Anxiety Stress And Insomnia Are Closely Related
When it comes to anxiety and sleep, there’s a bit of chicken and egg situation: it’s hard to know which problem came first.;
However, research has found that insomnia and stress are closely related. Studies have shown that stress causes lack of sleep, and that lack of sleep, in turn, “activates many stress-related pathways” in the brain.;
Because of this, treating one condition can help with the other. According to Mendez, getting enough sleep is part of an overall care plan for managing anxiety, with or without a formal diagnosis. On the other hand, for people with anxiety disorders, treatment with medication and therapy can help address sleep issues.;
“If you’ve tried all these practical, non-invasive strategies, there is no crime in seeking out medical help,” Mendez says.;
Your Body On Stress What Exactly Is Stress And How Does Your Body Handle It
Stress is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
In short, it is the way by which your body experiences and manages external pressures, whether they are mental or physical.
A normal level of stress can actually be good for the body and can motivate you to work harder, focus and even improve performance.
But, this is only the case when the cause of the stress is short term. Too much stress can have the opposite effect and lead to chronic health problems. To understand why, it is important to know how exactly your body responds to stress on a physiological level.
Normally, when faced with a situation of stress, your nervous system causes your body to release stress hormones, particularly cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
This is part of what is known as the fight or flight response in the body and its the system that gets you ready to fight or flee your challenge or dangerous situation. These hormones subside once the external threat is removed and the body begins to relax again.
But, when you are under stress continuously, this aggravation to the nervous system doesnt subside and it can have a devastating effect on your overall health.
Your endocrine system, regulated by the brain, is also affected. This can have an effect on everything from mood and tissue health to blood sugar metabolism and reproduction.
Sort Out Your Finances
65 percent of Americans lie awake due to money issues. Sometimes easier said than done, sorting out your finances can be a good way to reducing your stress and helping you to get a good nights sleep.
While it might not always be easy to reduce financial stress, you might be having trouble sleeping because you havebeen avoiding your financial problems and, because they dont just disappear, they will haunt you, at night.
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Plan The Following Day Well Before Bedtime
Some people get stressed when preparing for the next day just before going to bed, which may result in anxiety and overthinking. Plan everything for the following day, like preparing lunch or laying out clothes or any other arrangement. This should be done at least a couple of hours before you go to bed and enable you to chill and wind down when finally you reach your bed.
Tip 5: Drink A Golden Latte
Golden Mellow is everything you need to calm your nerves and relax your body from the inside out; turmeric, ashwagandha, ginger, cinnamon, lucuma and pepper. Turmeric is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory powers, while ashwagandha will reduce your stress and anxiety and help you get a good nights sleep.
The next time you need to find your calm in the chaos, mix up a Golden Mellow Latte! Get the recipe here!
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Emphasize Relaxation One To Two Hours Before Bedtime
In the evening hours, decrease stimulation as much as possible. Dim the lights and slow things down. Do something you find relaxing, such as reading while wearing blue light blocking glasses, practicing gentle yoga without doing any inversions, or taking a warm bath. As much as possible, make relaxation the theme of the evening. If certain tasks are unavoidable, then practice doing them in a slower, more relaxed manner.
At dinner, eat a combination of high-quality proteins and complex carbohydrates, like quinoa mixed with sautéed greens or baked chicken breast sprinkled with roasted pumpkin seeds. For dessert, try a bowl of fresh tart cherries or a frozen yogurt made with frozen tart cherries and coconut milk. Then, right before bed, consider taking a supplement such as magnesium glycinate, a popular sleep aid that works to;reduce the stress of the nervous system and promote a steady state of relaxation.*
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.
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Let Go Of Any Fearful Thoughts
Have you ever been so worried about going to sleep that you end up sleepless? Yeah, its the worst. Fearful thoughts like this create tension in the body, and a body that is tense will not be able to fall into a deep sleep. The fear of not being able to fall asleep can easily keep one from falling asleep night after night. When those thoughts creep in, I often use the affirmation, “I choose to relax and let go now.”
Play With Light And Sound
Light and sound can play a large role in whether or not you sleep well. In the evening, a few hours before bed, try dimming the lights. Sleep in a pitch-black room or wear an eye mask. If you find that youre more relaxed with some background noise , try switching on a fan or noise machine while you sleep. Earplugs are also a great option if youre sensitive to noise.
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Practice Breathing Through Your Left Nostril
It has been observed that breathing in and out through the left nostril soothes and relaxes the mind and body. Try this before bedtime by blocking the right nostril and take long, slow and deep breaths using your left nostril only. According to Kundalini Yoga, 26 deep breaths through the left nostril before bedtime will, along with relaxing your mind and body, also help to induce a relaxing sleep. In certain cases inhaling the smell of plants or essential oils can help in reducing stress and anxiety.
Avoid Caffeine Nicotine And Alcohol
If youve had a stressful day or youre anticipating a stressful day tomorrow, limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. Sleep Health Foundation advises avoiding caffeine and alcohol intake at least four hours before going to bed.;Caffeine, a stimulant, will make it harder for your body to relax. Alcohol, which suppresses breathing and reduces rapid eye movement, or REM, will interrupt your sleep cycle. If your sleepless nights are happening frequently and causing you distress, be sure to talk to your doctor or a therapist about your concerns.
Use these strategies when you are worried or stressed to take an active role in determining your quality of sleep. Now that you have the tools you need to stop worrying at bedtime, say goodbye to sleepless nights and hello to sweet dreams.
