It's normal to have difficulty sleeping when you're anxious, but there are steps you can take to improve your sleep quality. Start by keeping naps short, no longer than an hour, and avoid taking them after 3 p.m. If you're feeling extra anxious, consider using a baby monitor to help you feel more secure. Additionally, Headspace is offering a free one-year subscription for those who have recently been laid off due to the pandemic.
When it's time to go to bed, tell yourself what you expect to happen and focus on your breathing. People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more likely to experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. To reduce anxiety-related insomnia, Winnie Yu suggests changing your perspective in her WebMD article “Scared to Sleep”. If your sleep anxiety persists, consider seeking treatment for anxiety and insomnia.
You can also try scheduling times throughout the day to actively worry, so that you don't have to worry when it's time for bed. Studies have found that lack of sleep can affect the brain's ability to process negative emotions or experiences, which can increase the risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects 3 million Americans and is characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for prolonged periods of time. People with sleep anxiety may fear something bad will happen while they sleep or think they should stay awake in order to remain alert and vigilant.
Research has shown that lack of sleep can increase the risk of death by up to 12% compared to those who get 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. To reduce stress and help you fall asleep naturally, create a relaxing sleep routine and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. If you're still having trouble sleeping, it may be due to an inability to get a full REM sleep cycle or because of sleep apnea. Taking melatonin supplements has been found to improve the quality of sleep for people with sleep disorders.
Additionally, insomnia can make people more irritable and anxious since their brains don't get enough rest.