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How to Get Over Sleep Anxiety

Rujuta Borkar Nov 18, 2018
Sleep anxiety has got to be one of the worst conditions to affect someone. Losing sleep and not being able to rest. Tell me if there is anything worse. Even the sheep you'd have counted, might have slept by then, but you just cannot sleep!
Imagine plopping on the bed after a long day's work. The aching bones and sore muscles are a testimony to the work schedule that was carried out through the day.
A hundred thoughts running through your head - of what happened today, of what needs to be done tomorrow, of the things you have to arrange for and the people you have to meet. More and more thoughts clutter. Then, start trickling down out of your brain and onto the bed. And there, right before your tired eyes, sleep bids a teary goodbye.
You have lost the count of sheep trying to sleep. Even if the sleep comes and greets for a while, it soon departs leaving you craving for more.
Every time you shut your eyes and feel like you're drifting off into a slumber, a second thought of the piled work makes way, and there you are...awake. Wide, wide awake.
Sleep anxiety. Or not being able to fall asleep. Bad news? Of course it is. Imagine not being able to sleep through the night, waking up after every few seconds, thinking why you're not falling asleep and what you're supposed to do.
The next morning spent in a blur. Tired and eyes burning, yawn after yawn ensues. Something needs to be done about that. And the question staring you right in the face - How to get over sleep anxiety? Demanding answers.

Symptoms and Causes

The word 'anxiety' gives this disorder a very ironic twist, mind you. So, let's say that you can't fall asleep.
As the night lingers on and there's still no signs of sleep, you get more and more worried. 'Why am I not falling asleep!', 'Please sleep' you coax your brain. Nothing. Then you start thinking about what needs to be done the next day and that if you do not sleep, the negative effect it will have on those things. Thus, anxiety sets in and makes it difficult.
With this anxiety, you cannot sleep and every time you do start to drift off, a conscious thought greets you of how you're finally falling asleep and poof! - the sleep? Gone. Your worrying about how you have trouble sleeping at night, of how you'll carry on the following day and how tired you feel, keeps bringing in a regular supply of sleep anxiety attacks.
What exactly happens when this condition makes way? What are the sleep anxiety symptoms? Here are some of the same.
» Inability to sleep through the night due to disturbed and light sleep.

» Waking up at regular intervals in the night, due to certain thoughts running in the head.
» Worrying about the next day and how you'll carry on through the day.

» Feeling tired and dull due to lack of sleep.

» Physical symptoms like increased heart beats, shaking and trembling through the body, headaches, difficulty in breathing, nausea and acidity.
So why does sleep anxiety disorder come about in the first place? And it's not just the adults who are affected, but sleep anxiety in children is quite a common phenomenon as well. There could be several causes that lead up to this condition. Peruse through these varied sleep anxiety causes for a detailed account of why sleep anxiety comes about:
» Anxiety and stress

» Depression

» Traumatic experience in life
» Side effect of certain medication forms

» As a result of underlying health conditions like asthma, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, allergies, Parkinson's disease, cancer and the like

» Poor sleep environment and conditions


A vicious circle as this one, needs to be dealt with, but how? Now, this is the question that has to be answered. There are varied ways by which this anxiety can be dealt with effectively. Let us get to those steps in the following section.

Psyche Yourself for Positivity

So, you're all anxious and worried and no matter how much you don't want to think about it, that's all you're really thinking about. Literally stop those thoughts from having an effect, every single time before you sleep.
Tell yourself that the thoughts cannot do any harm to you and you can discard them completely. When you stop thinking about how you cannot sleep, you'll find that your mind can relax and you can sleep well.

Relax the Mind, Tame your Thought

The next step you need to do is consciously relax your mind. Stop planning, thinking and making mental notes over and over again. This can get in the way of your mind relaxing.
Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditating, dimming the lights, soft music or picturing a serene and calm setting like a flowing river or a meadow will coax the mind to give up the tension and bring about sleep.

Exhaust Yourself Physically

Exercising expels toxins from your body, gets blood flowing, and leads to inducing sleep. If one has the habit of taking naps during the day, it has to stop. This can take away from the night sleep in a big way.

Maintain a Sleep Timetable

It is very important that you maintain the same time of retiring for bed and the same time for waking up. This leads to building a mental timetable for your body clock and you'll find that you begin to feel sleepy naturally as the calculated time approaches.

Watch What you Eat

Eating spicy, oily and fatty foods can lead to indigestion and acid reflux. These are some of the conditions that can lead to sleep anxiety. Avoid these and sleep will follow.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Other Methods

Sleep anxiety can be effectively dealt with the help of CBT techniques. These target the problem at the base and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Similarly, other methods like hypnosis can also be used.
How to get over sleep anxiety. Do we have the required answers for that now? An understanding of the varied causes and symptoms, as well as the treatment methods of this condition is important if one needs to be met with success. So, then what? Stop worrying and the sleep will follow. You'll see.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.