How Does Anxiety Affect Sleep?

Does anxiety really affect sleep? It sure seems like it does! Many people claim that they can’t calm their mind once their head hits the pillow. Thoughts of to-do lists, stressful projects at work, and the stack of bills on the table all come to mind when you are trying to relax and go to sleep. Then you see the clock out of the corner of your eye and you realize how late it is getting, which just adds to your stress. Fortunately, there are some basic strategies that can help relax your mind and body so that you can get some much-needed rest. Meditation is a term that is popping up in self-help articles everywhere and for good reason. Learning to calm your mind through meditation is a helpful life skill that will assist you with challenging times during the day and for falling asleep at night. There are many apps that can teach you how to meditate. Exercise is a great tool to help you fall asleep with ease. A simple brisk walk will help you sleep more soundly. Some wind-down time before bed is another way to help slow your mind down before you turn out the lights. Choose something you enjoy like a bath or reading a book and make it a nighttime ritual. It’s best to reserve stressful activities like bill paying for the daytime hours. If you are having a bout of insomnia, don’t stay in bed. After 20 minutes, get up and have a cup of tea or do some light reading. Avoid screens from TVs, tablets, and phones because they emit light that can signal your brain to wake up.

Key Points:

  • 1Lack of sleep can cause anxiety and vice versa.
  • 2To get to sleep, try some of the following: meditation, exercise during the day, time to wind down, avoid stress, put your to-dos on paper, or try a “tense and relax” technique.
  • 3If these don’t work, get up, keep the lights low and sip tea or read a book to make you sleepy.

Regular exercisers fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

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