Zenbev - Sleep More, Worry Less

Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | May 4, 2016

It’s bad enough when stress and anxiety impacts us during the day, but for many it’s something we lose sleep over…literally. And of course this causes a vicious cycle of not being refreshed enough to deal with the problems of the day, and then being stressed out when we go to bed and not getting adequate sleep.

Insomnia, waking up during the night, having trouble falling asleep, and waking up still feeling tired can all be signs of anxiety and about 80% of adults experience some form sleep-related difficulty at some point in their lives.

So how can we sleep more and worry less?

We can’t wave a magic wand and have our problems disappear, but there are coping mechanisms we can use to manage anxiety – and when it comes to getting a good night’s rest - that can be almost as good.

Here are a few tips that can help even the most overwhelmed of us drift off to dreamland:

Make time for sleep

It sounds simple, but if you don’t block out seven to nine hours for uninterrupted sleep, there is a good chance you will spend time that should be dedicated to rest working on some project or surfing the internet.

Get into a routine

Not having a regular routine can make anxiety and sleep disorders worse. Having a nightly ritual will signal to your body and mind that it is time to shut things down for the night.

Sweat away your stress

Physical activity isn’t only good for the body; it is good for the mind as well. Regular workouts release ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain which can help to reduce stress.

Just make sure your workouts aren’t too close to bedtime – otherwise, you will end up getting yourself worked up and it will be harder to fall asleep.

Stay away from stimulants at night

If you come home from work feeling exhausted, reaching for the coffee or caffeinated soda might seem like a quick fix.

Don’t do it.

It might perk you up in the moment, but the net result is often a poor night’s sleep and still feeling tired again the next day.

Make your bedroom a worry-free oasis

Avoid the temptation to sit in bed while working on your laptop – or even to watch TV for that matter in the bedroom.

Learn what triggers your anxiety

If you find that you are frequently stressed, do your best to find out the cause. You can do this by keeping a journal and looking for patterns. Once you know your triggers, it will be easier to develop coping mechanisms.

Talk to your doctor

If you feel that your problem has gone beyond “regular stress”, then professional treatment can help. Talking to a doctor or therapist might be necessary to help you find a solution.

Remember, all of us have worries from time to time and there is nothing unusual about the occasional sleepless night over these worries; but when anxiety becomes a regular hindrance to a good night’s sleep, it is time to do something about it. Keep these tips in mind to manage your anxiety for better quality sleep.

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