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Can Sleep Help With Anxiety

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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

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Dr. Nikki Lacherza-Drew, licensed psychologist and owner of Vici Psychological Care, suggests engaging in proper sleep hygiene to help get better sleep. Lacherza-Drew says, If you have a routine and engage in appropriate sleep hygiene on a consistent basis, your mind will be less likely to go down the rabbit hole of anxious thoughts.

Sleep hygiene refers to various habits that are necessary for good sleep quality. To practice good sleep hygiene, Lacherza-Drew suggests:

  • No major physical activity or heavy meals close to bedtime
  • No caffeine or alcohol near bedtime or after a certain time in the afternoon

Other easy ways to practice good sleep hygiene include:

  • Soaking up the morning sun
  • Limiting power naps to 20 minutes
  • Keeping your bedroom dark and cool
  • Following a consistent bedtime routine

Get Rid Of Your Clock

Clocks can be a common trigger for anxiety, especially when youre trying to fall asleep. Instead of having a clock by your bedside where you can glance at it every time you struggle to fall asleep keep a clock outside your room instead. Looking at the clock will only cause your anxiety to get worse, so avoid it altogether.

Get Up At The Same Time Daily

Creating a routine can be an effective way to combat sleep anxiety and insomnia. By getting up at the same time every day, your body will naturally start to adjust your internal clock or circadian rhythm.

One sleep study, highlighted in the Guardian as A Cure for Insomnia, found that getting up at the same time every day helped the participants body feel sleepy around the same time every night. Over time, this helped the participants bedtimes become consistent.

However, creating a nighttime routine can also have similar effects. Winnie Yu for WebMD suggests creating a nightly routine can help relax your body as it starts to anticipate and expect sleep as you follow through each step. It can also help relieve anxiety, as you know what to expect each night and each morning.

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Hatch Rest+ Sound Machine And Nightlight

Full disclosure: The Rest+ is technically designed for kids but hear me out. When I used it, it helped me sleep better than it helped my son sleep.

My brother bought it for my son for Christmas and at the time, my son was still sleeping in a bassinet in our room, so I set up the Rest+ near my bed and it didnt take long for me to become dependent on it.

I found the sound machine features incredibly soothing, though other people might find the white noise feature more soothing.

Sound machines can give your brain something for your racing thoughts to focus on and listen to as you lay down to sleep.

The color night light might also be helpful, as you can program it to match your bedtime routine and program the light to slowly dim as you drift off to sleep.

If you prefer not to get a product meant for kids, the company also recently came out with the Hatch Restore aimed at adults specifically. It has many of these same helpful features to create a bedtime routine without any of the baby-focused ones.

Shop for the Hatch Rest+ and Restore.

The Sleep You Get Is Equal To The Sleep You Give

Get rid of sleep anxiety and insomnia: Your guide to a ...

Getting enough sleep is up to you. How much are you willing to give yourself? Just enough to allow yourself to stagger through life? Or the full amount you need to walk with calm purpose? Keep track of your sleep habits. If you have trouble sleeping night after night, or if you feel tired day after day, you could have a sleep disorder. Talk to your primary care physician or a sleep specialist to get the support you need. Whatever the case may be, committing to healthy sleep over the long term can help reduce your anxiety.

Now, are you interested to know why the doctor tells his patients to make their bed every morning after a good night’s sleep?

It’s to demonstrate how healthy sleep makes it easier to give ourselves the little acts of kindness that can change our day and in effect, our lives.

How about giving yourself a BIG act of kindness? Sleep!

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Introduce Them To Journaling

Journaling is a positive way to get out stressful thoughts and soothe anxiety. Persuade your child to pen down worries and anything that makes him feel tensed. He can also note down the things he has to do the next day. This helps organize thoughts and lets the brain relax, making it easier to sleep.

Use A Flashlight Or Nightlight

Use a flashlight or nightlight if you wake during the night. Bright lights signal your brain that it is time to wake up. Instead of turning on the lights when you need to use the bathroom, keep a flashlight by your bed and use that or keep a nightlight on in the hallway and bathroom so you can see without using bright lights.

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The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

A sleep debt can have serious ramifications on your anxiety levels. One study shows that severe sleep deprivation increases one’s state of anxiety, depression, and general distress relative to those who had a normal night of sleep. Another study shows that sleep deprived individuals reported a greater increase in anxiety during tasks and rated the likelihood of potential catastrophes as higher when sleep deprived, relative to when rested.

How much you sleep each night also determineshow well you can deal with anxiety and stress. When a person gets too little sleep, the deprivation acts as a chronic stressor that impairs brain functions and contributes to an overload on the body’s systems. This overload contributes to memory loss, brain fog, confusion, and depression, making it more difficult for a person to deal with stress. Furthermore, sleep deprivation creates an imbalance in hormone levels that drive anxiety levels higher. Too little sleep also boosts adrenaline levels that can exacerbate existing anxiety issues.

