How To Sleep Better With Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

Anxiety is generally linked to sleep disturbances. Excessive anxiety makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep the whole night.

Sleep deprivation could exacerbate anxiety which could result in a vicious cycle of anxiety and insomnia problems.

Most people who suffer from anxiety have difficulty sleeping. Sleep deprivation might affect our mood, causing despair and irritation in some people. 

During various phases of sleep, vital body functions occur that might leave you feeling invigorated, and refreshed, and aid in memory and learning formation.

When an anxiety disorder is cured, sleep normally improves. Sleep hygiene is also beneficial for better sleep.

Anxiety is a worry and discomfort sensation. It’s common to feel anxious from time to time in response to frightening or stressful situations.

This suffering becomes extreme in anxiety disorders. Fears are out of proportion to the situation, and worrying disrupts daily living.

For six months or more, these feelings become constant, happening on most days.

How Does Anxiety Make You Feel?

Anxiety disorders can have both emotional and physical effects on people. People who suffer from anxiety may be highly apprehensive and tense.

This might cause impatience and restlessness by affecting their focus and mood. Their sense of impending doom or panic can feel overwhelming and out of control.

Tense muscles, rapid breathing and heartbeat, sweating, shaking, gastrointestinal trouble, and exhaustion are all symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety Disorders: What Causes Them?

Anxiety’s actual etiology is unknown. Studies believe that there is more than one cause, including a person’s genetics, family history, and exposure to bad life events.

Anxiety symptoms can also be exacerbated by certain health issues and medications. An underlying disease could give a push to anxiety disorders easily.

The continuous usage of tainted bodybuilding supplements, tainted enhancers, steroids, and SARMs could also cause anxiety disorders in athletes and bodybuilders.

What Is The Connection Between Sleep And Anxiety?

Sleep problems, such as insomnia, have long been recognized as a prevalent sign of anxiety disorders. Worrying people frequently ruminate about their worries in bed, and this anxiety might prevent them from sleeping.

In reality, insomnia has been linked to a condition of mental hyperarousal, which is often accompanied by worry.

According to the research, people who suffer from anxiety disorders have a higher sleep reactivity, which means they are more prone to experience sleeping problems when under stress.

People with various types of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD, have been observed to have sleeping issues.

Over 90% of patients with PTSD related to military combat have reported sleeplessness symptoms in many studies.

Distress from going to sleep can exacerbate the problem by causing sleep anxiety, which further adds to a person’s sense of dread and obsession.

Negative thoughts about going to bed, which are a form of anticipatory anxiety, can make it further difficult to adhere to a good sleep pattern and routine.

People may wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety even after falling asleep. Returning to bed can be difficult if their thoughts begin to race with worry.

This can result in sleep fragmentation, which reduces both the quantity and quality of sleep.

Anxiety disorders in a person’s sleep patterns have been proven to be linked. Pre-sleep rumination and anxiety have been shown to disrupt rapid eye movement sleep.

REM is associated with the most vivid dreaming phase. Anxiety might result in more distressing nightmares and sleep disturbances.

Nightmares can amplify unpleasant associations and fears associated with sleeping. At the same time, there’s plenty of evidence that sleeping issues aren’t just a symptom of anxiety.

On the other hand, sleep deprivation has been shown to trigger or exacerbate anxiety disorders. According to researchers, insufficient sleep, which can trigger anxiety symptoms, is especially sensitive in persons who are prone to anxiety.

Sleep deprivation has been shown to impair mood and mental health, making anxiety disorders more difficult to manage.

Sleep deprivation and anxiety can be self-reinforcing due to the bidirectional relationship; worrying leads to bad sleep, which leads to more anxiety and sleep problems.

How Can I Reduce Anxiety And Sleep Better?

Anxiety disorders are one of the most curable mental health illnesses, despite their serious consequences. This isn’t to say that lowering anxiety is always easy, but there are solutions available.

Anyone with persistent or severe anxiety and/or sleeping problems should consult a doctor who can best assess their situation and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the many therapy choices available to them.

Anxiety problems are commonly treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been shown in studies to reduce anxiety in patients who suffer from insomnia. 

While addressing anxiety can help you sleep better, severe cases of insomnia may persist after you’ve completed CBT for anxiety. In some circumstances, CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) might be a good next step.

