Ah, anxiety. We all experience it from time to time, and it can wreak havoc on our quality of life if it’s not properly managed.
Did you know more than 25% of the population will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives? More importantly, did you know that sleep is a natural anxiety coping mechanism?
When you sleep, your mind and body relax—so the next day you’re sharper, more resilient, and better able to withstand life’s stresses.
Anxiety and Sleep
The irony is that anxiety disrupts its own cure, and tends to make it harder to sleep. Sleep problems are extremely common in those with persistent stress and in many cases anxiety can trigger a cycle that makes it harder to sleep.
You’re anxious about getting enough rest to help you feel less anxious tomorrow … and end up too anxious to get to sleep. Let’s get off that merry-go-round.
Don’t “just chill”. Try these tips to combat night-time anxiety:
Below are some tips and ideas to calm the mind and help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Make getting a good night’s sleep a priority. Block out seven to nine hours for a full night of uninterrupted sleep, and try to wake up at the same time every day (including weekends).
- Keep a journal beside your bed, and write down any worries before sleep. Once your mind knows you’ve written a persistent anxious thought down, it tends to feel better about letting the thought go knowing that it’s been addressed.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid stimulants like coffee, chocolate and nicotine before going to sleep, and never watch TV, use the computer or pay bills before going to bed. Read a book, listen to soft music, or meditate instead.
- Regular exercise is a great stress reliever, and will also help you sleep better. Limit your exercise to mornings and afternoons.
- If you’re still having problems with anxiety affecting your sleep, talk to your doctor.
And if you’re noticing yourself feeling uncomfortable while you’re trying to rest or waking up sore, you might consider a glow-up for your sleep environment. A new mattress is a great place to start!