If you have ever watched the time roll swiftly by while trying to fall asleep for hours, then you know how distressing insomnia can be. Insomnia can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. It may even cause someone to awaken before they want to. Anxiety is the body’s response to stress and stress and anxiety can contribute to insomnia.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is an effective way to reduce anxiety and alleviate insomnia. CBT can help you identify and address thought patterns and feelings that contribute to your anxiety and insomnia. In addition, when CBT is used for insomnia, it can help you manage the thoughts and feelings that keep you awake and reduce the worry about losing sleep that may also keep you up at night. You can find a qualified therapist with experience in CBT at BetterHelp.
The Relationship Between Anxiety and Insomnia
Sleep issues affect more than half of the people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. However, the relationship is more complicated than just assuming the cause and the effect. This is because sleep deprivation can make it more likely that someone will develop anxiety. Also, anxiety can contribute to the loss of sleep.
Studies found that good sleep can help to make someone more emotionally and mentally resilient and that sleep disruptions can contribute to negative thinking and emotional sensibility. Treating insomnia may help symptoms associated with anxiety and the treatment of anxiety may help the symptoms related to insomnia.
In addition, the people who struggle with mood and anxiety issues have more low-function days when they did not get adequate sleep. Anxiety can cause worry that can prevent someone from falling asleep. In addition, anxiety can also increase heart rate and cause other symptoms that may disrupt sleep.
So, what can you do to help the symptoms associated with insomnia and anxiety?
Mindfulness techniques can help you improve your insomnia because it can help increase our awareness and avoid the tendency to follow negative thinking patterns. There is a focus on non-judgment about the thoughts that pass through your mind.
Mindfulness meditation may help to lower our heart rate and encourage slow, deep breathing that can help us drift into a restful sleep. To begin mindfulness meditation, you should remove all distractions and get into a comfortable position. Then, breathe 10 times. Count to 10 on the inhale, hold the breath for 10 counts, and then exhale for 10 counts. Do this 5 times.
When doing this breathing exercise, focus on the present moment and the breathing. Let any thoughts pass without judgment. It is also best to mindfully meditate every day to reap the benefits.
Have a Routine
Just having a simple sleep routine can go a long way towards improving your sleep quality. This routine can include mindfulness mediation at the same time before bed or when you wake up each day. It could be reading a book, drinking a cup of tea, or taking a long bath. Whatever works for you to relax at the end of the day.
Having a routine means that you also leave behind your work, bills, news, and anything else that may cause stress. You should also try to avoid your phone or any other screens before bed because these lights can harm the quality of your sleep.
It is also a good idea to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This includes weekends or nights before you have a day off. Doing this can help our internal clock to tell us when to relax and when to wake up.
It may be hard to do, but if you are just laying in bed and are not able to sleep, you should get up and restart your bedroom routine. Avoid turning the lights back on, but you can read a few pages of a book, drink a cup of chamomile tea, or relax in the way that you like to. Then, you can go back to bed and may fall asleep faster than you would if you just stayed there trying to force yourself to knock out.
Exercise can help to improve your sleep as well. Exercise can help to increase the amount of deep sleep that we get and can also improve our mood. Try to exercise at least 3 times every week. The research also indicates that it is best to exercise one or two hours before you plan on going to bed so that you can calm down.
In addition, if you do not exercise, your risk of insomnia increases. Poor sleep can make it more difficult to work out or participate in physical activity because of fatigue but doing so can help you end an unhealthy cycle.
Final Thoughts on Anxiety and Insomnia
Anxiety can cause insomnia and insomnia can worsen symptoms associated with anxiety. It is important to address both issues. This means that you may have to adjust your routine so that you can improve the quality of your sleep. It may also mean that you need to try some new things to help your anxiety levels such as mindfulness meditation or therapy. Doing these things can improve your mental health and wellbeing and make you feel more rested to do the things that you want.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels