Does the lack of sleep cause anxiety or is anxiety the cause of sleep disorders? Haven’t we all questioned that at least once when we experienced insomnia? The truth is the relation between anxiety and restlessness is bilateral, meaning each one of them can either be the cause or the effect.
For those of you who can’t sleep because of their increased anxiety level, we have eight methods to reduce it before going to bed.
Done in the morning or in the afternoon, exercising efficiently helps reducing anxiety and improving sleep. It is recommended not to do a rough work out right before you go to bed, as it promotes alertness, but if there is enough time between the two, it should help you get your sleep routine back on track.
2. Limit screen time
Close the screens at least one hour before bedtime, as digitals emit blue light that keeps your brain awake. It may be harder for you to calm anxious thoughts if you stay up late working or watching TV.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol
Both caffeine and alcohol inhibit sleep. What is more, alcohol also increases your heart rate and coffee, due to its diuretic properties, might keep you awake and anxious because of the trips to the bathroom.
4. Listen to music or read a book
Calm ambient music will certainly help you get rid of the thoughts that don’t let you sleep. Try listening to some classical music before going to bed. You could also try reading a book meanwhile, but it is recommended that you read in a place other than the bed, as it is thought that the bed is associated with sleeping and you might not be able to focus on what you're reading.
Nowadays, relaxation and mindfulness techniques have evolved a lot and there are a lot of different ways to calm down, such as yoga, breathing techniques, mindfulness meditation or even taking a walk. You should try them and see which one works for you.
6. Establish a pre-sleep routine
You need to separate the nighttime from the rest of the day and the best way to do it is a pre-sleep routine. This way, your brain will know when it’s time for sleep, as it would receive signals. We function a lot better on routines, you should really give it a try.
7. Focus on the positive thoughts
It may sound hard and probably weird, but this kind of therapy really works. Thinking about the good part of things and generally about what makes you happy helps your brain release serotonin, one of the hormones for happiness. This way, anxiety is reduced.
8. Write down your worries
Separating the day from the nighttime can also be done this way. Furthermore, it is thought to help you relieve the stressful experiences that happened during the day and calm down your mind.
All in all, anxiety can impact how you function and feel, how you sleep and how you interact with others. It is important you treat it so you can stop your brain from buzzing and improve the quality of your sleep.
So go ahead and choose the method that you think to be suiting you better.