Sunday, May 15, 2022
HomeMental HealthHow Does Anxiety Affect Sleep

How Does Anxiety Affect Sleep

- Advertisment -

Top Effects Of Anxiety On The Body And A Few Natural Remedies

How Sleep Really Affects Your Anxiety Levels

Anxiety can have a number of different effects on the body, all of them bad. When youre anxious, it affects nearly everything from your thoughts and emotions to your blood pressure and your muscles. Thats why its so important to learn how to handle stress and anxiety in a healthy way. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that will help you overcome your anxiety. Lets take a look at some of the effects of anxiety and some natural ways you can deal with it, such as by taking red horn kratom.

How Can Healthier Sleep Habits Treat Sleep Anxiety

Sleep habits, or sleep hygiene, are your routines around bedtime that can affect your sleep. Your healthcare provider may ask you to keep a sleep diary for several weeks. This is a daily log of your sleep habits. It can help identify things that might make it harder for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Some common ways to improve your sleep hygiene include:

  • Avoid drinking lots of fluids before bed, especially alcohol.
  • Do relaxing activities before bed, such as meditation or listening to soft, peaceful music.
  • Dont consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Dont go to bed unless you feel sleepy.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • If you dont fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, quiet and softly lit.
  • Only use your bed for sleep and sex. For example, avoid watching television or doing work in bed.
  • Set a goal of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
  • Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Try not to eat right before bedtime. If youre hungry, have a light snack and not a big meal.

Excretory And Digestive Systems

Anxiety also affects your excretory and digestive systems. You may have stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Loss of appetite can also occur.

There may be a connection between anxiety disorders and the development of irritable bowel syndrome after a bowel infection. IBS can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

Don’t Miss: How To Track Sleep On Fitbit Versa 2

How Does Anxiety Affect Your Sleep

While everyone struggles to fall asleep and tosses and turns in bed now and then, frequent nights without slumber could indicate a more serious issuea sleep disorder.

About one-third of U.S. adults report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. This, in turn, could indicate other medical concerns, including untreated mental health issues. A 2019 article published by the Harvard Medical School suggests that those with mental health conditionsespecially anxietyare more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders.

Not everyone who struggles with sleep necessarily has mental health concerns. But if feelings of dread, restlessness, and uneasiness keep you up at night, its best to address those issues head-on.

Below, our in-depth guide shows how anxiety goes hand-in-hand with sleep and explains what treatment can help manage the symptoms.

Key Points To Remember About Sleep And Anxiety

What to Do When Anxiety Affects Your Sleep  RISMedia

This page is about sleep in primary school children. It’s part of a whole section on sleeping sound.

  • anxiety is probably a common cause of difficulties settling to sleep at both the start of the night and overnight
  • you can help by trying to understand your child’s fears
  • acknowledge that being scared or worried is normal and that all people feel scared or worried sometimes
  • avoid scary TV shows, including the news or videos, or stories that may add to your child’s fears
  • teach your child skills to get over their fears
  • teaching your child to relax can help them to fall asleep at bedtime

Also Check: Does Zoloft Cause Insomnia

Why Anxiety Causes Sleep Problems

Anxiety can affect sleep in a variety of ways. Nearly every symptom of anxiety has the potential to disrupt your ability to sleep since sleep is only possible when your body and mind are relaxed.

Sleep problems may be caused by any number of factors. These include:

Often those with severe anxiety also have negative thoughts which may make relaxation, a key part of falling asleep, difficult to attain.

What Happens When Anxiety Interrupts Sleep

When anxiety causes inadequate sleep, it can go beyond the tiredness of a regular all-nighter. Poinsett says that anxiety can be a trigger for sleep deprivation, creating a vicious cycle that can further affect your sleep pattern.

While the impact of sleep anxiety is largely individual, some common effects of sleep anxiety include:

  • Negatively impacts your mood
  • Increases chance of depression
  • Reduces cognitive reaction times

A small study even found that those who have insomnia are four times more likely to develop depression.

In addition to mental health issues, those with sleep disorders can be at risk for other health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

Also Check: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep

How Can I Tell If Its Anxiety Or A Sleep Disorder

Sleep disorders are very common in anxious people. Anxiety makes it difficult to quiet your mind and body to go to sleep. Not long ago, we believed that if the sleep problem was caused by another medical or mental health condition like anxiety, you would treat the cause and the sleep problem would go away. We now know this isnt true. If the anxiety is treated, the sleep problem may remain. The current belief is that you must treat both problems.

