11 Points On How To Sleep Better With Anxiety

Date
June
23
2022
Compiled By Louise Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed By Dr. P Stein, MD FACT CHECKED

Anxiety or anxiousness strikes more at night, isn’t it? An average human takes 10-20 minutes to fall asleep at night, but you take a few hours, or sometimes more.

Do you know why such a difference is seen?

Your anxiety is the culprit that restricts you from sleeping and allows you to think of several extreme events that may not be a part of your life.

You make your bed and get ready to sleep peacefully, but suddenly the thought of an event that didn’t go your way a few hours ago in the day comes to your mind.

You start thinking of different perspectives of a conversation, or what if you have told something substantial to defend the conversation you lost earlier.

Sometimes you begin googling some unwanted things that you may not require shortly, or even a whisper at night disturbs you enough to stay awake the whole night.

All these events that occur at night and disturb you from sleeping could be a sign of anxiety. Anxiety has been a spoiler of calmness; hence, it is essential to tackle the condition early to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Therefore, this article will discuss a few methods that may help you sleep better and tackle anxiety effectively.

11 Ways To Tackle Anxiety For A Sound Sleep

Anxiety is a natural process that occurs due to day-to-day stress. But, it isn’t a permanent mental condition if you start to tackle it early.

Making some changes in your routine may help you fight anxiety effectively.

Hence, you may implement the below-mentioned steps in your routine to get regular sleep.

  1. Manage Sleep Cycle

    Ideally, the hectic daily schedule and untimely demands of work don’t allow us to manage a sleep cycle.

    But, to tackle anxiety, managing the sleep cycle is crucial.

    First, start with making a sleep schedule or dedicating a particular time to sleep and wake up.

    Now, try to get into bed by that time and wake up at the decided time. Initially, you may get fewer sleep hours, but it would get adjusted over time.

    But, never extend the wake-up time irrespective of the quality of the night’s sleep.

    It may be difficult for an individual struggling with anxiety to sleep within 20 minutes and get a sound 8 hours of sleep initially.

    But, with regular discipline, your circadian rhythm may get adjusted to the new sleep cycle and improve[1] the anxiety condition.

  2. Work On Good Sleep Hygiene

    Sleep hygiene has a significant[2] impact on the quality of sleep.

    If an individual is struggling to get sound sleep must improve their sleep hygiene.

    Sleep hygiene is the habit that you do before getting into bed, like a hot shower, scrolling the mobile screen, etc.

    But, everything you do before sleep doesn’t count as good sleep hygiene.

    Hence, it would be best if you focus on improving or changing some habits that may play a spoilsport for your sleep.

    You may include the following habits to get sound sleep and create good sleep hygiene.

    • Minimizing screen time before sleep.
    • Avoid taking heavy meals and physical workouts before getting into bed.
    • Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine close to sleep time.
    • Never take power naps beyond 30 minutes.
    • Try to keep the bedroom dark and cool while sleeping.
    • May take a shower before sleep if required.
  3. Meditation Is Powerful

    It is crucial to control the mind while tackling anxiety or anxiousness. The best method to control your mind is to practice meditation before and after sleep.

    You should practice a few minutes of meditation and breathe before sleep. Start by sitting quietly for a few minutes and focus on your breathing.

    As soon as you learn to silence your mind, you may tackle anxiety and stress effectively. Meditation may help to improve concentration and avoid anxiety.

    Moreover, several studies[3] and researchers have shown that people doing diaphragmatic breathing may experience a significant anxiety reduction.

  4. Avoid Lying Down In Bed Awake

    Anyone struggling with anxiety may spend the night without falling asleep. But staying awake will never going to help you tackle anxiety.

    Generally, you may fall asleep within 20 minutes, but in case you fail to do so, then you must restart the process.

    First, leave the bed and start doing some sleep-inducing activities like reading, bathing, or taking a massage to feel relaxed.

    By doing these activities, you are performing stimulus control to improve your sleeping habits.

    But, to get adequate control over stimulus, you should immediately leave the bedroom environment.

    All these tasks combined help to create a mental reset to initiate the sleeping process again.

  5. Perform De-Stressing Exercises

    Exercise and yoga have a higher value in tackling anxiety effectively and promoting a healthy sleep cycle.

    People who exercise regularly a few hours before bedtime experience low tension or anxiousness. Better sleep is one of the main benefits of exercising regularly.

    People de-stressing with the help of exercise may feel less stressed. This could be due to the lower production of stress hormones. As a result, they may be able to calmer.

    Moreover, people who have insomnia may get benefitted from regular exercise or brisk walking before sleep.

    But, while adding exercise to your routine, make sure to avoid doing any vigorous activity one hour before bedtime.

    Moreover, you may do exercise in the morning or evening as per your convenience.

  6. Don’t Do Stressful or Distracting Activities Before Sleep

    Often the anxiety comes from the recent activities you did before sleep.

    Hence, it is recommended not to do any stressful activities to get yourself a sound sleep. An individual needs a stable and calm mind to fall asleep on demand.

    But, anyone facing anxiety issues should avoid distractions and stress to keep the mind free and stable before sleep.

