Bedtime, when one can cozy up for sleep and overnight rest is supposed to be the most relaxing time for anyone, but for some people, that is not the case. Despite taking all the necessary steps in readiness for bed, some people still have a hard time falling asleep.
Most often, sleep anxiety is the culprit in such scenarios. Sleep anxiety is the feeling of worry, being nervous or unease just before sleep time. When one is experiencing anxiety about sleep, they tend to feel nervous right before sleep.
Sleep anxiety is a problem which can easily interfere with sleep and needs to be prevented or managed as quickly as possible, to ensure that one gets quality sleep and rest at bedtime.
Why does sleep anxiety occur?
Sleep anxiety is caused by a number of different things but the main and most common cause is having racing thoughts before sleep. Everything that a person did throughout the day comes racing down in their mind right before they fall asleep. It is more pronounced on Sunday night due to all the responsibilities and pressures that one will have in the coming week.
The human brain has a very annoying tendency to run worst case scenarios and negative reflections at night right before one falls asleep. This causes worry and triggers anxiety which can be a huge impediment to one’s sleep pattern.
Some other physical factors that might cause sleep problems include symptoms such as a racing heart. This could be caused by tension and stress making it difficult for one’s body to relax and drift off into sleep. It can be a challenge to quiet these thoughts and stresses down but it is not impossible.
Tips for managing anxiety to improve sleep
Anxiety about Sleep Keeping You Up? Try These Sleep Tips
Exercising a few hours before bedtime has been found to be a good remedy for improving sleep and lowering anxiety. Exercise is encouraged and it is recommended to be done in the morning or afternoon since, if it is done right before bedtime, it can interfere with sleep by keeping one up for a long time.
Controlling the sleeping environment
Light, sound, and temperature are all important aspects of having a good night’s rest. The room should always be darker, quieter and cooler for one to fall asleep well and to sleep soundly through the night. The chances of calming one’s mind and falling asleep are increased by these factors.
A shower or bath before getting to bed is also encouraged because a warm bath will help to lower the body’s temperature to induce sleep.
Limiting caffeine and alcohol
When one indulges in too much caffeine right before they go to bed, it can increase the anxiety of the person and inhibit sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes the body to produce adrenaline which can make it difficult for the body to relax thus the uneasiness which cannot allow for sleep.
Additionally, alcohol should also be limited during sleep hours because alcohol is known to raise the heart rate, leading to increased blood circulation and difficulty falling asleep or sleeping well.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, at least 8 glasses of water per day, is recommended. Do not drink too much water before bedtime since the trips to the bathroom can disrupt sleep.
Calm the mind
Calming the mind is a sure way of dealing with sleep anxiety because it is indeed a mental predisposition. There are a lot of relaxation methods to help calm the mind to improve sleep.
Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises and reading are all good examples of some of the techniques that one can employ to relax at the end of the day. Taking a walk is also a known technique that has worked for very many people in terms of relaxing. When one practices these simple techniques during the day, it will be easier for them to trigger a relaxation response at night.
Comfortable pillows and mattresses
Having a comfortable bed is quite important for quality sleep. A comfortable pillow and mattress to lie on ensure that the person will be comfortable enough to sleep through the night and rest well. It also decreases the stress levels of the body, thus, helping the body become more relaxed and calm.
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A comfortable bed will also give the person a chance to drift off into slumber more easily and faster. The reason why most people cannot get sound sleep is that their bedding is uncomfortable.
Upgrading to a comfortable bed is a sure way of helping the mind and the body to get the rest and sleep needed to energize and rejuvenate.
Anxiety about sleep is mostly triggered by thoughts and worries in life. These worries can interfere with a person’s sleep and make them stay awake much longer and is chronic cases, to be awake the whole night.
Thoughts, especially negative ones, can easily cloud your mind at night when you go to sleep because, during the day, you are dealing with a lot of things and activities that keep you busy and distracted.
There are ways to minimize these worries. Exercise, control of the sleeping environment, limiting caffeine and alcohol, calming their mind, limiting screen time, and seeking medical help are some of the things that a person can employ to stay relaxed at bedtime. Get a personal experience narration here:
People often wonder what the relationship between anxiety and sleep is. They are intertwined, anxiety can cause a lack of sleep and a lack of sleep can also cause anxiety.