But not all sleep problems start with another condition like anxiety. Some people only have anxiety about sleep. Their anxiety is caused about worrying about sleep or how they will function after a night of bad sleep. If this struggle continues night after night, they start to dread the bed. During the day, they arent anxious, but once they start thinking about going to bed, their anxiety rises. Other people are anxious about sleep because of something that happens during sleep. It could be nightmares, fear of sleep walking or other behaviors that only occur when the person is asleep and unaware, or waking up gasping for air due to untreated sleep apnea. Sometimes its fear of the dark. Additionally, about 40 percent of people who have panic attacks will have nocturnal panic attacks. Essentially, they wake up from sleep in a panic. All these things make sleep something to be feared, and if you dread your bed, youll have problems sleeping.

How Sleep Can Affect Stress

Why Anxiety Affects Your Sleep… & Vice Versa (& How to Cope)

High-quality sleep can have a hugely positive impact on our health, including a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can even boost your mood and cleanse your skin. One of the most impactful benefits, however, is the effect it can have on stress levels.

While some stress is natural, too much of it can be detrimental to your health. Some stress can be caused by different internal and environmental factors, but it is largely impacted by how much sleep you get, or dont get. With a growing number of overly-stressed adults, getting enough sleep has become an increasingly important and healthy lifestyle choice. Here are some of the ways that sleep can affect your stress levels, and how to make sure youre consistently a good nights rest.

Recommended Reading: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep

How Can I Teach My Child To Get Over Their Fears

Teach your child skills to get over their fears. For example:

  • discuss ways to respond to nighttime fears, such as by ‘being brave’ and thinking positive thoughts
  • tell your child how you deal with something that frightens you

You can also try reading stories about children who are afraid and conquer their fears.

For example, for younger kids:

  • ‘David and the worry beast: Helping children cope with anxiety’ by Anne Marie Guanci
  • ‘The huge bag of worries’ by Virginia Ironside

For older kids:

  • ‘Mind your mind’ by Leigh Hay and Julie Johansen
  • ‘What to do when you’re scared and worried’ by James J. Crist

So What Does Sleep Or The Lack Of It Have To Do With It

Just like many of the reasons listed above, losing sleep or having a sleep disorder can either cause or make the condition worse. In fact, nearly all psychiatric disorders are linked to some sort of sleep issue.

The Harvard Health Newsletter points out that sleep disorders were traditionally considered symptoms of a condition. However, recent studies have concluded that these sleep issues may raise the risk for, and even directly contribute to, the development of some psychiatric disorders. This is evident across both sleep health and mental health studies.

Sleep disturbances-(particularly insomnia are highly prevalent in anxiety disorders and complaints such as insomnia or nightmares have even been incorporated in some anxiety disorder definitions, such as generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, Staner said.

Harvard Health agrees with this describes but they go further by describing the neurological connection between the two:

Sleep disruption which affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, among other things wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation. In this way, insomnia may amplify the effects of psychiatric disorders and vice versa.

Also Check: Best Time To Take Zoloft To Avoid Insomnia

The Struggle Against Sleep Deprivation And Anxiety

Struggling with sleep deprivation and anxiety is something that a lot of people experience. The two problems can make each other worse you may be unable to sleep because you feel anxious, but a lack of sleep can exacerbate your anxiety. According to the Sleep Foundation, anxiety is frequently connected to sleeping problems. Excess worry and fear make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Sleep deprivation can worsen anxiety, spurring a negative cycle involving insomnia and anxiety disorders.

Because these two issues often go hand-in-hand, it’s a good idea to look at the two problems together. Addressing them both at the same time can help to really deal with each issue, reducing anxiety and improving your sleep.

Why Panic Disorder And Anxiety Cause Sleep Issues

How Does Anxiety Affect Your Sleep?

People with panic disorder, panic attacks, and other anxiety disorders are often susceptible to sleep issues. These can include insomnia , panic attacks, or other sleep problems. Since lack of sleep may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, it is important to try to treat these sleep problems.

Recommended Reading: O2vent Optima Price

What Causes Anxiety Disorders

The exact cause of anxiety is unknown. In fact, researchers believe that there is not one single cause but rather an interplay of factors that include a persons genetics, family history, and exposure to negative life events. Some health problems and drugs can also contribute to symptoms of anxiety.

When You Wake Up Panicking At 3 Am

Weve all been there a nightmare or stressdream causes you to wake up. The next thing you know youre lying thereoverthinking your finances and everything you have to do the next day.

When this happens, what can you do to getback to sleep?

  • Stop watching the clock: Counting the minutes will onlyheighten your distress. Turn your alarm clock around and dont pick up yourphone.
  • Try to relax your body: Use a relaxation strategy thathelped prior to bed to relax your body and mind.
  • Get out of bed: If you cant fall back to sleepafter a stressful dream, then try getting out of bed to help decrease thefrustration. Dont spend time in bed hopelessly trying to get back to sleep orinterpreting your dream. Once you leave your bed,find an activitythat is uninteresting or boring. When you start to get drowsy, go back to bed.

Since dreams obviously arent measurable, theres no real answer to what meaning they hold in our day-to-day life. But we do know that we generally have control over daily stress, which can trigger weird or anxiety-clad dreams. Learning to control the crazy and manage your stress is your best defense to help you sleep peacefully.

