By Nasrin Kapadia

B. A. Psychology

19 September 2021
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Manage Your Anxiety to Sleep Better
Table of Contents

Anxiety is often connected to sleeping problems. Excess of fear & stress makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep all night. Deprived sleep can worsen anxiety stimulating a negative cycle including anxiety and insomnia disorders.

An individual with anxiety disorder encounters both physical and mental symptoms. Hence, it is essential to understand and address the link between anxiety and insomnia for physical and emotional wellness.

Anxiety is a part of everyday life & it has hit every individual at some point or the other. It is usual to feel anxious in response to fearful or stressful situations. To overcome anxiety, the first step is to eliminate sleeping problems. (Levitt, E.E., 2015 )

You may consult with your healthcare professional & could also opt for specific natural remedies to overcome your anxiety. 

Why does anxiety affect sleep?  

Anxiety has been marked as a crucial factor behind insomnia. The individual with anxiety disorder faces constant fear and stress, depriving them of sleep and leading to insomnia.

In anxiety disorder, the distress becomes more excessive, leading to severe sleep disturbances. People burdened with stress often think about their concerns at bedtime, keeping them away from falling asleep. These thoughts can create challenges to a person’s healthy sleep schedule.

Sleeping difficulties have been found in people suffering from various types of anxiety. Even after falling asleep, a person might wake up with anxiety in the middle of the night. To get rid of this sleeping disorder naturally, you may perform meditation and breathing exercises. (Uhde, T.W., Cortese, B.M. and Vedeniapin, A)

Does anxiety cause insomnia, or is it the other way around?

This question ideally depends on what you have to deal with first.

Researchers have identified few connections between anxiety and insomnia. A similar study claims that people prone to anxiety are susceptible to sleep deficiency, which can cause insomnia.

Anxiety is the main reason causing sleep deprivation, and lack of sleep can trigger anxiety. It contributes to disturbed sleep in the form of insomnia or nightmares.

It is also implied that treating insomnia may also help to reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety disorder and vice versa.

Treating Insomnia

There are several strategies through which insomnia could be treated. The primary method to cure anxiety is using authentic medications.

You can also practice deep sleep habits by practicing some of the tips mentioned below-

  • Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation as well as yoga may alleviate anxiety. This technique will improve your sleep schedule.
  • You can change your sleep patterns and also change the way of addressing any issue or problems that make you feel anxious and lead to stress.
  • Setting a consistent specific treatment depends on whether the patient is suffering from short-term or chronic insomnia and their medical history. (Bootzin, R.R. and Epstein, D.R., 2011)

Here are a few suggestions that can calm your anxiety & get you better sleep.

Suggestion For Improving Sleep

Eat And Drink Wisely

  • Limit the intake of caffeine and nicotine.
  • Avoid big meals at night.
  • Avoid drinking too many liquids before bedtime.
  • Reduce the intake of sugar and refined carbs.

Control Your Exposure To Light

  • Expose to bright sunlight in the morning.
  • Spend time during the daylight.
  • Let as much natural light in your work place and home.
  • Say a big NO to late-night television.

Don’t Read Under Backlit Devices

  • At the time of sleep, make sure your room is dark.
  • Exercise during the day-
  • For better sleep, you need to fix a time for exercise.

Improve Your Sleep Environment

  • Keep your room cool.
  • Keep the noise down.
  • Your bed should be comfortable.
  • Reserve your bed for sleep and sex.

Learn Ways To Get Back To Sleep

  • Try relaxation techniques.
  • Do a quiet, non-stimulating activity.
  • Worry less and be stress-free.
  • Be relaxed.

Inadequate sleep can worsen anxiety, and it is common to feel anxious in response to stressful and nervous situations. Over time, you may get used to anxiety disorder by being worried in favorable situations too.

Anxiety is a severe problem affecting both your physical and mental health. There’s no need to stress and worry over the issue of treating this disorder.

You can treat the disorder through several natural ways, like

  • Taking a hot bath shower at the end of the day
  • You can start your day by exercise to combat anxiety
  • Avoid intake of chemicals like nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Drink chamomile tea
  • Follow healthy diet pattern
  • Practice deep breathing & meditation

If these natural measures do not work, you may consult your healthcare associate about cognitive behavioral therapy and medications to improve your sleeping hours and relaxation.

However, you cannot treat anxiety and insomnia through natural therapy if you are facing the disorder for more than three months. Anxiety and insomnia, if left untreated, leads to depression. It is recommended to treat the disorder before it starts to affect your mental health and peace.

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