Do you suffer from insomnia and anxiety? This is a problem that plagues millions of Americans every day. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that plagues 3 million Americans every day. Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million Americans and is one of the most common mental illnesses today. Anxiety or insomnia creates a vicious cycle.
Why do people suffer from insomnia from anxiety? Anxiety causes a "fight-or-flight" response that causes floods the body with adrenaline. The person in question may experience heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and lack of focus in their daily life. While they may feel exhausted, the heightened sense of anxiety causes fear and worry that make it hard to fall asleep. This leads to insomnia.
People suffer from anxiety in all shapes and forms. The symptoms of anxiety have a pretty distinct pattern. The most common ones and their medical conditions:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: GAD sufferers experience anxiety for long periods of time (over 6 months). This can be caused by work, health, or social interactions. Some common symptoms are fatigue, brain fog, tense muscles, and sleep problems like insomnia. High levels of anxiety disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect sleep.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): The National Institute of Mental Health reports that this disorder affects 2.2 million Americans. It causes the person to have recurring uncontrollable thoughts that create anxiety in the sufferer. This may lead patients with anxiety to feel obsessive and double-check certain things twice.
Panic Disorder: Panic disorder happens unexpectedly and recurs without warning due to certain triggers. Panic disorders affect 6 million Americans. These panic attacks cause the body to be flooded with adrenaline and cause intense fear that lasts for a few minutes.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is the development of fear or anxiety due to a shocking and life-threatening event. Anxiety and depression can occur when suffering from PTSD. About 7.7 million adults suffer from PTSD. It may cause difficulty falling asleep, recurring nightmares, feelings of guilt or blame, and feeling always on edge.
Social Anxiety Disorder: Social phobia is an intense fear related to social situations. This commonly relates to school, work, or public places.
Effects of insomnia
Insomnia is a medical term for difficulty sleeping, which includes:
- difficulty falling asleep
- unable to stay asleep
- waking up in the middle of the night
waking up exhausted
Sleep is a renewing and restorative process for your body. If you are struggling with insomnia from anxiety, you might experience side effects like:
- Increased risk of stroke
- Asthma attacks
- Elevated risk of seizures
- Weaker immune system
- Increased risk of diabetes mellitus
Elevated blood pressure and heart disease
Sleep deprivation can lead to a shorter life expectancy. Lack of sleep can subject you to increased risk of dying by 12%. Improving your sleep habits can dramatically avoid major depression and anxiety and help you lead a better life.
How to sleep better
Sleep quality can help with reducing anxiety and stress. In the article How to Sleep Well: 19 Proven Tips & Tricks, we break down all the best tips and tricks to improve your sleep health. Here are the tips below for a good night's rest:
- Meditate before sleep
- Talk to a doctor
- Take a warm bath
- Wind down during the last hour
- Avoid heavy meals before bed
- Don't smoke
- Optimize the temperature
- Optimize your sleep environment
- Use a comfortable mattress and pillows
- Avoid alcohol in the evening
- Try melatonin supplements
- Don't take long daytime naps
- Don't drink coffee close to bedtime
- Create a bedtime ritual at the same time every day
- Exercise daily
- Reduce screen exposure in the evening
- Increase exposure to light during the daytime
- Read a book
Follow a consistent sleep schedule
You can learn more about how to improve your sleep health here.
Sleep studies show that chronic anxiety and sleep deprivation can have devasting effects on your body. This is a useful tactic to treat insomnia. Just the simple act of living mindfully shifts how you think about your life without judgment. It is one of many great relaxation techniques that improves sleep patterns. Living mindfully may take years to develop, but it allows you to have a new perspective to cope with difficult situations.
At Testimonio, we are here to help you live more mindfully. If you are suffering from symptoms of anxiety or you just want to create better sleep habits, try our app today. We understand how difficult it is to suffer from insomnia with anxiety, and the first step to a changed life is seeing your situations through a different lens. Don't give up, and stay victorious!