There are many factors that can cause us to have a bad night’s sleep, but it is a regular occurrence for anyone suffering from anxiety. When you are worried about money, work, or relationship issues, it makes it harder to fall asleep in the first place, and when you do finally fall asleep, you find yourself tossing and turning and waking up in the early hours. Although feeling anxious is normal from time to time, if it is getting in the way of your quality of sleep, you need to take steps to improve it. Here are some tips you can use.
Consult Your Doctor
The problem with anxiety and sleep is that they are interlinked in a way that becomes a vicious circle. People who are unable to fall asleep and stay asleep then become anxious about sleep, which is on top of the anxious feelings they already have about something entirely unrelated. The good news is that if you take steps to ease your anxiety, a good night’s sleep will soon follow. Speak to your doctor to see if they are able to refer you for cognitive therapy, or they may even suggest medication. If you would rather take steps to ease your anxiety before contacting your GP, consider the tips below.
Create a New Bedtime Routine
If your current bedtime routine consists of going to bed when you feel tired, scrolling through your phone, and lying awake thinking of all the things you need to do/should have done, it’s time to change things up. First of all, you need to pick a bedtime and stick to it. When you get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, your body’s circadian clock will be more in sync and it will know when to start winding down. As well as this, it is a good idea to take some time before bed to jot down any worries or tasks that need doing the next day. When you have your concerns written down on paper, it makes it easier for your brain to switch off.
Telling someone with anxiety to try and relax is easier said than done! However, you can teach yourself to become more relaxed at bedtime by practicing breathing techniques, yoga, meditation or simply listening to calming music. Find some time in the day to get used to the new exercises so that you can feel more comfortable doing them before bed. Additionally, if you are unable to relax once you are in bed, distract yourself by getting out of bed and doing something relaxing like reading.
Invest in a New Bed
Of course, if you have tried all the tips above and you are still unable to get a good night’s sleep, it may be your mattress that is keeping you awake. If you have had your mattress for 10 years or more, it definitely needs replacing. Try to find the best mattress available that will support you in the right way for your normal sleeping position, and you will find that your sleep quality drastically improves. As well as this, you might want to look at your sleeping environment. A lick of paint can do wonders in helping you drift off; for example, colors like blue, violet, green, white, and yellow are all said to have calming effects.
Anxiety can be debilitating, but it is even more so when you are not getting the vital sleep your body needs. Consider using the tips above to help you achieve a good night’s sleep.