According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over 40 million people in America suffer from insomnia or experience other sleep disorders. If you’re here, then that means you probably have trouble sleeping at night, too. Having Anxiety can make sleep disorders worse. Feeling tired and exhausted because of lack of sleep can lead to panic attacks, which is why it’s essential to fix your sleep schedule.
Suffering from insomnia or sleep disorders can make it hard to focus on daily activities, and they can also impair cognitive functions. Here are 15 ways you can stop insomnia or sleep disorders and fight Anxiety:
1. Meditating to overcome sleep disorders
Meditation is a great way to overcome insomnia or sleep disorders. Meditation can help you feel calm, which will make it easier to sleep at night. Many people have trouble sleeping because they have too much going on in their heads. Meditation has a lot of techniques that can help you clear your head.
In the US, meditation is practiced by one in every six American adults. Mindfulness meditation can help treat chronic insomnia and improve sleep quality. Meditation induces a “relaxation response,” which makes the practitioner feel relaxed. It has also been shown that meditation helps to improve emotion regulation.
Regular exercising has tons of benefits. It helps keep stress under control, improves sleep quality, and helps with sleep disorders. Cardio, strength training, and yoga are beneficial in overcoming insomnia or sleep disorders. Activities like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and running will improve your physical and mental health and help you sleep better at night.
Strength training includes weightlifting to build muscles. Exercises like bicep curls, tricep dips, sit-ups, and push-ups are great at making you stronger and healthier. Weightlifting will boost your self-esteem and help you fall asleep easily at night. Yoga can also help you feel calmer if you regularly practice relaxing poses and stretches. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you should start exercising regularly!
3. Listen to music when you have trouble sleeping
Playing soft music when you cannot fall asleep can relax your mind and body. Ever wonder why parents worldwide sing lullabies to their babies when they cannot fall asleep? It is because soft and gentle music has healing properties, and it helps people of all ages sleep better. According to one study, listening to soothing music for 45 minutes before sleep can improve sleep quality.
Listening to music before going to sleep can also help you fall asleep faster at night. In one study, women who had insomnia were asked to play music of their choice before going to sleep for 10 nights. After 10 nights, they found that it took them around 13 minutes to fall asleep. Before experimenting, it took them about 60 minutes to fall asleep.
4. Reduce stress in your life
Insomnia or sleep disorders can often be caused by too much stress. When you are stressed and have too much on your mind, you tend to overthink when you lie in bed at night. You are always thinking about work or your studies, and that can make it hard to fall asleep. Stress can also aggravate your anxiety symptoms, which make it even harder to sleep.
Do activities that will help reduce your stress. Playing music before going to sleep is one way to reduce stress. Spend more time doing things you like, something that will make you happy. If you continue to do things you have no interest in, you will feel burned out, and you will get more stressed.
5. Set a sleeping time
Make sure you fall asleep fast and set up a regular bedtime routine at an appropriate time. Make a schedule and set a time for falling asleep. Do the same activities every night before you go to bed – clean your room, make your bed, do not watch TV, use your laptop, don’t check your phone, don’t drink coffee, eat chocolates, and listen to soft music or read a book. If you suffer from insomnia or sleep disorders, the first thing you should do is organize your life.
Having an established routine will turn sleeping into a habit, and if you repeat the same tasks every night before going to bed, you will have no trouble falling asleep. You will be conditioning yourself into sleeping by doing the same activities every night.
6. Bed should only be for sleeping
If you live in a house with a lot of space in it, you should only hop into your bed when you are sleepy. If you are working from home, you have probably developed a habit of using your laptop in bed. All the electronic devices that you have are capable of worsening sleep disorders. Their artificial lights can make it hard to fall asleep.
Eating in bed is also not the right decision. If you have a habit of eating in bed, make sure you clean your bed sheets at least once a week. Your mind needs to know that your bedroom is a place where you can rest and sleep. If you try to do everything in your bed, you will constantly get the urge to do things other than sleeping when lying in bed.
7. Do not look at the clock when you are having trouble sleeping
Sometimes, when you have trouble sleeping at night, you tend to look at your clock to see its time. Doing this repeatedly at night when you’re trying to sleep can fuel your Anxiety and make it harder to sleep. If you have work in the morning, you’ll keep thinking about how you’ll be late if you don’t fall asleep soon, and you’ll keep checking the time to see how much you have left before you have to get up and get dressed for work.