You May Like: Can Sleep Apnea Cause Anemia

Recommended Reading: How To Use Nose Clip For Snoring

Chronic Elevated Levels Of Adrenaline

Finally, one of the things that we know about anxiety is that the physical symptoms can be increased when levels of adrenaline in the body are high. These physical symptoms, such as racing heart and hyperventilation, can actually lead to greater feelings of anxiety themselves. Anxiety has been associated with chronic adrenaline release. The body, for whatever reason, seems to release adrenaline too quickly and too easily even when there is no stress present, and this rush of adrenaline causes the entire body to feel on edge.

So what’s interesting is that scientists have shown that those with sleep debt often have chronically elevated levels of adrenaline. One interpretation of these findings is that when you don’t get enough sleep, adrenaline may start to course through your veins more often. For those without anxiety this may not be too big a problem. However, those with anxiety are likely to respond to the the adrenaline increase and thus experience an increase in overall anxiety levels.

How Can I Comfort My Child When They Are Scared

SLEEP: How sleep affects anxiety and depression, and what to do about it

It is important to comfort children who are scared. When your child holds onto you as they are being tucked in, or calls out in fear, you should go back to their bed and find out what is wrong. Be sure to tell them that they are safe.

You could say something like this:

“You are safe we are here to make sure you stay safe.”

You May Like: Formula Fed Babies Sleep Better

Personalized Strategies For Managing Your Anxiety And Sleep

Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but your genetics play a role in how you experience anxiety and how you respond to it. Some people are genetically predisposed to showing more of certain anxiety symptoms like excessive worrying, tension, nervousness, or lingering guilt. Being predisposed to feel or behave in those ways in response to anxieties can have a tangible impact on someones mental wellness.

The Genomind Mental Health Map looks for genetic variants linked to those predispositions across anxiety, as well as for variants associated with distinct sleep traits like trouble falling asleep. That wealth of information is organized in a way that allows you to understand your genetic foundation.

The in-depth reports then connect your genetic predispositions with specific, evidence-based actions you can take to target the underlying biological processes responsible for that predisposition. The thorough understanding and personalized, targeted strategies given to you with your Mental Health Map empower you to make real changes in your life to control your anxiety and sleeping behavior.

While the tips listed above can be a great starting point for many people, the Mental Health Map gives you a truly expert starting point for sustaining and improving your mental wellness.

Create A Bedtime Routine

Nightly routines are just as important for adults as they are for children because they signal to your brain that its time to relax for sleep. Routines get your body used to when its time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. When thinking about what to do as part of your nightly routine, Dr Tang recommends the following:

  • Stop drinking caffeinated drinks about six hours before your bedtime
  • Switch to camomile tea or warm water or milk instead
  • Plan for the next day by preparing your outfit and lunch
  • Have a bath, which tends to be more soothing than a shower
  • Stop scrolling through social media/your smartphone one hour before bedtime
  • Keep a writing pad by your bed for if you wake in the middle of the night and need to remember something write it down

Other things you could do as part of a relaxing bedtime routine include:

  • Reading
  • Meditation, including body scans and sleep meditations
  • Listen to a calming audiobook or music
  • Go to bed at the same time every night to get your body clock used to it

What if your nightly routine doesn’t work? If nothing helps, maybe getting up and repeating the pre-sleep routine can help distract and create a new association between sleep and your wind-down routine, suggests Johanna Scheutzow. “Theres nothing worse than lying in bed, trying to wrestle with your worries.” Get out of bed and distract yourself. When youre feeling tired again, go back to bed.

Read Also: Garmin Forerunner Sleep Tracking

What Causes Sleep Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural part of being human. Were meant to feel afraid or worried in dangerous situations. Stress and anxiety trigger our bodies to release hormones that help us react quickly to escape harm. But if you have chronic anxiety, you might feel stress or worry all the time. You may feel fearful of everyday situations like driving to work or even falling asleep.

Chronically high levels of these hormones, especially before sleep, can make it hard for your body to relax. You may have difficulty falling asleep. If you do fall asleep, you may wake up during the night with stressful or worrisome thoughts and not be able to fall asleep again.

The combination of a anxiety and insomnia can also be caused by a condition where there isnt enough thyroid hormone in your bloodstream and your metabolism slows down .

Research suggests that anxiety can affect rapid eye movement sleep. This is the phase of sleep when you tend to have vivid dreams. If you have anxiety, the dreams may be disturbing or turn into nightmares that wake you.

Just as anxiety can affect sleep, sleep can affect anxiety. Sleep anxiety is a common characteristic of insomnia, wherein the individual begins to experience anxiety during the day and evening about poor sleep, which may help cause another night of bad sleep.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

How To Get Better Rem Sleep

- Advertisment -