Sleep loss due to anxiety is common. In addition to making you sleepy and agitated, your concern raises your heart rate and makes your thoughts jittery. There are ways to beat insomnia if you struggle with sleep loss due to anxiety.
What is the difference between anxiety and worry?
You probably didn’t worry much about your life as a child. But after adulthood, anxiety can become an unwelcome guest, especially at bedtime. Problems or situations evoke feelings of anxiety. Maybe you are worried about your health, family, work, or things you cannot do.
- Which causes stress
- Your thoughts don’t stop
- You can encourage them to do something
- Out of sincere concern
It is true that even if your concern is specific, you can do anything. Anxiety becomes a big problem when it causes sleep loss.
Worrying is a little different from worrying. It lasts a long time and is difficult to control. It can come out of nowhere, unrelated to anything around it. Anxiety also:
- A physical reaction, such as a racing heart, triggers a headache or nausea.
- You visualize your stress situation.
- It interferes with your ability to work. Therefore, school is everyday life.
- Usually, therapeutic intervention is needed to overcome it
Ten Ways Anxiety Can Cause Sleep Loss and Ten Ways to Beat Insomnia
Now that you know the difference between worry and anxiety let’s see why you might be sleepless.
1. Worrying follows you to bed
If you’re anxious, you won’t sleep well at night. This is because your anxious daytime thoughts are carried over into the night. They keep you from falling into a deep sleep. If you sleep, you may not stay up all night.
Your worries and anxieties act like a ring of noise, waking you up as if they were a threat. Nighttime fears are more severe than daytime worries.
After your head hits the pillow, your brain magnifies the problems you’ve been thinking about throughout the day. If you had a long day, maybe you don’t worry much, but you relive these worries at night.
2. Worry sets you up for negativity
Sometimes, going to bed is dreadful because you know you won’t be able to sleep. Bedtime becomes a negative experience that increases your worry and leads to anxiety. You may dread laying in bed trying to fall asleep, knowing you will be tired at work the next day.
3. Worry makes you fear focused
Worry is usually about bad things that could happen to you or a loved one. What you’re worried about hasn’t occurred, but the expectation of it happening makes you worry. The things that adults worry about the most are these:
- The death of a loved one
- Serious illness of your loved one
- Fears about children
- Fear of keeping your job
- Not having enough money to retire from a career
- Medical expenses
- Get seriously ill
- State corruption
- Civil unrest
4. Sleep reactivity and restlessness
Some people have what researchers call “sleep reactivity.” It is a feature that causes your sleep to be disturbed. Therefore, you can neither fall asleep nor stay asleep.
People with high reactivity experience sleep loss, mainly when stressed or anxious. Family history causes insomnia. Being a woman and living in a stressful environment also makes you prone to sleep reactivity.
5. Medical conditions can cause fear
If you worry long and hard, you may develop an anxiety disorder. Anxiety stresses your body and causes an excessive release of cortisol. Lack of sleep and anxiety can lead to health problems. Terms like:
- Thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism, in which the metabolism slows down
- Addison’s disease
- Heart disease: Anxiety can cause rapid heartbeat, palpitations, and chest pain.
- Respiratory conditions such as asthma
6. Worrying makes you eat more
When you are sleep deprived, you feel tired throughout the day. Studies show that lack of sleep is associated with a higher risk of weight gain and obesity. Lack of sleep and fatigue make you want to eat comfort foods and get more energy. Carbs are easy to load up on because they give you a quick energy boost.
7. Worrying makes your sleep hours shorter
Losing sleep because you’re anxious deprives you of the recommended hours you need each evening. Not getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night can lead to adverse consequences:
- Inability to engage in daily activities
- Not being able to make a decision
- Feel more intense
8. Anxiety inhibits sleep hormone production
Your anxiety does not affect your body’s production of melatonin. When anxious, your “fight” or “flight” responses and melatonin production activate. Melatonin is your body’s sleep hormone. Sleep loss occurs when melatonin production slows down.
