Well Women Network

Anxiety, Stress and Sleep: The Connection

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Stress and sleep

Chronic insomnia is more rampant than you may realize, it actually affects 10 percent of adults in the U.S. alone. Chronic insomnia is characterized by having sleep issues for one month or more. This includes not being able to fall asleep, stay asleep or just feeling that overall your quality of sleep is suffering.

If you think you may be dealing with chronic insomnia, it may be possible that it is an underlying sign of another health issue such as heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy, menopause, or arthritis and it is important to visit your medical provider first.
Many times any form of insomnia can be caused by another issue. For example if you are feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed out you may not be sleeping well; and If you take steps to treat these causes this can ultimately help with your insomnia issues.

Certain foods can contribute to anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Alcohol and caffeine are known to be the two biggest culprits. Try to avoid foods such as tea, coffee, soft drink, and chocolate. If you are taking any medications, look to see if they contain caffeine, unfortunately many do.

If you currently smoke and are dealing with anxiety and/or insomnia then you may want to consider quitting. Did you know that nicotine only acts to increase your blood pressure? Which in turn increases your heart rate and stimulates your brain. Then you wonder why you can’t get a good night’s sleep!

You may find that drinking a glass or two of wine before bed will help you sleep. It does help you fall asleep, but your sleep will not last long and you will wake up feeling tired and groggy. You’ll be lucky to even get back to sleep at all.
If you are looking for foods that will help you sleep then choose those that contain calcium, B vitamins and magnesium.

One of the best ways to deal with anxiety, stress, and insomnia is by starting some type of exercise routine. A 20 minute daily walk can do wonders for your health, and help induce sleep at night time. Avoid exercising too close to bed time, as this can stimulate your brain and body. Start out by walking 2 or 3 times each week.

Another cause of your insomnia could be your bedroom! Keep your room as dark as possible and free from any noise such as the light from the television or an outside street light. If you happen to live on a busy street you might want to try wearing a sleep mask at night. Also check the temperature of your room. You don’t want to be too warm. Some people find it helpful to sleep with their window open a little, when possible.
Trying not to get anxious or stressed out over not sleeping is not easy. The more you fret and worry the worse your insomnia becomes, it truly is a viscous cycle.

You may want to get into the habit of trying some calming routines before bed. Taking a warm bubble bath filled with lavender. Drinking an herbal tea. Listening to some relaxing music or even reading can all help induce sleep.

Start to condition your mind that you are tired and that you will fall asleep. It will be difficult at first but try to always keep a positive mindset and not a negative one. Look forward to sleep – maybe even treat yourself to a new pillow and comforter.

3,198 thoughts on “Anxiety, Stress and Sleep: The Connection”

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