Date : 2023-06-12 09:17:36

How To Beat Sleep Anxiety and Enjoy Restful Nights

The importance of good quality sleep can never be overstated.  Good quality sleep affords the body enough time to work on supporting healthy brain function and maintain good physical health. Sleep also helps keep weight in check and reduce the risk for disease. There are many factors to consider when it comes to enjoying the desired sleep quality, including a comfortable and supportive mattress for better sleep and good mental and emotional health.  One common obstacle to good quality sleep is sleep anxiety. 

What is sleep anxiety?

According to statistics, a lot of adults experience some sleep disorder, with the figure standing at 50-70 million in the US alone. While going to sleep comes naturally to most people, to some it can be a source of dread. 

Sleep anxiety is fear or worry about going to sleep. People who are afflicted by the condition are often apprehensive about being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. The condition can also manifest as somniphobia, which is a distinct phobia, or fear, about sleep. This may stem from a feeling that they may fall victim to something bad while they sleep, or that they can’t afford sleeping as they need to stay alert and watchful.

Psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, are often closely related with sleep disorders. People with an anxiety disorder, sometimes find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, and may feel anxious or fearful before going to bed. 

Who is at risk of experiencing sleep anxiety?

Sleep anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of sex or age. The condition can affect adults, teens and children. While occasional bouts of anxiety are nothing to worry about, an anxiety disorder is often the result of a more acute, recurring, and overpowering sense of anxiety. 62% of adults around the world say they don’t sleep as well as they’d like (Philips Global Sleep Survey, 2019). The situation has been worsened by the Coronavirus pandemic, with 44% of adults saying that the quality of their sleep has got worse over the past five years. You may be more likely to develop anxiety at night if you have a sleep disorder, such as:

  • Insomnia.

  • Narcolepsy.

  • Sleepwalking.

  • Sleep apnea.

  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

People with the following mental health disorders may also develop nighttime anxiety:

  • Anxiety disorders.

  • Bipolar disorder.

  • Depression.

  • Drug addictions or alcoholism.

  • Panic disorder.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Schizophrenia.

What are the symptoms of sleep anxiety?

There are a variety of sleep anxiety symptoms that may affect people differently. Apart from panic attacks, some of the common sleep anxiety symptoms that may manifest include:

  • Nervousness

  • Irritability.

  • Gastrointestinal issues.

  • Difficulty focusing.

  • Restlessness or worry.

  • Difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep.

Panic attacks related to sleep anxiety are characterized by a profound and intense fear of falling asleep, which often goes together with physical manifestations, such as:

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness.

  • Sweating, chills, and hot sweats.

  • Throat tightness and shortness of breath.

  • Sense of imminent doom.

  • Fast heart rate and chest pains.

  • Tense muscles.

  • Feelings of being overwhelmed.

  • Sense of being detached from reality

Causes of Sleep Anxiety

Sleep anxiety is a by-product of the body’s natural fight or flight mechanism. It is perfectly normal to feel worried or afraid in dangerous situations. The hormones that are released by the body due to anxiety or stress help us with quick reactions to escape harm. The problem arises when you experience chronic anxiety, as it may result in prolonged feelings of stress or worry, which may cause you to have trepidations about mundane everyday situations like falling asleep or driving. The effect of chronically high levels of the hormones can result in:

  • Difficulty relaxing

  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Difficulty staying asleep

The lack of sufficient thyroid hormone in the bloodstream can cause the metabolism to slow down (hypothyroidism), which can trigger anxiety and insomnia. People with anxiety can also experience nightmares as the condition affects rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. 

Sleep anxiety may also be triggered by the uncertainties of life, something that is more apparent in the period following the Covid pandemic. People are worried about their health and that of their loved ones, and the pandemic has also affected livelihoods in a variety of other devastating ways, such as the many organizations that have gone out of business. 

How to Deal with Sleep Anxiety

The best way to address sleep anxiety is to resolve the underlying issues triggering the condition. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder associated with anxiety, which makes it worthwhile to try natural remedies for insomnia.

Addressing Underlying Causes

Anxiety symptoms can be the result of a variety of health conditions. Addressing these underlying conditions can help improve the quality of sleep. They include:

  • Diabetes

  • Coronary heart disease

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Thyroid hypertrophy

  • Certain types of brain tumours 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Sleep anxiety can be treated using different psychotherapies, one common approach being CBT, or talk therapy. It teaches patients to change their behavior by changing the way they think, in a way that impacts positively on their mood and actions. This therapy can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks to produce results.

Prescription Medication

While  natural food or meditation may help beat anxiety, a combination of psychotherapy and medication is sometimes the best way to manage the condition. Some of the medications that may be recommended to treat anxiety include.

  • Antidepressants for long-term sleep anxiety.

  • Benzodiazepines for acute anxiety attacks.

Alternative Medicine

Alternative medication, which entails herbal and botanical treatment, is sometimes the best route to treat anxiety for some people. While the approach is rather restrictive when compared to conventional medicine, studies indicate that dietary and herbal supplementation can help manage sleep anxiety. Supplements containing passionflower, kava, L-arginine, and L-lysine have been proven to drive the desired results, however, it remains important to first consult a doctor before taking this route.

Lifestyle Changes

There are a few lifestyle changes that you can try to get through anxious nights and enjoy some good quality sleep. 

Deep Breathing

Breathing has a tendency of getting abnormally fast when we feel anxious or panicky. Deep breathing presents an effective way to cope with anxiety and stress by helping put your mind at ease and help you sleep. By helping to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, it works to get you through panic attacks at night.

Relaxation Techniques

Meditation

Meditation is known to help calm the mind, which may be just what you need to enjoy good quality sleep. You can try a variety of options including body scan meditation, fear meditation, self-love meditation, and sleep meditation to deal with sleep anxiety, and leverage numerous meditation apps available in the market.

Grounding exercises

Anxiety can lead to dissociative episodes. Grounding is effective at helping you stay present ‘in-the-moment’ to beat the dissociative episodes brought on by sleep anxiety. The techniques call for both cognitive and physical perception, such as saying the current date aloud or pressing an object. 

Improving Sleep Hygiene

There is also a range of habits that you can follow to deal with anxiety and improve your quality of sleep. 

  • Avoid taking lots of fluids before bed.

  • Don’t go to bed unless you feel sleepy.

  • Resist the urge to nap

  • Set a goal of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.

  • Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

  • Carry out relaxing activities before bed, such as playing peaceful music and meditation.

  • Don’t consume stimulants like alcohol and coffee in the late afternoon or evening.

  • If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed.

  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, quiet and softly lit.

  • Use a luxury mattress for better sleep.

  • Only use your bed for sleep, not watching television or doing work.

  • Avoid eating before bedtime and only take a light meal if you really have to.

Get the best mattress for anxiety problems

All the interventions discussed in this blog to address sleep anxiety can only produce the desired results if you are sleeping on the best mattress for good sleep. King Koil is the best mattress company in India, giving you easy access to a range of comfortable mattresses  that promote good quality sleep. Browse through available King Koil mattresses in India to find one that meets your sleep requirements, or discuss with one of our experts to get the best advice. Order the best mattress in India or call +919999999044 or WhatsApp us at +919818073428. You can also email hello@kingkoil.in. or Locate a King Koil Dealer near you.

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