous system and will help soothe your muscles, as the warming effects allow for greater relaxation.

4. Have a regular bedtime

Get into the routine of having bedtime at a certain hour; this will train your brain when to feel tired and when to feel alert and energetic.

5. No blue screens in your bedroom

In addition, one should reduce all technological exposure and try to make your room as dark as possible, to limit the amount of distraction that your eyes can attempt to focus on and therefore keep you awake at night.

6. Write your thoughts

Writing your thoughts and what you are grateful for can help with a sense of calm or if you like you can just write a journal about the day’s events. This will also help the mind to unwind.

7. Your diet

One other idea to aid in lessening both your anxiety and your insomnia can be found in your diet. Increasingly new research has pointed to the micro biota within the stomach as being central to the development and treatment of mood disorders amongst other illnesses. Probiotics have been found to aid mice that expressed behavioral symptoms similar to anxiety.

8. Reading

Reading is for many people a time-honored mechanism of ensuring a restful night’s sleep, or at the very least inducing sleepiness in those who have issues with falling asleep. Perhaps its time to pull out your favorite novels, biographies and joke books, all in the name of some quality shut eye.

Conclusion

Insomnia is a credible risk factor for the development of anxiety; however, there are numerous reliable natural mechanisms to help with the management and ultimate alleviation of this disorder.

For a better night’s sleep tonight, why not try improve your diet or perhaps just snuggle up with a good book?

Sarah is the author of Relax Everyday, a place where people can look into the various techniques and strategies that can help achieve relaxation, practice meditation, and perform massages properly.

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12 Comments… add one
tổng đài September 18, 2017, 5:28 am

Insomnia is just thinking too much, worrying out. When I was in school, when I went to the exams I also lost too much sleep, feeling helpless

xkld đài loan September 18, 2017, 10:46 pm

I usually drink a glass of warm milk before going to bed, walk about 3 km. My sleep will be much deeper and deeper

lam dai cop September 24, 2017, 11:14 pm

thanks so much, my friend

phan anh October 3, 2017, 10:35 pm

why i cant wake up early?
phan anh recently posted…Vincom Shophouse Quảng NgãiMy Profile

Matt April 5, 2018, 10:34 pm

Great article!
Just wanted to five my insomnia-busting tips!
1 – Meditate – as much or as little as you have time for. It helps me too calm my mind before sleeping.
2 – Yoga & Cardio Exercise – I can’t sleep without raising my heart rate for at least 30 mins per day.
3 – Avoid Social Media – You know it’s true…haha! Living your life waiting for “likes” is the best way to increase stress and affect your sleep!!!
Hope this helps some of your readers.
Keep up the great work!
Matt recently posted…A cure for stress? – Are there really any benefits of weighted blankets???My Profile

Liz May 1, 2018, 6:58 pm

Thanks for sharing your tips. I definitely agree that having regular bedtime is very important. Unfortunately, it’s impossible because of my work in the hotel. Sometimes I have to work mornings and other days nights. I had a bit of insomnia before but it has been getting worse and I think irregular sleeping schedule is the main reason.

Aaron May 3, 2018, 1:19 pm

The older I get the worse my sleep gets. I do know and confirm this..anxiety is the ultimate enemy! I just went through a life crisis, and that has almost been a year ago now, and I still can’t sleep like I used to! I wake up every 2 or 3 hours. I have done many things, such as working out every day, and the problem is still there. I am still working on it and hope to inform people if and when I do fix the problem!
Aaron recently posted…8 Reasons Why I Sleep Better Than YouMy Profile

Liz May 3, 2018, 10:55 pm

Sorry to hear about that! Hope you’ll manage to solve that problem soon. Do let me know when you find a solution and what helped you most.

Aaron May 4, 2018, 9:11 am

Thanks Liz. I discovered some info about people who exercise and don’t sleep well. That may be part of the problem. I have reduced my anxiety, but I changed my lifestyle to do it. Therefore, I am going to try something I read…eating a bit more daily! I’ll let you know!

Melissa May 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Yes, diet and exercise are big ones for me! I learned that if I have too much added sugar in my diet during the day, then my sleep quality is terrible – even if I work out that day.
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Emma August 24, 2018, 10:25 am

Great, Sleep is the important thing in daily routine. To leave the healthy life you need require seven hours of sleep a night. You need to improve your sleep quality.

david September 6, 2018, 3:59 am

I suffer from insomnia and have trouble staying asleep. I’ll have to try some of the methods you shared here. I usually sleep with the TV on, which probably doesn’t help. When I was on vacation last week, I slept without it and got much better sleep.

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