Because of the complex relationship between anxiety and sleep, obtaining a better night’s sleep may help you feel less anxious.

Building healthy sleep habits can make going to bed more pleasurable and allow for a more consistent sleep regimen. Sleep hygiene encompasses both your sleeping habits and the environment in which you sleep.

Making your bed more comfortable, removing sources of sleep disruption like light and noise, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon and evening are all good ways to enhance sleep hygiene.

Trying relaxation techniques might help you uncover strategies to reduce anxiety and fall asleep faster and more calmly. CBT may include relaxation techniques, which can help stop the cycle of worry and rumination.

You might also want to consider scheduling periods when you actively worry since this will help you avoid worrying right before you go to sleep.

Deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, and guided imagery are just a few relaxation techniques that can help you relax before bed or when you wake up in the middle of the night.

What Is The Best Way To Use 4-7-8 Breathing For Anxiety?

Breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds is the 4-7-8 breathing technique, often known as “relaxing breath.”

This breathing technique is intended to help people relax or fall asleep. Some supporters claim that the procedure allows people to fall asleep in less than a minute.

Although there is limited scientific data to support this practice, anecdotal evidence suggests that this style of deep, rhythmic breathing is soothing and may help people fall asleep.

What Causes You To Be Anxious At Night?

The night is one of the most typical periods when people suffer anxiety. Sleep deprivation has been linked to anxiety in numerous clinical studies. Anxiety disorders have been linked to poor sleep quality in the past, according to a study.

When you lie down to unwind at night, your mind wanders to all of the worries you didn’t have time to think about during the day. Worrying that you can’t solve right now is a common source of anxiety.

Chronic daytime stress pushes your body into overdrive and strains your hormones and adrenal system, all of which are linked to sleep.

Thus sleep problems could be a warning sign that you need to handle stress throughout the day. Anxiety at night can set off a vicious cycle.

A lousy night’s sleep makes you tired the next day and throws off your body’s normal rhythms which might create hindrance in your day-to-day life.

What Should You Do If You Can't Sleep At Night?

These practical strategies can help you quit tossing and turning if you wake up with worry in the middle of the night:

Make a note of it. Keep a journal next to your bed to jot down your concerns.

Relax by listening to calming music. Relaxing music has been shown in studies to quiet your autonomic nervous system, resulting in slower breathing, a lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure, all of which aid sleep.

Get up, but keep your cool. It’s fine to get out of bed if you can’t sleep any longer, but plan for what you’ll do next.

Also, resist self-medicating with food, drink, or sleep aids, which may bring temporary relief but will not address the basis of your problems.

Anxiety Treatment

It’s crucial to remember that finding the correct therapy option for your anxiety can take time. As a result, you and your doctor may choose from a wide range of therapy alternatives.

Treat any underlying issues. Anxiety symptoms can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. They are as follows:

  • Illness of the heart
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Persistent discomfort
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Certain types of brain tumors

Your doctor will want to treat any of these illnesses first if they are causing your nocturnal worry. Besides, he could also look for options like-

  1. Anxiety treatment without drugs
    Anxiety treatment without medication is possible and effective. Patients must work with a qualified clinician and address their specific pharmaceutical issues.
  2. Exercise
    Exercise can help manage anxiety symptoms and, in certain cases, may even be a replacement for other forms of treatment.
  3. Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy is a very effective anxiety treatment. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, treatment is usually more successful than drugs.
    This is because psychotherapy allows a person to talk about their anxiety, develop coping methods, and work through stressful circumstances.

Conclusion

Finally, if nothing seems to be helping your nighttime anxiety, consult a doctor or therapist who can help you figure out whether you have any underlying medical illnesses or anxiety disorders.

There are a variety of reasons why your anxiety is worse at night. Nighttime anxiety and panic episodes can be exacerbated by daily stressors, poor sleep patterns, and other health concerns.

There are, however, a variety of treatments that can help you feel less anxious and sleep better. If you’re worried about how your nightly anxiety and lack of sleep are hurting your life, it’s never too late to seek out the mental health help you need.

Remember to stay mindful when you (attempt to) fall asleep. Instead of stressing about the future, concentrate on what you can manage right now, such as getting enough sleep.