How to Fall Asleep Faster if You Have Anxiety
Adequate sleep is an essential need for optimum productivity. Insomnia can hamper a person’s emotional, mental, and physical functions, reducing the quality of life. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems, while many others experience short-term sleep disorders. And many people with anxiety disorders struggle to fall or stay asleep. If a person has stress, the brain fails to shut down at night as it usually should, and then a person cannot fall asleep. It is crucial, therefore, to learn how to fall asleep with anxiety.
Anxiety and insomnia can be related. Consult a doctor to know how to overcome your symptoms.
When Does Anxiety Require Professional Help?
Anxiety is the unsettling and uneasy feeling a person may have that something unpleasant is about to happen. Sometimes it is beneficial as it can motivate a person to work hard to avoid anticipated threats. And it is normal to experience some amount of worry and struggle with short-term sleeplessness as a reaction to stressful or uncertain circumstances.
However, extreme anxiety can produce emotional and physical symptoms such as panic attacks, inability to focus, heart palpitations, and insomnia, among many others. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American data, anxiety disorders affect approximately 18% of the American population annually. In the case of severe symptoms that disrupt one’s daily functioning, it is recommended to consult a doctor and get proper treatment.
The Relationship between Anxiety and Insomnia
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night, you will likely have stress, which correlates with insomnia disorders. According to research, anxiety and sleep disorders may have a bidirectional relationship; either mental condition can precede the other. It is vital, therefore, to treat both disorders concurrently. If the doctor treats one condition alone and leaves the other, the treatment may not have the desired impact.
How to Fall Asleep Fast with Anxiety
It is possible to treat anxiety with stress management skills, psychotherapy, and medication to improve sleep quality.
Tips on how to get rid of anxiety to improve sleep include:
- Be physically active
Physical exercises lower anxiety levels and improve the quality of sleep. For example, if you find yourself waking up with anxiety, being physically active in the morning can alleviate the symptoms. Incorporating exercises on a daily basis has tremendous health benefits for a person.
- Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation skills such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and other stress relief skills relax the body. If someone experiences sleep anxiety when going to bed, one can practice breathing techniques to relax. Reading a book and relaxing music can also calm the mind before sleep.
- Regulate or eliminate caffeine products
If a person takes a lot of caffeine during the day, it can increase anxiety levels. If someone struggles with insomnia, one should control the amount of caffeine and limit the use to only morning periods. Instead of caffeine products, it is better to take water to hydrate, calm, and relax the body.
- Manage the surroundings
Improve the environment to make it sleep-conducive, and be able to fall asleep quickly:
- Control the noise levels in the environment
- Control lightening
- Get comfortable bedding
- Air the room and bed at day time to ensure they are clean and fresh
- If possible, play relaxing and soft music
- Control screen time
Screen activities before bedtime may keep the brain awake and hamper the ability to fall or remain asleep. Sometimes the information from phones or television may increase anxiety. It is good to limit screen time before bedtime to avoid these adverse effects to sleep quality.
Insomnia can be managed using lifestyle changes, psychotherapy, and medications. Get a personalized treatment plan at Mango Clinic.
Psychotherapy for Insomnia and Anxiety
Psychotherapy helps treat anxiety and insomnia disorders, and a therapist can tell you helpful tips on how to get to sleep fast. The counselor can use the following techniques:
- Behavioral therapy
The therapist assists the patient in adopting a healthy lifestyle to alleviate the disorder’s symptoms. The intervention may include discussing a balanced diet menu, regular sleep-wake time cycles, and coping mechanisms for anxiety.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy enables people to confront and control overthinking to relax the brain. Therapy empowers a person with skills to positively manage irrational cognitive processes.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I)
As it comes from its name, CBT-I focuses on helping you modify the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to developing sleep problems. It may include stimulus control, sleep restriction, and other techniques.
- Exposure therapy
If the patient’s insomnia is caused by anxiety disorders, exposure therapy can help. It allows one to face their fears in a safe environment and reduces the emotional response to the triggers.
The doctor might prescribe anxiety or insomnia medication when the anxiety disorder is extreme and does not get better with psychotherapy. The doctor will evaluate the patient to establish the type of antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, or insomnia drugs effective for his or her condition.
Anxiety and sleep disorders are two bidirectional and correlated mental conditions. Either of the disorders can precede the other. They can affect one’s ability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. The lack of adequate sleep hampers a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological functions. It is crucial, therefore, for a person to get treatment and learn the skills needed to get adequate sleep every night.