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Is Anxiety Affecting Your Sleep?

by BetterSleep
Jan 21 • 3 min read

Do you start to feel anxious once you’re in bed and trying to fall asleep? You’re not the only one. It’s not unusual to reflect on the previous day, or to begin to worry about the day ahead. Anxiety is normal, but it can also be severe and problematic, preventing you from getting a good night of sleep. Taking proactive steps to manage anxiety will help you to start sleeping better in no time.

When Is Anxiety a Problem?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion. Feeling nervous and anxious in certain situations is a part of life. like meeting new people, giving a public talk, or taking a test. Anxiety can be motivating, but it can also become problematic and interfere with how you live and enjoy life.

If anxiety overwhelms you and impacts your daily life, you could have an anxiety disorder. Symptoms include:

  • Regular, frequent feelings of worry, restlessness, and nervousness
  • A sense of impending doom or danger
  • Physical symptoms, like sweating, increased heart rate, trembling, and stomach upset
  • Difficulty concentrating and not worrying
  • Difficulty sleeping

When these symptoms become overwhelming, you should see your doctor. Anxiety disorders are treatable. Good management of your mental health will help you sleep better.

How Anxiety Affects Sleep

Trouble sleeping is a common characteristic of anxiety disorders. Even if you don’t have enough symptoms to be diagnosed, anxiety can keep you up at night. Anxiety at night can feel like your mind is turned on, and you can’t switch it off. Worries tend to be worse when you’re in bed with no other distractions.

Studies have long pointed out that anxiety is associated with poor sleep. We also know that the two go together in a vicious cycle: anxiety makes it more difficult to sleep, and inadequate sleep triggers or worsens anxiety.

Tips to Sleep Better With Anxiety

You don’t have to let anxiety control your days and your nights. The first thing you should do is see your doctor. If you meet the criteria for a diagnosis, treating the underlying anxiety disorder will improve your sleep. With or without a diagnosis, try these tips for anxiety relief and better sleep:

  • Get active during the day. Exercise is relaxing. It will soothe your mind and relax your body. Make daily exercise a priority, and you’ll feel more tired and less anxious at night.
  • Set aside time to worry. It’s often reflection on the day or thinking about tomorrow that keeps us up at night, so set a specific time for these things. A couple of hours before bed, give yourself 15 or 30 minutes to reflect on the day, problem-solve, and make a to-do list or plan of action for tomorrow.
  • Manage worries with meditation. You should also prioritize meditation, which researchers overwhelmingly find reduces anxiety and stress. Choose from several different guided meditations on BetterSleep to help manage anxiety daily.
  • Distract your mind. Anxiety at bedtime occurs because your mind is free to worry. Distractions can be a big help. Read an absorbing book in bed or listen to some of the soothing bedtime stories available on BetterSleep.
  • Ground your body. Grounding is a useful technique for managing anxiety immediately. When you feel anxious lying in bed at night, focus on your physical sensations. Identify what you feel, any smells, and sounds.

Anxiety is a problem for many people, and it can wreck a good night’s sleep. Learn to manage your anxiety with these strategies, and enjoy more restful nights again.

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