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How To Deal With Insomnia

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Stop Reading About The Importance Of Sleep

How To Deal With Insomnia

Focusing too much on the importance of sleep is a big no-no. People with sleep anxiety know sleep is important it’s why we’re anxious! All those studies and articles about the benefits of a full night’s rest are meant for those who don’t prioritize sleep, not those who are desperate for it and make time for it, but still aren’t getting enough.

If you’re in generally good physical and mental health, your body can handle bouts of sleeplessness, according to Tal. It may be a tad uncomfortable, but it’s usually doable. Catastrophizing a sleepless night will only drag out the suffering.

Some experts suggest rewarding yourself, whether with a favorite food, a trip to the movies, whatever, the day after a bad nights sleep. Disassociate a bad nights sleep from having a bad day the next day. Dont lean in to the tiredness. I was actually surprised at how well I was able to function after a poor nights rest once I let go of how I was supposed to feel. Show your body and your brain that lost sleep is not as big a deal as youd made it out to be.

In fact, a 2017 study found that believing yourself to be an insomniac was a better predictor of daytime impairment than actually sleeping poorly.

How I Cope With Insomnia

It’s about 3.20am. I know this not because I’ve checked the clock recently I just know it’s about 3.20am. Let’s add it up: went to bed at 10.30pm, read for a bit, lights out, turned over a few dozen times , moved upstairs to avoid waking my wife, meditated for half an hour , tried again, turning and turning , went to look at the sleeping children, turned the pillows over to find the cool side , put pyjamas on , turned over on to my front to try and squash myself to sleep, tried sitting up, kneeling, and in a moment of absurdity tried going to sleep standing up. So that would make it past 3am.

I fight the urge to check the clock. It always says terrible things like 03.38, or 04.29 and never 22.17. Checking the clock just amplifies the anguish: that I am awake, have been for hours and will be, quite possibly, for ever. What a fictional horror that would make: someone who has forgotten how to sleep.

The three phases of night

For the insomniac, different times of the night have different qualities. The time between 10pm and 11.30pm is the golden age that you want to hold and cherish and keep forever. This is the time that you feel nostalgic about when the clock reads 04.29. For at this time, there is still a chance that you will disappear suddenly into the void and, the next thing you know, there will be birdsong and milkmen and dawn tiptoeing into the edges of the room. Still a hope, still a chance.

A passive pursuit

Three ideas for insomniacs

Get Rid Of Bright Lights Or Loud Sounds

If youre having trouble falling back asleep, look for any lights in your bedroom that may be disturbing you. LED lights from electronics and light coming through your window may it more difficult to fall back asleep.

If a disturbing sound is coming through your window from outside, try shutting your window to block it out. Using earplugs, turning on a fan, or listening to white noise can also help you drown out disturbing sounds.

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Keep Noise To A Minimum

Keep the bedroom as quiet as possible to help you nod off at night. Some noise is unavoidable. Traffic outside, a barking dog, and dripping faucets can be distracting. Wear earplugs at night to drown out ambient noise. You can use a fan or a white noise machine to mask sounds. Fix leaky faucets, squeaking doors, and other noisy distractions around the house. Ask family members to keep the noise down after hours and respect your bedtime routine.

How To Get Rid Of Anxiety So You Can Sleep Better

How I Deal With Insomnia. 10 Proven Tips To Get Quality ...

If youre struggling to fall asleep due to anxiety, it could be that treating the anxiety will help solve your insomnia and lack of sleep as well. Anxiety disorders should only be diagnosed by a licensed therapist or medical professional, and these professionals can also help you find treatment regimens as well as, potentially, medications to control the condition. You should not try to self-medicate for anxiety disorders, and should only medicate per the medical advice and supervision of a psychiatrist.


One of the most common and effective treatments for anxiety disorders is continued and guided therapy with a professional counselor or therapist.

The branch of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be effective for many people, as it helps patients suffering from anxiety disorders create new, positive thought pathways that can help when in anxious situations. There are three different types of CBT, each with an individualized approach in treatment, including interpersonal therapy, thought records, and modern exposure therapy.

Another form of therapy is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, also known as ACT. This form of therapy is more focused on mindfulness training and taking action based on personal values, and is unique in that it is not focused on symptom reduction.


Shifting Your Perspective

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How To Deal With Stress

Are you stressed enough over finances, your job, relationship conflict or other stressors that you’re experiencing insomnia? You’re not alone! While sleep researchers generally agree that insomnia prevalence statistics vary because of the criteria used to define insomnia, at any one time about one-third of adults sampled will experience some form of insomnia, either difficulty going to sleep, trouble staying asleep, or insomnia so severe that it disrupts daytime activities. New diagnostic criteria for insomnia released in 2020 reinforce the connections between insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Although not always stress-related, these associations with mental health and the pace of daily living make insomnia an important topic for us to discuss here.

