Sleep & Anxiety

Studies have shown that lack of sleep can be one of the main contributors to anxiety problems. When we are tired our brains are unable to function correctly, our attention span drops, as does our concentration. Reasoning becomes more difficult and our memory suffers.

Sleep deprivation will also lead to lack of energy and eventually have a negative effect on health. Anxiety is exhausting in itself. Your mind is on overdrive most of the time. So what can be done? How can you switch your mind off from racing around?

How can you improve your sleeping habits?

1. ROUTINE: It is important to stick to a regular routine. This means going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Weekends Included. A ritual of whatever relaxes you is great, (soothing music, warm milky drink, light reading and relaxation exercise). Use ‘white noise’ to block out any interfering sounds. (Radio out of frequency, Fan, cd/app of waterfall/rain/wind)

2. TEMPERATURE: The bedroom should be kept at a comfortable temperature, it is important also to ‘air’ the room, open the window when you first get up, even if it is just for ten minutes (whatever the weather).

3. EXERCISE: Studies have shown that regular exercise induces peaceful sleep. Anything is better than nothing. But exercising in the evening is not advised.

4. COMFORT: Turn Mattresses and pillows regularly and wear comfortable nightwear.

5. LIGHT: Increase light exposure during the daytime hours. If you cannot get outside, then sit by a window. Open curtains or blinds as soon as you get up. Keep the bedroom as dim as possible.

6. THOUGHT: Bedtime is switch-off time. Keep a pen and paper next to your bed, if any worries or troubles enter your thoughts as you are preparing for sleep, note them down and tell yourself ‘there is a time and place for everything’ You will attend to these things in the morning with a fresh mind. Fill your brain with positive thoughts when getting into bed, (sunny places, happy memories, positive goals).

7. DIET: Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol, especially during the evening. Avoid large meals in the evening.

8. TECHNOLOGY: Keep usage of mobile phones, computers, tablets, and televisions to a minimum before bedtime. Give yourself at least thirty minutes of screen-free time before tucking down. Try and keep all technology out of the bedroom. It may seem harmless to check social media or watch a few videos before bed but you are actually keeping your mind active instead of letting it unwind ready for sleep.

9. RELAXATION: Learn to set aside a period during the day to meditate or relax. This could include breathing exercises, meditation and yoga and muscle relaxation.

10. DON’T WORRY: Not sleeping is annoying but it isn’t life-threatening.

Worrying about it will achieve nothing. Follow these steps and things should improve.

Anxiety & Fatigue By Professor Kevin Gournay

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1 thought on “Sleep & Anxiety”

  1. Not sure about number 10: “Not sleeping is annoying but it isn’t life threatening”
    I think if it gets too serious and for too long a period (as mine is), it can lead to some pretty serious conditions which in turn could be life threatening.

    That apart, great website and very kind people working for it.

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