Fear Of Not Sleeping Affects Most Of Us
While it is true that not all of us encounter the fear of not sleeping and not all of us are deprived of sleep either. However, the experts conclude that about one-third of the human population does not get the sleep that it requires.
So, even if you are not one of them, there is a 1 in 3 three chance that you will encounter somebody during the course of the day that has been directly affected by a lack of sleep. That is to say, there is a distinct possibility that you will encounter somebody with negative emotions or somebody who is super sensitive to threatening and non-threatening stimuli on any given day.
That is something you perhaps ought to think about when you encounter somebody grappling with these emotions during the course of your day. It doesnt make your day any more pleasant but it is something worth noting and even understanding.
If you are one of those people who encounter the fear of not sleeping, a concerted effort needs to be made to ensure that your life doesnt get ruined by the effects of it. One failed job interview or one poorly presented work assignment is not the end of the world.
Also to be taken into consideration is the fact that those who are sleep deprived are less likely to take risks. The fear they have associated with not being able to sleep is so great that actual and glorious opportunities in life are likely to be missed because of it.
Do not let the fear of not sleeping have an adverse impact on your professional life.
Avoid Stressful Activities Before Bed
Amber Weiss, licensed psychotherapist and founder of Transformative Mindset, says, Creating some form of a transition from daytime to sleeping is highly recommended. According to Weiss, you cant expect the mind to go to sleep on demand. Instead, you need to allow time for the brain to transition, just like we transition to go outside or when we get home.
The goal is to reduce the nervous thoughts in your head so your mind is clear, calm, and positive before you head off to sleep. This can entail leaving the office, work, news, and social media exchanges for earlier in the day to create buffer time between work and sleep, setting yourself up for better rest.
Stop Worrying By Practicing Deep Breathing
When we worry, we often focus on bad things that might happen in the future. Staying in the current moment can help relieve worries and negative thinking plus reduce physical symptoms.
You may experience shortness of breath or chest pain when you start to worry. Practicing deep breathing can redirect your attention from your worries and help you become grounded in the present.
Whether youre having trouble sleeping or you feel a panic attack coming on, deep breathing is a quick and easy way to stop worrying.
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Schedule Some Worry Time
Just as you schedule time to see friends or get a massage, do the same with your worries. Schedule 15 to 30 minutes a day, at least one to two hours before bed, to write down those worries. In addition, create at least one action item you can do to help deal with the issue. Thinking through those potential stressors earlier in the day should help ease how much you worry about them when your head hits the pillow, Chan says. Ideal sleep depends on creating routines and schedules, and this is no different, he says.
What Does Anxiety Feel Like
The symptoms of anxiety disorders can affect people both emotionally and physically.
People with anxiety may feel extremely nervous and on-edge. This can affect their concentration and mood, leading to irritability and restlessness. Their fear or sense of impending doom can feel overwhelming and out-of-control.
Physically, anxiety disorders can provoke tense muscles, rapid breathing and heartbeat, sweating, trembling, gastrointestinal distress, and fatigue.
Many people with anxiety disorders attempt to avoid situations that could trigger heightened worry however, this does not resolve their underlying fear and can interrupt both professional and personal activities. Over time, a person with anxiety disorder may get used to being worried such that a state of distress or fear seems normal.
Anxiety disorders can occur alongside other mental health problems like depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , nearly 50% of people with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
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What Problems Might I Have With Sleep
Everyone needs sleep, but many of us have problems with it. You might recognise some of the experiences listed below, or have other difficulties with sleep that aren’t mentioned here.
- find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up earlier than you’d like to
- have problems that disturb your sleep, such as panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares or psychosis
- find it hard to wake up or get out of bed
- often feel tired or sleepy this could be because you’re not sleeping enough, not getting good quality sleep or because of health problems
- sleep a lot which could include sleeping at times when you want, or need, to be awake.
“When I get depressed, I sleep so much at its worst it was 18 hours a day, because it was the only way that I could stop thinking and stop my mind from saying awful things to me.”
If you’re having problems sleeping, you might:
- be more likely to feel anxious, depressed or suicidal
- be more likely to have psychotic episodes poor sleep can trigger mania, psychosis or paranoia, or make existing symptoms worse
- feel lonely or isolated for example, if you don’t have the energy to see people or they don’t seem to understand
- struggle to concentrate, or make plans and decisions
- feel irritable or not have energy to do things
- have problems with day to day life for example, at work or with family and friends
- be more affected by other health problems, including mental health problems.
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.
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How To Stop Worrying About Sleep
So we know that there is a link between anxiety and insomnia, and that the worrying may actually be leading to worse health problems than the insomnia itself. But how do we break the cycle between worry and insomnia to get a better nights sleep?
To help you overcome your fear and reduce the dread associated with sleep, try some of these methods:
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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Relieving Anxiety That Keeps You From Falling Or Staying Asleep
If sleep worries are getting in the way of your ability to unwind at night, the following strategies may help. The goal is to train your body to associate the bed with sleep and nothing elseespecially not frustration and anxiety.
Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. With many of us working from home now, it can be difficult to avoid, but if possible dont work, use your computer, or watch TV in your bedroom. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your brain and body get a strong signal that its time to nod off when you get into bed.