Build A Sleep Routine To Transition From Day To Night

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What that routine looks like really depends on you and your needs. For some people, its meditation. For others, its as simple as taking a bubble bath before bed, lighting a scented candle, petting your cat, or reading a good book.

Whats important is that you take some time to wind down.

This means stepping away from stressful activities like paying bills, listening to the news, talking about politics, scrolling through your phone in the time leading up to you going to bed.

Its especially important to limit your screen exposure because blocking blue light at night can help you sleep.

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How Common Are Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness, affecting the lives of around 20% of American adults and 25% of teenagers each year.

Adults Affected in U.S.Percentage of U.S. Adult Population
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
7.7 million3.5%

Not all people with anxiety disorders have the same degree of symptoms or impact from anxiety on their everyday life. In one large survey, around 43% of adults described having mild impairment of their life from anxiety. Around 33% said it was moderate, and nearly 23% said it was severe.

How To Sleep With Anxiety

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep.

Not sleeping enough can make anxiety worse, research has found. “There is a pretty strong correlation between sleep troubles and anxiety,” says Mayra Mendez, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist.

However, there are ways to get a good night’s sleep even if you are dealing with anxiety, Mendez says. Here’s how:

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Can Ambien Cause Anxiety

Ambien can cause anxiety because the medication may cause changes in someones cognition, emotion and behavior.

Ambien is typically prescribed for short-term use, as the drug has high abuse potential and can be habit-forming. When taken over an extended period, people can become dependent on Ambien to sleep. Ambien was created as a non-habit-forming alternative to other sleep aids. However, Ambien is a drug that can cause chemical dependency, producing physical and psychological dependence.

If Ambien is taken on a short-term basis and as prescribed, addiction is unlikely to occur. When Ambien is taken for an extended period or taken at higher dosages, the risk of dependence becomes more likely. When used recreationally, Ambien can be administered in unsafe ways, increasing the risk of over-sedation and dependency. When abused at high doses, Ambien can cause increased energy and euphoria.

Ambien is a depressant drug and restrains the central nervous system by preventing the firing of nerves. Long-term use of Ambien can decrease the brains ability to self-regulate, causing the brain to stop producing GABA at necessary levels.

Causes Of Anxiety Before Sleep

Can sleep help with anxiety? Read this article to find out!!

Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Those that have anxiety when falling asleep may have that problem for their own unique reason. Some of the causes include:

These are only an introduction to the different issues that may cause anxiety when falling asleep. There are a variety of other reasons why a person with anxiety may struggle to fall asleep including something as simple as what you ate or drank before going to bed.

Effects and Symptoms of Nighttime Anxiousness

Anxiousness, when you are trying to get to sleep, causes both mental and physical struggles. See if these descriptions of the types of problems encountered by anxiety sufferers trying to get to sleep match up to your own experiences.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms when trying to sleep, you should take the steps outlined below to help you escape the torture of being too anxious to get a good night’s sleep.

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Have A Set Routine Before You Get Into Bed

Many of us have heard this one before, but it cant be stressed enough: you want to create the appropriate conditions for sleep before you get into bed. Dr. Farrell-Carnahan calls this the wind down period.

Your wind down period can include any or all of the following :

  • Set your thermostat for your optimal sleep temperature
  • Avoid emails, social media, and your phone or laptop in general
  • Put on comfortable pajamas
  • Wash your face or take a bath/shower to relax
  • Do a guided meditation
  • Read an enjoyable book
  • Do some light stretches or yoga
  • Have a cup of herbal sleep tea

Basically, figuring out how to calm your mind and body will help you create your own wind down period.

Are You Sleep Deprived

Once you know what to look for, sleep deprivation becomes pretty apparent. For instance, if you feel thirsty, hungry, mentally foggy, or forgetful, you could be sleep deprived. The same holds true if you feel aggressive. If you feel sleepy while driving, or drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven’t had enough sleep. Furthermore, if you often fall asleep within five minutes of your head hitting the pillow, you are probably suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

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What Are A Few Tricks To Help You Sleep When You Have Anxiety

Relaxation techniques help a person relax so that sleep pressure will be unopposed and they can fall asleep. Techniques such as breathing skills, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, meditation, yoga, constructive worry, and mindfulness can all help. Right now, there are a lot of apps you can get for free that teach you how to do these skills. A favorite free app in the sleep community is called CBT-i Coach. It was made in partnership with Stanford University Sleep Center and the VA. It has a lot of useful information about improving sleep, including a section called Quiet Your Mind. All of the techniques that benefit anxiety and sleep are there, and your phone will guide you in how to use it.

