There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to sleep requirements, since everyone is unique. However, with a better understanding of the dynamics at work during your sleeping and waking hours, you can learn to adjust your habits to achieve your particular sleep goals. Here are some tips that may help you to finally get a good night’s sleep even if you suffer from anxiety.
Creating an Environment Conducive to Good Sleep
Fortunately, some of the most essential modifications you can make to improve your sleep hygiene are simple, one-time improvements to your surroundings. They’re all designed to help you fall asleep, and remain asleep, according to your circadian cycle. The majority of them are changes you can implement immediately. Keep the basic trinity in mind: cool, dark, and quiet.
To aid with the transition to sleep, you should turn off the harsh light of the day. If you don’t have a dimmable light in your bedroom, a couple of bedside lamps is a great option. It’s a good idea to turn the lights down an hour before bedtime. Darkness and dim light indicate to your body that it is time to sleep. Because light and dark play a crucial role in regulating our internal clocks, it’s beneficial to be exposed to bright light first thing in the morning.
Humans are creatures of habit and our bodies like routines. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and morning. A bedtime routine is a set of activities you do in the thirty to sixty minutes before bedtime in the same order every night. Bedtime rituals vary, but they frequently include self-care activities such as taking a warm bath or shower, reading, journaling, or meditation. A relaxing regimen will help you eliminate stress, get ready for a good night’s sleep, and relax your muscles.
Reading is a terrific alternative to surfing through social media or watching TV before bed. Before going to bed, read a humorous novel or an engaging non-fiction book to unwind and leave the day behind. Because reading thoroughly engages your attention, it will help you forget about your cares and pressures from the day as you immerse yourself in the world of your book. Reading is a great way to unwind before bed. However, avoid reading the news or other literature that may cause you to become stressed.
Outdoor exercising is beneficial for the mind, body, spirit, and sleeping patterns! But avoid exercising in the two hours before bed. Also, avoid spending time in bed throughout the evening and daytime. Save your bed for sleeping.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol from the late afternoon to promote great sleep. Instead, the best herbal teas will help you unwind and may even put you to sleep. Look for teas with chamomile, valerian root, and lavender as components.
If you’re in a relationship, connecting emotionally and physically with your significant other before bed might help you relax and ease stress. Take a few minutes to communicate, whether it’s to share highlights from your day or to air your problems and concerns. Make an effort to connect physically as well, even if it’s simply snuggling. If you’re in the mood, a little sex before bed might help ease stress and anxiety while also promoting sleep.
Why Am I Not Sleeping After Following Good Sleep Hygiene Habits?
Anxiety is usually linked to sleep disturbances. Excessive anxiety and terror make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxiety, resulting in a vicious cycle of insomnia and further anxiety problems.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States, and lack of sleep has been linked to a variety of physical problems. As a result, recognizing and treating the relationships between anxiety and sleep can be critical to both physical and emotional well-being.
Calming Nighttime Anxiety
Various techniques can teach you how to calm anxiety at night. These include autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, white noise, breathing techniques, yoga and meditation, and even the use of technology. RISE, an innovative sleep app and resource, has a helpful and informative guide on calming nighttime anxiety. This sleep app works all day to understand your biology, track your sleep debt, improve your daily habits to result in better sleep, and experience real results, fast. RISE creates schedules that incorporate routines aimed at resolving the underlying reasons for your sleep problems. It uses science-based methods to help people turn routines into long-term habits that support a good sleep routine for life.
You might also want to keep a sleep journal. This can be dedicated to your sleep habits. Every day, scribble down the things you did before bed, your thoughts and feelings, how you slept during the night, and how many hours you managed to sleep. This can help you understand your sleep pattern, what causes your anxiety to worsen, and what relieves your worried thoughts and sensations. This understanding can therefore assist you in taking efforts to improve your sleep anxiety in the future. This is different from your general journal which can also be beneficial in promoting better sleep. It’s entirely up to you which format you choose. Make lists, free write anything that comes to mind, or concentrate on the challenges and feelings you’re dealing with. Writing can assist in reducing stress and calming an anxious mind. Sometimes it helps to write out all of your problems and get them out of your head, allowing you to unwind and go to sleep.
To fall asleep, avoid employing poor coping techniques such as keeping the light or television on during the night. Alternatively, you may have been using medication, alcohol, or drugs to fall asleep, and it is strongly advised that you quit. These will not address the underlying difficulties that are preventing you from sleeping, and will just provide you with a temporary fix that could evolve into a long-term issue in the future on top of your nighttime anxiety.
Finding relaxation techniques that work for you, such as muscular relaxation or visual imagery, can enable you to focus on something other than your anxious thoughts. You might wish to listen to some soothing music or white noise while doing this. These types of relaxation tactics may involve commitment and patience, but they can help you sleep better over time.
If you’re suffering from sleep anxiety and it’s affecting your life significantly, despite your best efforts, it’s highly recommended that you get professional help to learn coping methods to help you manage your symptoms. Your first port of call should be your primary care physician to discuss your concerns. They will be able to advise you on the next steps for an evaluation, diagnosis, and specialist treatment.