    The human brain seeks some time to make the transition from daytime to sleep.

    Hence, during the transition phase, you should avoid activities like office tasks, watching the news, checking social media, etc., to allow the brain a smooth transition.

    So, a positive and relaxed mind may allow you to sleep peacefully and restrict anxiety issues.

  7. Screen Time May Interrupt Your Sleep

    Generally, all of us have a habit of scrolling social media or watching movies before bedtime.

    But, do you know that spending multiple hours before the screen could interrupt the sleep cycle?

    Yes[4], the blue light coming out of the mobile, laptop, or TV screens is considered harmful to the eyes.

    They cause irritation and burning sensation to the eyes that highly affect an excellent sleep.

    Moreover, the blue light creates a sense of daytime for the brain and may suppress melatonin production.

    Here, it would be best if you avoid exposure to blue light by avoiding screen time one or two hours before sleep.

    You may use blue light restricting glasses to restrict the entry of blue light.

  8. Set The Environment

    It’s hard to sleep with loud noises or bright lights around. Hence, a suitable environment is crucial for an individual to sleep fast.

    Multiple people have multiple methods to get themselves in the mood to sleep. Some people prefer sleeping in dimmed lights, while some may require slow music to fall asleep.

    Several specialists recommend a good shower[5], reading books, or listening to podcasts could be effective in tackling anxiety and falling asleep quickly.

    Hence, you should be aware of which environment or habit may help you during bedtime.

    If you are unaware of these things, then start experimenting to get the most suitable environment.

  9. Comfort Should Be The Priority

    Sometimes people consider everything to get better sleep but miss out on the priority.

    A comfortable position or bed could be crucial in getting you a sound sleep.

    An uncomfortable mattress could poke you to flip around the whole night and disturb your sleep.

    If you love to sleep on a spongy or fluffy bed, then avoid sleeping on hard mattresses for better comfort.

    Moreover, a pillow could be the best support while sleeping as it keeps the body in the right and comfortable posture for a sound sleep.

    Similarly, the bed size may have a role in deciding the quality of your sleep.

    You may like to sleep in a spacious or king-size bed; hence, you should look for a giant bed to sleep freely.

  10. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help

    Every problem may not have a household remedy. Similarly, anxiety and trouble with sleep might not go away with all the methods mentioned above.

    But, it isn’t a significant concern as these issues could be easily tackled by doctor consultation and medication.

    So, don’t hesitate to seek help from doctors or counselors as they may be the best people to ask.

  11. Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb. It consists of high levels of antioxidants. It is one of the powerful adaptogens which may help you by strengthening your body so that it could deal with stress.

    Considering Ashwagandha supplementation during anxiety could enhance your sleep experience. In addition, this may also play a significant role in improving your immune health.

    The regular consumption of Ashwagandha could help you by supporting your emotional balance. Further, it may help you fall asleep.

    Through its consumption, this could improve your overall sleep quality. As a result, you may reach up to the NREM sleep. Along with this, the consumption of ashwagandha supplementation could help you in dealing with insomnia symptoms.

    It may improve the sleep onset latency. As a result, you could experience a sound sleep.

    Here is a double blinded study supporting the working functionality of ashwagandha in inducing sleep.

Conclusion

Good sleep is always essential to start a day with a positive and energetic attitude. But, anxiety could play a negative role in getting sound sleep, hence, it needs to be tackled quickly.

You may easily get rid of anxiousness during the night by implementing the above changes in your routine. But, in case you don’t feel good even after making these changes, immediately consult a counselor or doctor to get the best advice.

+8 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Meredith E Coles, Jessica R Schubert, Jacob A Nota Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Anxious Traits Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Sep;17(9):73. doi: 10.1007/s11920-015-0613-x. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26216591/
  2. Tips for Better Sleep July 15, 2016 Available from: cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html
  3. Xiao Ma, Zi-Qi Yue, Zhu-Qing Gong, et al. The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults Front Psychol. 2017; 8: 874. Published online 2017 Jun 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874
  4. Lauren Hale, Gregory W. Kirschen, Monique K. LeBourgeois, et al. Youth screen media habits and sleep: sleep-friendly screen-behavior recommendations for clinicians, educators, and parents Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2018 Apr; 27(2): 229–245.doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2017.11.014
  5. Yasuaki Goto, Shinya Hayasaka, Shigeo Kurihara, et al. Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018; 2018: 9521086. Published online 2018 Jun 7. doi: 10.1155/2018/9521086
  6. Kae Ling Cheah, Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Methodology, Project administration, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Mohd Noor Norhayati, Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Methodology, Resources, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing, Lili Husniati Yaacob, Conceptualization, Methodology, Supervision, Validation, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing,* and Razlina Abdul Rahman, Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing. Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2021; 16(9): e0257843.
    Published online 2021 Sep 24. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257843
  7. Ashwagandha. MedlinePlus. 12/10/2021. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/953.html
  8. Deepak Langade, Subodh Kanchi,corresponding author Jaising Salve, Khokan Debnath, and Dhruv Ambegaokar. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus. 2019 Sep; 11(9): e5797. Published online 2019 Sep 28. doi: 10.7759/cureus.5797

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