Anxiety can be a major obstacle to getting a good night's sleep. If you're struggling with anxiety, it can be difficult to relax and drift off into a peaceful slumber. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help you sleep better when dealing with anxiety. First, keep naps short and avoid taking them after 3 p.m.
Napping for too long or too late in the day can interfere with your nighttime sleep. If you're feeling particularly anxious, consider using a meditation app like Headspace, which is currently offering one year free for those who have been laid off due to the pandemic. A study has 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. To create a more calming atmosphere in your bedroom, try adding some meditation-themed decor.
This can help you relax even when you're not trying to sleep. If your insomnia or anxiety is severe, it may be beneficial to consult a doctor or therapist. They may recommend a sleep study to identify any underlying issues that could be contributing to your sleeplessness. Additionally, tracking the temperature in your bedroom in a sleep diary can help you determine if the temperature is affecting your sleep quality.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can also be helpful in reducing anxiety and helping you fall asleep quickly and peacefully. It's important to note that anticipatory anxiety and specific sleep anxiety can lead to sleep disorders and insomnia, creating a vicious cycle that can worsen both conditions. In addition, lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of death by up to 12% compared to those who get 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. To combat this, try drinking chamomile tea before bed as an experimental study found that it improved both sleep and depression symptoms in women with postpartum depression.
Finally, if you find yourself staying up all night due to anxiety, try to save this technique for the weekend so that you can get some rest when your body wants it naturally. If medications are contributing to your sleeplessness, talk to your doctor about adjusting your doses or changing the time of day you take them. Understanding and addressing the links between anxiety and sleep is essential for physical and emotional well-being. With the right strategies in place, you can get the restful sleep you need to manage your anxiety.