Move bedroom clocks out of view. Anxiously watching the minutes tick by when you cant sleepknowing that youre going to be exhausted when the alarm goes offis a surefire recipe for insomnia. You can use an alarm, but make sure you cant see the time when youre in bed.
Get out of bed when you cant sleep. Dont try to force yourself to sleep. Tossing and turning only amps up your anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath. When youre sleepy, go back to bed.
Tip : Interrupt The Worry Cycle
If you worry excessively, it can seem like negative thoughts are running through your head on endless repeat. You may feel like youre spiraling out of control, going crazy, or about to burn out under the weight of all this anxiety. But there are steps you can take right now to interrupt all those anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from relentless worrying.
Get up and get moving. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment because it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being. Even more importantly, by really focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant flow of worries running through your head. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the sun or wind on your skin.
Take a yoga or tai chi class. By focusing your mind on your movements and breathing, practicing yoga or tai chi keeps your attention on the present, helping to clear your mind and lead to a relaxed state.
Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This can help you break the endless loop of worrying by focusing your mind on your body instead of your thoughts. By alternately tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body, you release muscle tension in your body. And as your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
Relaxation techniques can change the brain
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Cant Sleep Because Of Anxiety Here Are 5 Techniques To Help You Relax
Its one of the reasons why Sunday night anxiety can lead to such a poor nights sleep when youre feeling overwhelmed about the prospect of the week ahead, the idea of not being able to get to sleep , can trigger additional anxiety.
Jemma Park, a sleep expert at peoplewhosleep.com, explains: A common thought among sleep anxiety sufferers is that they are worried that they wont be able to get the correct amount of sleep to cope with their next-day demands.
The type of stress that you feel as youre about to drift off may also stem from performance anxiety. If youre constantly under pressure to deliver on a daily basis , you may see sleep as an additional needs to be perfect task.
In this way, people with sleep anxiety may find themselves dreading going to bed not because they fear the idea of being asleep, but because theyre worried about not getting enough sleep to function the next day. The irony of all this is that sleep anxiety can stop people from getting to sleep in the first place, creating a vicious cycle.
However, while sleep anxiety can become a very disruptive and debilitating condition, if youre struggling, there are also a number of things you can do to manage sleep anxiety and bring some of your fears under control.
Am I Worrying Too Much
If you have the occasional anxious thought, theres likely no need to be concerned about your emotional well-being or mental fitness. However, chronic worrying can be a symptom of something more serious, like an anxiety disorder. This type of worry can lead to physical symptoms like muscle tension, insomnia or poor sleep hygiene, stomach pain, back pain, and panic attacks.
Are anxiety and chronic stress starting to interfere with your daily life, work, or relationships? If so, its time to get serious about learning how to stop chronic worrying.
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What Causes Anxiety Before Sleep
According to clinical psychologist Emily Knott, Anxiety before bedtime often takes the form of a phenomenon referred to in psychology as pre-sleep arousal.
Knott says that pre-sleep arousal may cause the body and nervous system to enter a state of heightened awareness that may take the form of problem-solving, thinking about your own thoughts, focusing on stimuli in the environment such as noise and light, and ruminating about the consequences of not being able to sleep.
While there hasnt been extensive research conducted on sleep and anxiety, there are a few reasons why your anxiety may be worse at night. Here are possible causes.
Fears Related To Sleep Apnea
Still others are fretful about sleep because they have health conditions. People who have sleep apnea for example, sometimes fear that theyâll stop breathing in their sleep.
âOnce the apnea is under control, people sleep better knowing theyâre not waking up multiple times a night,â Harris says.
So what can you do to eliminate the fear of sleep? Hereâs what experts suggest:
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How Can Anxiety Cause Insomnia
If you go to bed feeling anxious, whether youre worried about work, or something in your personal life, lying in bed without any distractions gives your mind the time to go over and over your worries.
This can lead to your anxiety building, and your bodys fight or flight response being activated. This is our bodys way of protecting us in threatening situations and causes physical changes, including an increase in heart rate and the release of adrenaline, which are designed to help us be stronger or run faster . If your anxiety triggers your fight or flight response while youre in bed, these changes can over-stimulate your body, so that you can find it impossible to drop off to sleep.
Unfortunately, the link between anxiety and insomnia can act like a vicious circle. If you cant sleep because youre feeling anxious, this lack of sleep can make you tired, irritable and even more anxious the next day. You may struggle to get to sleep again the following evening, resulting in the cycle starting all over again.
If youve reached the stage where your anxiety is leading to insomnia and your insomnia then leads to more anxiety, its time to take steps to stop the cycle and achieve positive mental wellbeing again.
Avoid Lying In Bed Awake
If youre lying in bed for more than 20 minutes and still cant fall asleep, it might be time to give yourself a do-over. While it may feel counterintuitive, Lawson suggests leaving your bedroom to do a sleep-inducing activity, like having a cup of tea or reading a book. This conditioning, known as stimulus control, can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
If youre going to try stimulus control, its important to remove yourself from your bedroom environment. This helps give you a mental reset when you try to fall asleep again.
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Is Your Worry Solvable
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if youre worried about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. What if I get cancer someday? or What if my kid gets into an accident?
If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After youve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, youll feel much less anxious.
If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. If youre a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably fall in this camp. Worrying is often a way we try to predict what the future has in store-a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesnt work. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesnt make life any more predictable. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. To stop worrying, tackle your need for certainty and immediate answers.