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What You Should Know about Anxiety and Sleep

What You Should Know about Anxiety and Sleep

Over 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety disorders which can certainly be caused by stressors although anxiety is much more than just being stressed out. There is no one size fits all with anxiety because the disorder itself is very intricate which heeds different symptoms for different people. While most people assume that anxiety is shortness of breath, panic, or paralyzing fear, there are much more indicators where anxiety is concerned.

One of the main ways that people suffer with anxiety is through their sleep patterns. An individual’s sleep schedule can be interrupted whether they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early because they are unable to sleep for long periods of time because of insomnia. Parasomnias can occur when anxiety becomes too overwhelming. Someone’s physical, mental, and emotional activity can become disturbed through their abnormal sleep sequences. With excessive anxiety, a person can sleepwalk, endure narcolepsy, bruxism, restless leg syndrome, and possibly sleep apnea although it is not quite as common.

There is no clear evidence on whether anxiety or disturbed sleep patterns comes first as this can vary with each specific condition. Anxiety can play a role in whether someone sleeps with sleep deprivation being one of the ways that an anxiety disorder can develop. When someone is having issues with sleep and anxiety, the best way to combat this situation is to seek treatment and work through the issues that are causing all the problems.

Finding the appropriate treatment can assist in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and sleep.

Some people will use a sleep disorder clinic and others will consult a psychiatrist for therapy or medication, depending on the severity of the symptoms, to recognize and adjust particular behaviors that may be affecting both.

Other suggestions to relieve anxiety entail practicing meditation, exercising, listening to music, talking to a trusted friend, or being of service to provide an outlet that can relieve some of the negative energy that needs to be released. Diet can also make a difference in someone’s mood as well with their sleeping patterns through eating healthy. By condensing the activities that one may normally do around bedtime, such as watching TV or paying bills, may prove to be instrumental in reducing stress and stimulation to assist in more sound sleep and less anxiety.  

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