If you don't know what anxiety and stress are, you're in luck. These two phenomena are responses of our body that occur when faced with danger or the perception of it, something very necessary that allows finding solutions to face a real danger.
However, anxiety can become a problem when your symptoms get out of proportion, get too intense or last longer than necessary.
A constant state of alert makes it seriously difficult to fall asleep.
Difficulties with sleeping
Stress is one of the factors that most affects rest. It is not more than one over-activation of the mind which can consist of intrusive thoughts, worries and uncontrollable emotions: stress translates into a great difficulty sleeping or poor quality rest; lack of sleep caused by stress can be reflected in higher levels of stress and anxiety that cause irritability and, in turn, make sleep difficult, becoming an infinite loop. Thus, anxiety becomes at the same time a trigger and a consequence of insomnia.
Anxiety is also a difficulty when regulating emotions that not only affect us when going to sleep, but also in day-to-day life and how we deal with it.
One of the main consequences of insomnia is worrying about not sleeping, which generates more anxiety. It doesn't take long for your mind to think that if you don't sleep you won't perform well the next day and that insomnia could negatively affect your general health.
In addition to all the cognitive and emotional responses to anxiety, there are also many physical symptoms that disturb sleep, such as: tachycardia, hyperventilation, tremors, muscle tension, feeling of pressure in the chest, nausea, etc.
What can I do to fix it?
At BeZen we cannot offer you expert remedies in psychology, so the most effective would be consulting a professional and treating it with therapy.
However, we have put together a series of tips provided by people who suffer from sleep anxiety.
The first thing is examining the possible causes of your anxiety to treat them at the root. Sometimes something as simple as limiting your caffeine intake can resolve bouts of insomnia and anxiety. At other times, a more thorough analysis is needed to find the trigger.
Try to follow a fixed sleep schedule: the more you accustom your body to sleeping at a certain time, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep when the time comes.
Try associating your bed only with rest. This is achieved by performing other activities that you normally carry out in bed (looking at your mobile, reading, etc.) in other places in the house.
Although it is much easier said than done, try not to make too much of it if you can't sleep one or several nights: by obsessing over not being rested, it is more likely that it will become a habit.
Many times, anxiety is treated with different tools or control mechanisms that are developed in therapy: it is very common for anxiety to arise when we cannot control something that causes us fear, so it is usually treated by organizing things that we can control. Making lists and organising your day can relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
Keep calm, BeZen.