March 30, 2023
how to sleep better with anxiety

5 Proven Techniques to Help You Sleep Better with Anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that can have a significant impact on your ability to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re struggling with anxiety and finding it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll discuss five proven techniques that can help you sleep better with anxiety.

1. Practice relaxation techniques before bed.

One of the most effective ways to improve your sleep when you have anxiety is to practice relaxation techniques before bed. This can help calm your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Some relaxation techniques that you can try include:

  • Deep breathing exercises: Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on your breath and try to let go of any racing thoughts.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Starting with your toes, tense and then relax each muscle group in your body, moving up to your calves, thighs, abdomen, chest, arms, and so on.
  • Visualization: Imagine a peaceful scene in your mind, such as a serene beach or a calming forest. Focus on the details of the scene and try to engage your senses.

2. Establish a bedtime routine.

Having a regular bedtime routine can be incredibly helpful for managing anxiety and improving your sleep. A bedtime routine can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Some things that you can include in your bedtime routine are:

  • A warm bath or shower: Taking a warm bath or shower before bed can help relax your muscles and prepare your body for sleep.
  • A relaxing activity: This could be reading a book, listening to calming music, or doing some light stretching or yoga.
  • Avoiding screens: The blue light from electronic screens can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Try to avoid using screens at least an hour before bed.

3. Create a sleep-conducive environment.

The environment in which you sleep can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep. Creating a sleep-conducive environment can help you sleep better with anxiety. Here are some things that you can do:

  • Keep your bedroom dark: Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, which can help you fall asleep faster. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out any light.
  • Keep your bedroom cool: A cool, comfortable temperature can help your body relax and fall asleep more easily. Aim for a temperature of around 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Reduce noise: Noise can be a major sleep disruptor, especially for people with anxiety. Use earplugs or a white noise machine to block out any unwanted sounds.

4. Consider using sleep aids.

If you’re struggling to sleep despite trying the techniques mentioned above, you may want to consider using sleep aids. There are a few different types of sleep aids available, including over-the-counter options and prescription medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor before using any sleep aids, as they can have potential side effects and may not be right for everyone.

Over-the-counter sleep aids: These are available without a prescription and can include herbal remedies like melatonin and valerian root.

Prescription sleep aids: These are medications that are prescribed by a doctor and can be effective for treating insomnia. Examples include benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines.

It’s important to note that sleep aids should only be used as a short-term solution. Please consult your doctor if your sleep problems persist.

5. Address your anxiety.

While the techniques discussed above can help you sleep better with anxiety, it’s also important to address the underlying cause of your anxiety. This may involve seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor, who can help you develop coping strategies and manage your anxiety.

It may also be helpful to try some self-care techniques, such as exercise, meditation, or journaling, to help reduce your anxiety and improve your overall mental health.

Anxiety can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, but there are proven techniques that can help. By practicing relaxation techniques, establishing a bedtime routine, creating a sleep-conducive environment, considering the use of sleep aids, and addressing your anxiety, you can improve your sleep and manage your anxiety more effectively.