Because sleep is so important to overall health, insomnia can affect your life in many ways. A sleep deficit can make you feel mentally slower and more emotional, which can exacerbate your experience of stress. Dealing with lasting insomnia can cause stress, too, which can lead to more stress-related insomnia. And, if your insomnia is stress-related to begin with, being overly tired and stressed does nothing to help solve the problems creating the stress in the first place. Here are a few things to try if you are dealing with stress-related insomnia.

Dietary Supplements For Insomnia

There are many dietary and herbal supplements marketed for their sleep-promoting effects. Although they may be described as natural, be aware that sleep remedies can still have side effects and interfere with other medications or vitamins youre taking. For more information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Stick To A Sleeping Routine

One of the most effective ways to overcome insomnia is to put yourself in a sleeping routine. A healthy sleeping routine means that you go to bed and wake up at fixed hours. If you do not fall asleep in 15min, move to some other room and indulge in a quiet activity such as reading or listening to slow music in dim light. When you begin to feel sleepy, get into bed.

Make sure not to move your wake-up time to compensate for the lost hours of sleep, and that your sleeping schedule gives you at least 78 hours of sleep. Furthermore, avoid taking naps during the day. However, if you do need to nap, stick to a power nap of 1520min only.

Why You Should Steer Clear Of Sleep Meds

How to deal with Insomnia

Sleeping pills and other sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals can offer a short-term solution to a temporary bout of insomnia. And plenty of people use them. But often, prescription sleep aids come with unpleasant side effects like headaches, sore muscles, constipation, dry mouth, daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and more. Add them all up, and theyre about as badif not worsethan your garden variety sleep deprivation.

Still, even if youre one of the lucky few who dont experience side effects from taking sleeping pills, you likely wont benefit for long. Most people quickly build up a tolerance to the sedative effects of sleeping meds. This either means that you have to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect, or they stop working altogether.

Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.

Either way, it doesnt add up to a healthy sustainable solution. Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.

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How Anxiety Can Affect Sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to increased chances of anxiety, but anxiety can also cause a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, the two can intertwine quite a bit, causing one to exacerbate the other.

Anxiety can have a negative effect on your bodys ability to fall asleep as your brain is in fight or flight mode, thinking of all potential outcomes for whatever is causing the anxiety. Furthermore, anticipatory anxiety and specific anxiety about sleep can lead to sleep disturbance and insomnia, which then creates a feedback loop that can make both conditions worsen. Insomnia can also make you more irritable and more worried, as your brain is not getting all the sleep it needs in order to function at normal levels.

However, its not uncommon to experience anxiety related to sleep. As Winnie Yu, a writer for WebMD noted in her article Scared to Sleep, sleep anxiety is a form of performance anxiety. Many people may stress about not getting enough sleep to function, but the stress alone of trying to sleep can cause people to sit awake for hours. Additionally, other fears such as recurring nightmares, fear of sleep apnea , and more can all lead to disturbed sleep.

Dont Be A Hero: The Negative Effects Of Insomnia

Ever heard someone brag that he or she only needs six hours of sleep? While its admirable to try to put a positive spin on a negative situation, taking a heroic attitude toward sleeplessness can be bad for your health. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Getting insufficient sleep can:

  • Cause fatigue, irritability, and excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Cause weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight
  • Weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick
  • Cause elevated blood pressure and can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Contribute to chronic pain
  • Exacerbate mental illness, including depression and anxiety
  • Reduce focus and concentration, leading to decreased performance at work

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What Have Researchers Found About Cbt

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia improves the time it takes to fall asleep, total sleep time, and how well you sleep in the short term and long term .
  • CBT-I does not appear to have side effects.
  • In the short term, the medicines eszopiclone , zolpidem , and suvorexant improve the time it takes to fall asleep and total sleep time. There is not enough research to know if the medicines work or are safe in the long term .
  • Medicines for insomnia disorder have side effects, some of which can be serious.
  • Avoid Tobacco For Better Sleep

    How to deal with insomnia to get a good night

    Nicotine has an effect on neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that influence mood and sleep. Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Studies have proven that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. Nicotine use suppresses restorative REM sleep. Smoking increases sleep-related respiratory problems. See your doctor if you’d like to quit smoking. There are medications and nicotine-replacement products that can help you wean off slowly and quit. Don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Many people try to quit a few times before they finally kick the nicotine habit for good. Many people are concerned about weight gain when they quit. Your doctor can advise you about diet and exercise strategies to combat that.

