When things aren’t going well in terms of mental health, many people resort to sleeping to let the thoughts quiet down. But if this sleep is constantly disturbed or hard to achieve in the first place, things can get worse. Many people suffer from sleeping problems and think they have insomnia. While others who suffer from anxiety believe that their mental state is affecting their sleeping cycles.
To what extent is this true? Let’s find out.
Understanding the two
Having a hard time sleeping for a few days – just because you’re worried about the first day at your job or new college – might not be insomnia. Instead, it is something that people suffer from almost every single day for a long period of time. Insomnia is a medical term that refers to difficulty in sleeping, including:
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Waking up too early or feeling tired
Insomnia can interfere with people’s daily life and also affect their physical, mental, and emotional health. It can also lead to heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, or obesity.
Whereas anxiety is our body’s response to stressful situations when we fear what’s going to happen next. If people suffer anxiety symptoms for more than 6 months, they are diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
How is insomnia related to anxiety?
Mental Health America states that almost 2/3rd of Americans claim that anxiety has affected their sleep and lead to poorer sleeping habits. It has also been discovered that poor sleeping is often associated with depression, anxiety, or other issues.
Now, if you’re wondering what causes what, the answer depends on what came first. Sleep deprivation for longer periods can lead to anxiety or worsen its symptoms. Whereas anxiety also leads to disrupted sleep cycles and nightmares.
A study by Harvard Health found that chronic sleep disruptions can negatively affect our mental health. It can lead to negative thinking and emotional sensibility.
Ways to improve sleep
There are several tips you can follow to help you sleep better. Some of them include:
- Breathing exercises to help relax your muscles and mind at bedtime. You can also take a warm bath or perform meditation.
- Using your bedroom or bed just to sleep. Avoid using any electronics in the room, so your mind dissociates your bed as a place of busy activity.
- Trying to sleep and awake at almost the same time every day. This can help develop a consistent sleeping schedule.
- Avoiding mid-day naps. Try to deprive your body of sleep during the day, so you feel more tired at night and sleep quickly.
- Not taking stimulants like coffee or nicotine close to bedtime. Also, avoid taking meals within 4 hours before sleeping.
Insomnia and anxiety are common problems that cause many people to toss and turn in their beds at night waiting for a peaceful sleep. However, with doctors’ help and sleeping strategies, you can develop habits that promote better sleep.
Remember, you’re not alone. For any help or discussion, feel free to contact Linda Benn.