Regions Sleep Health Center employs two sleep psychologists. Not only are they trained and experienced in clinical psychology and mental health treatments, but they have additional training in assessing and treating sleep disorders. If they determine that anxiety is your chief concern, they can help you connect with Behavioral Health to treat the anxiety and then offer treatment for insomnia. If the anxiety is strictly due to poor sleep, they can usually help improve your sleep without adding medications in six to eight weeks.

Here are some resources that can help with anxiety, sleep disorders and behavioral health:

Remember The Basics Good Sleep Hygiene

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If you are struggling to get to sleep at night, think about whether or not you are doing the following:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night, even at weekends. Our body likes working to a rhythm, but listen to your body too. Lying in bed when youre not sleepy wont help your anxiety
  • Dont consume caffeine for at least six hours before you to go to bed
  • Resist napping during the daytime, but if you have to, sleep for no longer than 20 or 30 minutes
  • Get some exercise outdoors, but avoid exercising in the 2 hours before bed
  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, cool and dark, and avoid spending time in your bedroom during the evening and daytime
  • Get into a routine where you do similar relaxing activities before bed

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Dealing With Anxiety The How

Here are some ways to manage anxiety by strengthening the structure and function of your brain in ways that protect it against anxiety. Remember though, the brain is like any other muscle in your body it will get stronger with practice. I wish I could tell you that it would get stronger with pizza and tacos but that would be a dirty big lie and very unhelpful. Delicious maybe, but unhelpful. What isnt a lie is that the following strategies have been proven by tons of very high-brow research to be very powerful in helping to reduce anxiety.

  • Mindfulness. But first to show you why.
  • A mountain of studies have shown that mindfulness can be a little bit magic in strengthening the brain against anxiety. In a massive analysis of a number of different mindfulness/anxiety studies, mindfulness was found to be associated with robust and substantial reductions in symptoms of anxiety.

    Mindfulness changes the brain the way exercise changes our body but without the sweating and panting. Two of the ways mindfulness changes the brain are:

      Okay then. What else can mindfulness do?

      Plenty. Mindfulness can improve concentration, academic performance, the ability to focus, and it can help with stress and depression. It also increases gray matter, which is the part of the brain that contains the neurons. Neurons are brain cells, so we want plenty of them and plenty of gray matter for them to hang out in.

      So mindfulness hey? What is it exactly?

      Is there an app for that?


      Prepare For The Next Day

      Many people find it anxiety-provoking to think about all that they need to do the next day. Being prepared is one of the best things to do to avoid this type of anxiety. Get as much ready as you can, like having your clothes picked out, lunches and bags packed, and your alarm clock set. Putting a small amount of effort into preparation can help keep evening anxiety under control.

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      Aromatherapy Diffuser And Essential Oil Set

      Aromatherapy is a great self-care tool because its said to help improve pain levels and relieve stress.

      In particular, while research is somewhat limited on essential oils, lavender oil is one thats generally considered a natural sleep aid. For example, one older study found that lavender increased the amount of slow and deep wave sleep.

      Thats why this diffuser and essential oil set is a great tool to help you work aromatherapy into your nightly routine. Plus, the wood diffuser will look cute on your bedside.

      Sense a pattern here? Products that give you something calming to focus on before bed are a great idea because they help take your mind off your worries.

      Lighting a scented candle before bed is a great way to do that.

      Homesick makes a whole line of candles designed to evoke the smells of your home state or specific memories so its pretty easy to find a scented candle that youll find calming.

      Easing Anxiety Improves Sleep

      5 Ways to Limit Sleep Anxiety

      The good news about anxiety and insomnia being so closely related is that, if you help one problem, you also help the other.

      For example, Neubauer said, if you have an anxiety disorder, then getting treatment with cognitive therapy, meditation, or medication can have the indirect effect of improving sleep.

      Short of getting treatment for an anxiety disorder, said Neubauer, there are ways people can, on their own, sleep better. For instance:

      Practice relaxation techniques. Many approaches, such as nighttime meditation or yoga, can combat anxiety. Neubauer recommends you start by learning new relaxation techniques earlier in the day so youre not putting too much pressure on yourself before bedtime. Then, once youre comfortable with it, you can do it later in the day.

      Get into a regular sleep routine. Going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day lets the bodys internal circadian clock work better. Getting up at odd hours can undermine that rhythm.

      Schedule some idle time before bed. A common problem is that, when people get into bed, its the first time theyve had to ponder the day, Neubauer said. Try to sit down and think about the day before you get ready for sleep. Jot down any concerns on a piece of paper if you need to remember tasks for the next day. Dont use the time before bed to pay bills or other anxiety-inducing activity.

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