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    Why Insomnia Happens

    Insomnia can be temporaryor it can be long-term. But regardless of how long you have to deal with it for, its never fun.

    At some point or another, most of us will experience a short, unpleasant bout of insomnia. Often, its the result of stress or a change in routine , or medications that mess with sleep like antidepressants, blood pressure meds, allergy meds, and corticosteroids. The good news is that usually, once you find a way to deal with the situation, your sleep pattern will get back to normal.

    But other times, insomnia can become a long-term thing. Sometimes, that can happen as the result of a more serious health condition, like depression, anxiety, or sleep apnea. Other times, insomnia can stem from crappy sleep habits, like eating too many heavy snacks before bed, sleeping in an uncomfortable environment, or staying glued to your smartphone or tablet all night long.

    Either way, missing out on sleep leaves you feeling exhausted, irritable, and generally unable to function during the day. And over time, it can put you at risk for health issues like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

    But no matter how long your insomnia lasts for, theres usually a way to deal with the root of the problem and start sleeping better. And fortunately, there are plenty of options to consider.

    Does Anxiety Go Away

    For those people that are diagnosed with a legitimate anxiety disorder, the condition is unlikely to go away. Some people may be able to better control their anxiety disorder with the help and guidance of a therapist or psychologist, and medications may help further control the condition. There may also be specific coping mechanisms to help manage anxiety disorders, however, a permanent cure for anxiety does not currently exist.

    For those that do not suffer from an anxiety disorder, but only have occasional or intermittent anxiety from time-to-time, this is normal and healthy behavior for many people. Temporary anxiety is likely to diminish over time, and if it is related to a specific place or person, removing yourself from those situations may help the anxiety go away after some time.

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    Avoid Checking Your Phone Or Other Screens

    Screens from smartphones and other electronics emit blue light that may suppress your bodys melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in your brain that helps regulate your circadian rhythm and sleep cycles.

    While its best to avoid checking your phone at night because of the potential for mental stimulation, there are some ways to reduce your exposure to blue light.

    Many devices offer a nightshift mode that changes your screen to a warmer tone. Glasses with amber lenses are also an inexpensive way to block out blue light.

    Take The Pressure Off Sleep

    How to deal with your insomnia and finally get to sleep | Sleeping with Science

    As mentioned, when losing sleep becomes a regular occurrence, bedtime itself can become stressful. If you’ve reached this point, there are a few things you can do to take the stress off insomnia.

    First, if you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to get up and do something after a few minutes, when you’re sure that sleep is a long way off.

    It’s also a good idea to use your bedroom primarily for sleep so that you associate your bed and your bedroom with sleep and not stress. Think of getting up and reading a book, getting things done around the house, and doing other not-too-stimulating activities that can help foster sleep when you’re ready. Also, avoid caffeine during the afternoon and evening.

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    Improving Your Sleep Hygiene Is A Good Start

    We all have periods in life when our sleep is interrupted or moments when we are challenged with our sleep, this is normal, and with proper sleep hygiene, this can be corrected relatively quickly. For more long-term sleep disorders, it is important to work with your doctor to find long-term solutions.

    Anxiety and stress can impact a persons sleep in a big way and working with a therapist or life coach can be highly effective in gaining tools and having support while working through these feelings and managing thought patterns in the long run.

    What Happens When We Sleep

    Sleep is one of the most important actions our bodies take to recover and improve our overall health. Many people with difficulty sleeping often think about how to sleep better the following is a list of sleep tips that might help to improve your quality of sleep. We have 3 levels of sleep that help us to allow the body to recover from mental and physical wear and tear.

    When we go to bed, our bodies cycle through 3 stages of sleep.

    The first stage of sleep is when our bodies start to slow down and doze off. The first stage is the transition into deeper sleep, and we are most easily woken up during this stage.

    The second stage of sleep is a more subdued state our body temperature drops and our muscles relax, our breathing and heart rate slow down. Collectively we spend about half of our time in this stage of sleep.

    The third stage of sleep is our deep sleep, and it is the most challenging stage to wake from. Muscle tone, pulse, and breathing decrease as the body relaxes even further. This stage is critical for restorative sleep, allowing our bodily recovery and growth. This stage may also bolster the immune system.

    There are links to insightful thinking, creativity, and memory during this stage of sleep.

    We spend the most time in deep sleep during the first half of the night. As the night continues, this sleep stage turns into REM sleep. We have all heard of REM sleep, and it is the sleep most connected to cognitive functionfor example, learning, creativity, and memory.

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