People with anxiety tend to have a basic understanding of what triggers them. Sometimes, it’s easy to avoid those triggers. Other times, it feels next to impossible to stop experiencing the things that make their anxiety worse.
Unfortunately, one of those things can be a lack of sleep.
While not getting enough sleep isn’t necessarily a “trigger”, it can cause your worrying thoughts to race, even as you’re laying in bed. The worse your anxiety gets, the harder it becomes to sleep. The harder it is to sleep, the worse your anxiety will get.
It’s a vicious cycle that can feel impossible to break when you’re in the thick of it.
As a result, it’s incredibly important to prioritize restful, healthy sleep. There are countless physical and mental health benefits to getting enough sleep, but we’ll just consider those “bonuses”. For now, understand that a lack of sleep can make your anxiety worse. Getting enough of it can help to reduce stress and clear your head.
So, how can you get more restful sleep each night?
Establish a Routine
One of the best things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene is to develop a better nightly routine. Set a specific time that you want to go to sleep each night and stick with it.
Once you know that time, you can develop your routine around it. It might include things like gentle stretching or meditating before bed. You might want to jot down a few things in your journal or spend a few extra minutes in the bathroom washing your face and pampering yourself a bit.
Do whatever it takes during your routine to get your mind and body to wind down.
Make sure your routine doesn’t include things like watching television or scrolling on your phone. In fact, you should avoid electronics for at least an hour before bed. The blue light that emanates from digital devices can make it harder to fall asleep.
Your bedroom should be solely for sleeping. With more people working from home than ever, it’s not uncommon for some to use it as an office, or just a place to relax and watch a movie. But, if you typically have trouble sleeping, you should rethink those plans.
Setting up the right environment for your bedroom is crucial for better sleep. That means eliminating as many distractions as possible. It’s also important to make sure it’s clean and decluttered. Even the temperature of your room can make a difference. People tend to sleep better when their room is slightly cooler.
When you enter your bedroom, your mindset should immediately shift into sleeping. If there are distractions around, they are going to cause your thoughts to race. So, take the time to establish the right sleeping environment for your needs.
Manage Your Anxiety
A lack of sleep can make your anxiety worse. But it typically doesn’t cause anxiety out of nowhere. If you’re already struggling with your mental health, managing it is important.
Thankfully, anxiety can be an incredibly manageable condition—when treated properly. When it isn’t treated, it doesn’t typically go away on its own.
If you have anxiety and it tends to get worse because you’re not sleeping, try to treat the root first. Talk to a therapist about how to get your symptoms under control and how to overcome your feelings of fear. When you work through your anxiety with the help of a professional, it’s easier to put these other practices into place.
So you can get more restful sleep, ease your racing mind, and fight back against the fear and worry that’s trying to control you. If you are ready, feel free to contact me to learn more about how we can work together to heal your anxiety symptoms.
For more information about my services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA, click here Anxiety Therapy.