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Meditation Blog | Anxiety and sleep

Anxiety and sleep go hand in hand for people suffering with mental health,

Anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get restful sleep, which can, in turn, worsen anxiety symptoms. It's a cycle that many people with anxiety experience.

in this blog I'll talk about how to tame anxiety before going to sleep.

A woman sleeping

Following factors can cause anxiety before going to sleep:

1. Stress: High levels of stress throughout the day can carry over into the evening and make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Stressors can be related to work, relationships, financial concerns, or other personal issues.

2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with GAD experience excessive worry and anxiety about various aspects of their life. These worries can intensify at night when there are fewer distractions, leading to difficulty falling asleep.

3. Specific Phobias: If you have a specific phobia, such as fear of flying, heights, or spiders, the anticipation of encountering that fear or the thoughts about it can cause anxiety before bed.

4. Trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Individuals who have experienced traumatic events may have heightened anxiety, particularly at night. Nightmares or flashbacks can be triggered by reminders of the trauma, making it challenging to sleep peacefully.

5. Health Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, respiratory disorders, or chronic pain, can cause discomfort or anxiety that interferes with sleep. Additionally, hormonal imbalances or conditions like hyperthyroidism can contribute to anxiety symptoms.

6. Medications and Substances: Some medications, such as certain antidepressants or stimulants, can cause restlessness or insomnia, leading to anxiety before sleep. Similarly, the use of substances like caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol close to bedtime can disrupt sleep and increase anxiety levels.

7. Racing Thoughts and Overthinking: Many individuals experience racing thoughts or a constant stream of worries and concerns when they lie down to sleep. This can make it challenging to calm the mind and relax.

8. Fear of Insomnia or Sleep Problems: If you've experienced difficulties with sleep in the past, you may develop anxiety about not being able to sleep well. This fear of insomnia can create a cycle of anxiety and sleeplessness.

It's important to note that these causes can vary from person to person, and sometimes anxiety before sleep may occur without an obvious trigger. If anxiety before bed persists and significantly affects your well-being, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an evaluation and appropriate support.

What can you do in the moment of anxiety?

If you are lying down in bed reading about what you can do to fall asleep in next half an hour, here is a step by step guide that might bring you some relief.

  • Get up and brain dump all of your maker thoughts in a journal.

  • If you can, decrease the room temperature.

  • Take a quick hot shower.

  • Read a paperback for 10 minutes.

  • Get back in bed.

  • Perform 4-7-8 meditation.

  • Listen to a guided meditation of nature scenes or listen to similar audios on YouTube. Personally, listening to a thunderstorm or heavy rain during a train ride helps me sleep. Explore what makes you feel more relaxed.

NOTE : Anxiety is an emotion, like rage or laughter. It makes you uncomfortable but it cannot be contained. Accept what you are worrying about, during the brain dump step list address those worries. Write possible solutions for them to let your brain know that you have dealt with what makes you restless and it need not drum the horrible thoughts in your mind anymore.

The less you will fight anxiety and the more you embrace it and be kind to yourself, It will get easier to sleep.

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