Sleep anxiety is a type of performance anxiety. It can be described as the fear of not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep. This fear can cause a great deal of stress and can even lead to sleep problems, blood pressure issues, and an overall lack of sleep.
Some people with sleep anxiety may lie in bed for hours without being able to summon the sandman. They may also have difficulty staying in dreamland once they do drift off. For others, sleep anxiety may cause them to wake up frequently throughout the night. As a result, they may feel exhausted during the day. While most individuals experience occasional bouts of insomnia, people with sleep anxiety often find it difficult to get a good night's rest on a regular basis.
Are you struggling to catch quality zzzs at night? Do you find yourself constantly lying in bed awake, anxious about not being able to fall asleep? Don't worry, you're not alone. Millions of people worldwide struggle with sleep anxiety every night. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with it!
Here are some helpful tips from us here at Love Wellness for overcoming sleep anxiety to finally get some rest:
1. Set an Unwinding Routine
The shocking truth is that 50 to 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder. In other words, there are a whole lot of adults out there not getting the sweet dreams they deserve. Fortunately, one of the most effective ways to bring on the sleepies is by practicing relaxation techniques.
This can involve anything like:
- Listening to calming music before bed
- Practicing deep breathing
- Trying progressive muscle relaxation
- Doing some yoga
By training your mind as well as your body to relax on command, you can help reduce sleep anxiety and make it easier to fall asleep – and stay asleep – through the night. Relaxation techniques can support your overall well-being by combatting high levels of cortisol, thus helping you get a good night’s sleep.
2. Write Down Your Worries
Many people who experience anxiety may have trouble falling asleep because they can’t stop worrying. If you're one of these sleepy individuals, you may find it helpful to write down all the thoughts that cause you to worry before going to bed. This can help you to clear your mind and focus on sleep.
Once you've written down your troubles, try to devise a plan to address them. This will greatly help you to feel more in control and less anxious, thus aiding a better night of sleep.
3. Use a Calming Scent
Anyone who has suffered from irregular sleep patterns or sleeping issues knows how frustrating and exhausting it can be to spend night after night tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. For many people, sleep anxiety is the culprit.
Luckily, there are a few simple things that can be done to ease sleep anxiety and promote better sleep — such as using a calming scent. Here are some of our favorites:
Simply add a few drops of a snoozy essential oil to a diffuser or spray bottle and mist the bedding before climbing in. The scent will help to relax the mind and body, helping you sleep better.
4. Get Some Movement
Did you know that there's a connection between a lack of exercise and poor sleep? Yup, it’s true — researchers suggest that regular exercise can support quality shut-eye. But there's a catch: if you exercise too close to your bedtime, it can actually keep you awake.
This is because when you work out, your body temperature and heart rate increase. Of course, this is all perfectly normal and healthy. But it can also make it harder for you to fall asleep. So if you're looking to get some good sleep, try to exercise earlier in the day. That way, you'll have plenty of time to wind down before bedtime.
5. Take a Warm Bath
Most people enjoy a warm bath before bed as a way to relax and get ready for sleep. That said, other than the fact that soaking in warm water feels oh-so-good, did you know that there are scientific reasons behind why this works so well?
When you soak and relax in warm water, your body temperature rises and then cools down again when you get out. This natural drop in temperature is known to promote drowsiness, making it much easier to fall asleep.
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6. Skip the Nightcap
According to a recent study, the solution for anxiety-induced sleep disruptions might be as simple as skipping that after-dinner drink.
The research found that alcohol consumption before bed can lead to increased levels of anxiety and poor sleep quality.
Moreover, the study participants who abstained from alcohol reported feeling more rested and less anxious than those who had a drink before bed. So if you're struggling with sleep anxiety or other anxiety disorders, it might be time to put down the nightcap and give yourself a chance to catch some quality ZZZs.
7. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
If you're struggling with sleep anxiety or other sleep disruptions, one of the best things you can do is create a sleep schedule and stick to it. This means going to bed as well as waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends, and making sure to get enough hours of sleep.
Having a regular sleep schedule and healthy sleep habits helps regulate the natural circadian rhythm of your body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
In addition, it's important to create an environment that promotes relaxation and comfortable sleep. This means:
- Keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
- If you have trouble sleeping, avoid watching television or using your computer in bed, as the blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm.
- Focusing on calming activities such as reading or journaling to ease symptoms of anxiety and wake up feeling rested the next day.
By following these simple tips, you can overcome sleep anxiety and other sleep disturbances and get the restful night's sleep you deserve.
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If you're struggling with sleep anxiety, know that you're not alone—and that there are quick and simple things you can do that can ease your anxious mind and get the restful night's sleep you deserve.
Try incorporating some of these useful tips into your bedtime routine and see how they work for you. And if your sleep anxiety is severe or persists despite your best efforts, be sure to talk to a mental health professional who can help you develop a more comprehensive treatment plan.