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Transform Your Room Into A Sanctuary For Sleep
Here are five tips for transforming your bedroom to promote better sleep:
How To Fall Asleep Fast: Better Sleep Hygiene Is Crucial When You’re Anxious
If stress and anxiety are affecting your sleep schedule, look no further. We spoke to researchers to find out tips for falling and staying asleep — even during the pandemic.
You’re lying in bed at night, with every intention of going to sleep to get that full eight hours of rest. But your brain doesn’t seem to want to turn off. Chances are, there’s something in your life that’s keeping you up — a big project at work, a child going off to college or, you know, the global pandemic that is killing thousands of people each day and has radically changed the way most of us are living. Next thing you know, you’re watching the clock and your thoughts start to spiral — I’m still not sleeping, I have to wake up in three hours, I’m going to blow my presentation, I’m going to get fired.
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If you’re finding that you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some research-proven tips that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, broken into three categories: environment, routine and emotional state. ;
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Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Similar to deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that also counteracts the effects of stress on the body and promotes relaxation. PMR consists of tensing and releasing your muscles to encourage a relaxed state. Use a guided PMR video or audio routine such as this sleep routine.
Take The Pressure Off Sleep
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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Change The Position Of Your Bed
As stated above, there are times when the human brain requires something new to destress. You may not be able to change much in the bedroom but switching the position of the bed can do wonders.
Try to find a spot that allows you to receive as much fresh air as possible. If you live in an apartment where the morning sun hits the face directly, this change of position can be great. It can also allow switching of the bed to a spot with little risk of the suns rays in the morning.
This should provide the freedom to sleep in after a stressful workweek.
What Are Its Physical Signs
You wake up on the living room sofa in a daze, confused about how you got there and why your kids are asking you whats for breakfast. As you scramble to check the clock, you suddenly realize that your kids are about to miss the school bus and youre going to be late for a very important meeting. Your heart starts racing, and beads of sweat dampen your forehead.
With no time for breakfast, you down some coffee and join the sea of cars moving along at a snails pace. By the time you finally get to work, youve missed the meeting entirely, and your boss demands an explanation. Your stomach is in knots and a million possible excuses flood your brain.
The day drags on, but at 5 oclock, you finally begin your journey back home in more standstill traffic. When you walk through the door, youre bombarded with questions about whats for dinner, and you feel your breathing accelerate. Hours later when you crawl into bed, you find yourself wide awake despite obvious exhaustion.
Racing heart, sweaty palms, upset stomach, difficulty sleepingthese are just some of the physical responses you may be feeling when you have a fight or flight reaction to a stressful situation. This response was designed to be temporary, giving your body the tools it needs to quickly remove yourself from a dangerous situation. As soon as youre safe, the body initiates the parasympathetic nervous system to go back to a resting state.
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Talk To Your Family And Friends
Are you having trouble in your relationship? Or are you finding it difficult to focus at work due to one issue or the other? If the answer is yes, keeping those problems to yourself can aggravate stress levels.
This is why it is important to talk to the people in your inner circle. Discussing the underlying causes of your stress and seeking their opinions on the best way forward can be rewarding.
Not only can this help you come up with quicker solutions, talking about stressors alone can be therapeutical too. Youll be amazed at how much your sleep will improve afterward.
Get Your Worries On Paper
Calming an already-stirred up mind can be challenging, so also implement some calming practices before you even get into bed.
Dr. Whitney Roban, a clinical psychologist and family sleep specialists number one piece of advice for people suffering from night-time anxiety is to keep a journal where you can write down all those clingy thoughts.
When you get these thoughts out of your head and onto paper, there is a good chance they will not infiltrate your mind when its actually time to go to sleep, Dr. Roban says. Many people also like to make lists in their journal of the things they need to do the next day.
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Have A Nutritious But Light Meal At Dinnertime
Eat food that contains nutrients like melatonin, tryptophan and magnesium that will assist in promoting sleep. At dinnertime it is advised to eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein- rich food. An ideal combination would be quinoa, chicken breast, sautéed green vegetables and roasted pumpkin seeds. Frozen yoghurt with fresh or frozen cherries, with coconut milk, can do wonders for your sleep.
Do You Need To Get Better Sleep
If youâre waking up tired and fuzzy-headed, it can be harder to remember things, like where you left the keys when youâre rushing to get out the door, or maybe at work, you donât feel as focused or productive as you could be.
Being tired also throws your hunger hormones out of whack â a sleepy brain loses executivefunction, so itâs harder to make healthy food choices. What that means is, when you hit a wall late in the afternoon, youâre more apt to grab a candy bar, a bag of chips, or other sugary or salty snacks that would not get a nutritionistâs stamp of approval.
Not surprisingly, by the time you get home you may be feeling irritable or cranky, and a little wound up. Not the best state of mind for peacefully drifting off a few hours later.
To feel your best during the day, you need to sleep well at night. Unfortunately, thereâs no magic wand you can wave to make that happen. But there are some simple steps you can take to help you sleep better.
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Work Through Your Stress
If you’re losing sleep due to anxiety, you may be able to relax and get better sleep with a change of perspective. Anxiety, including the type that keeps you up at night, is often a natural response to situations that need some sort of action. Viewing your situation as a challenge to be faced, rather than a threat, can help you get into an active, decision-making mode rather than remain in an anxious, passive state.
Looking at a situation from different angles can help you see opportunities you may have missed. Cognitive restructuring can help you change your perspective on a stressful situation.