You can avoid looking at the clock, but an even better option would be to put your clock in a different room when you’re about to sleep. If you use your phone to check the time, put your phone in a drawer or another room.
8. Change your perspective
Sleeping is supposed to be a pleasant experience, but for many people, it’s the opposite. You probably dread going to sleep on most nights because you know you’ll have trouble sleeping, and your Anxiety will keep you awake. You’re afraid because you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll spend the entire night tossing and turning in bed.
According to an article by Winnie Yu, sometimes, changing your perspective can do wonders for your mental health. She says that if you can tell yourself that it’s completely okay if you can’t fall asleep at night and that sometimes it can’t be avoided, your body will be able to relax, and you won’t feel as anxious.
9. Do something until you get tired when you’re suffering from sleep disorders
Sometimes you can’t sleep at night because you still feel active and energized. Your body wants to get up and do something, but you know that’s not a good idea because you probably have to wake up early the next day. The problem is you can’t force yourself to sleep. If you’re not tired, that means you’re not tired. The more you try to force it, the harder it will become for you to sleep.
You can do something in a situation like getting up and doing something until your body and mind start feeling tired. You can spend some time with your pet or walk around until you start feeling tired. Reading a book is probably the best option. Once you feel you’re getting tired, jump into your bed, and hopefully, you’ll fall asleep immediately!
10. Set a morning routine
We talked about setting a nighttime routine, but did you know that selecting a morning routine can be just as effective in beating insomnia or sleep disorders? Try to wake up at the same time in the morning so your body can adjust to your circadian rhythm. According to a study, people who wake up at the same time tend to go to sleep at night at the same time. This can be effective in helping your bedtime become consistent.
11. Darken your room
Darkening your room and making it cold can also help if you have insomnia. If there are windows in your room, make sure they’re all blacked out when it’s time for you to sleep. Please don’t put a heater in your room unless it’s necessary. A colder room lowers the body’s core temperature, which signals the body that it’s time to sleep.
A study by the University of South Australia found that people who suffer from insomnia have a higher core temperature, and it’s one of the factors that make it hard for them to fall asleep. Sleeping in a warm room increases the chances of people waking up during their natural sleep cycle. A colder room also produces more melatonin, which assists in keeping you stay asleep at night.
12. Back off from Blue light
Smartphones, computer screens, TVs, and electronic screening emit blue lights that are harmful to the eyes and disrupt sleep. To get a night of good sleep, you need to minimize screen time before the bedtime schedule. Light keeps you active and decrease sleep time. If you feel difficulty avoiding so, keep your devices away from you or put them in another room.
Electronic devices in your room create distractions that remind you of doing something and act as secret stressors. For quality sleep, make up your schedule and stick to your bed rituals.
13. Don’t nap during the day
If you wake up early and take frequent naps during the day, you’ll have trouble sleeping at night. It’s healthy to take short naps, but if you nap for more than 30 minutes, you won’t be able to sleep later at night.
If you feel you can’t function during the day without taking a nap, only doze off for 10 to 20 minutes. Effective napping can be beneficial for your health, but make sure you don’t oversleep. Stick to your nighttime routine, and don’t let your morning naps ruin your sleep schedule.
14. Sleeping pills
Prescription sleeping pills like diphenhydramine and doxylamine can cure insomnia temporarily and help you sleep at night. Still, they shouldn’t be used for too long, and they can worsen sleep disorders if you’re not careful.
You should only take sleeping pills if nothing is helping you. If you’ve tried changing your sleep habits and still have trouble sleeping at night, only then should you turn to sleep pills. If you’re already taking other medications, you should talk to your doctor about taking sleeping pills first.
Medications won’t completely cure your insomnia, and they’ll most likely make it worse over time. Think about why you have trouble sleeping at night. Some of the most common causes of insomnia are overthinking, stress, and negative thoughts. If you think those are the reasons you’re suffering from insomnia and nothing is helping you, then you should see a therapist.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective method to cure insomnia. A therapist will help you understand why you can’t sleep and what you can do to stop overthinking. They’ll also change your perception of sleep so you can develop a healthy attitude towards it. A study by Harvard Medical School showed that CBT was better at curing insomnia than sleeping pills.
Summing it up
Sleeping should be a pleasant experience for everyone. Lack of it can lead to health problems and worsen Anxiety, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Talk to a therapist if you think you’re suffering from insomnia or sleep disorders.
Moving forward with Psychotherapy
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With these options, we believe your insomnia can be resolved soon.
Take care and stay well.