9. It makes you feel more emotional
When you are anxious, you will feel tension. It keeps you awake. When you sleep poorly or are overtired from lack of sleep, it makes you more emotional. You are not coping as well as you usually do at work or home. You may cry or get angry over small things.
10. Thinking the wrong way about anxiety
Some are superstitious about anxiety. They may think that the more they think about it, the less likely anything wrong will happen. Your concern is harming your body. This leads to discomfort and physical problems without leaving any trace.
Ten ways to beat insomnia
How do you release your fears and get a good night’s rest? Try these methods.
1. Let go of things you can’t control
Of course, getting rid of all stress is impossible, but when worries arise, create strategies to help you release them.
- Pray: Praying helps you relax. (As none of you have done, you will never enter any day). Ask Him to help you find peace. Pray to pray about your specific concern. When you care about God, it helps you feel less burdened and stressed.
- Make a worry list: Writing your worries down won’t solve them. But just having them on paper or in your iPhone notes frees you from carrying worries.
- Journaling: Write about things that bother you. Then write down the things you are grateful for despite the anxiety. It allows you to gain perspective. Plus, writing these thoughts down is cathartic for your mind and heart.
2. Try magnesium
Take a magnesium supplement 30 minutes before bed. Only take the recommended dose to avoid stomach problems.
3. Take the right amount of melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone. It helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Be sure to follow the bottle recommendations. If you take too much melatonin, it will keep you awake. About five mg of melatonin is enough for an adult to get a good night’s sleep.
4. Read a not-so-interesting book
Reading is a natural way to relax before bed. According to researchers, reading fiction helps you fall asleep faster than non-fiction. Some of the best fiction books to lull you to sleep are the old classic authors you probably read in your school days.
So pick up a book by one of these authors to see if it can help you beat insomnia:
- John Steinbeck
- James Joyce
- Ernest Hemingway
- Thomas Hardy
- William Faulkner
- Joseph Conrad
5. Try relaxation exercises for breathing
If you wake up at night and can’t sleep, get up and go to another room. Try to calm your tension. Deep breathing will help clear your mind and relax your body. If you feel tired after that, go back to sleep. If not, breathe until you feel sleepy.
6. Listen to a story
Even as an adult, listening to a bedtime story can be just what you need to fall asleep at night. Sound interesting? Try falling asleep while listening to an audiobook, or check some popular smartphone sleep apps.
7. Check your medication side effects
If you take the medication regularly, check the list of side effects to see if insomnia is one of them. If you are taking medicine for insomnia, talk to your prescriber. Maybe you need to change the recipe.
- Alpha-blockers: Alpha-blockers are blood pressure medications. This drug reduces REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Lack of REM sleep causes memory problems.
- Beta-blockers: These blood pressure medications can keep you up at night. Beta-blockers prevent your body from secreting melatonin. This helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Corticosteroid: This drug helps with various physical problems but can overstimulate your mind, so you can’t sleep.
- Levothyroxine: Levothyroxine treats your underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). It controls your metabolism and energy levels. But too many medications affect your ability to sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, get up and try a relaxing activity like reading or lying down. Go back to bed. You must fall asleep because you have tricked your brain and broken the cycle.
9. Try soothing essential oils
Essential oils help you relax and fall asleep at night. The best essential oils to promote sleep are:
- Sandalwood oil: Sandalwood is one of the most effective sleep essential oils. Promotes restful sleep.
- Lavender oil: Lavender infuses your mind and body with peace.
- Chamomile oil: Try diffusing sour cream essential oils in your bedroom before bed for a restful night’s sleep.
10. Paradoxical intention
If you regularly lose sleep, this suggestion can be a great way to beat your insomnia. As a result of the research, it was found that people who have insomnia fell asleep. It is called “paradoxical intention.” When you can’t sleep, telling yourself you don’t need to sleep reduces anxiety, so you eventually fall asleep.
Recent thoughts on sleep loss due to anxiety or worry
Sleep loss due to restlessness is a common problem. Your mind is racing with fear, and your heart is racing. This hurts how you approach bedtime and harms your health.
If you’re sleepless every night due to anxiety, we hope these ten causes of insomnia and ways to beat their help.