Most of us value having a good night sleep. It can be very upseting when our anxiety rises and we aren’t able to get a good night’s sleep… We may be able to get through a night or two… But when it happens all too often then it really starts to impact us in a big way. And here in Simi Valley, many of us are juggling raising families and working. As a result, we can become overly focused on our all the things that need to get done. This can really keep us up at night.
Deep sleep is truly restorative and one of the ways our subconscious works through the things that are bothering us during the day. Without it, your body and your mind are not able to process your stress and restore to the level that you need.
One of the biggest things in our lives that can keep us from regularly experiencing deep sleep is anxiety.
Anxiety can creep up at all times of the day, but has its way of hitting strong at night. The mind is trying to rest but anxiety takes over and makes it hard to quiet anything down.
Unfortunately, due to the reality of how important sleep is to our mental state, anxiety creeping up at night affects our lives in numerous ways. It contributes to you feeling sad and frustrated because you just can’t seem to quiet down that mental ruckus. You are going through that checklist of things to do tomorrow, but not in a good way. Rather, in a “I can’t handle life” way. Or you are catching yourself overthinking something that happened in your day and running through unhelpful scenarios. And possibly even, feeling your body react physically to the anxiety you are experiencing in your mind.
The downsides to this include amplifying feelings of overwhelm and worries which are only making you feel less in control and more reactive towards others. You are likely catching yourself overthinking and having a really hard time allowing that “positive” or “calming” voice match or preferably exceed the anxiety voice that is overtaking. Not only is anxiety taking over your day to day, having it take away from your sleep, it is causing you to feel hopeless and yes, very tired.
Perhaps anxiety affects your sleep like this:
You are getting ready for bed. You notice your mind is drifting off into all these thoughts about your day. Maybe what your boss said or how you are worried for your son. Once you lay in bed you start to think about the details of your day tomorrow and start to go into “what if mode.” This is when your mind really starts to play games with you. You start thinking of all the possibilities of ways things can go. Such as, what your boss will say in response to your work, your child’s test packet returning home, and things go on from there.
The downsides to living your life with this much anxiety at night is that you are not getting good sleep and you are training your brain that anxiety can take up so much space.
That anxiety has ALL THIS POWER.
At the time it may have felt like you are just a victim to all of this and that there is nothing you can do. That YOU’VE TRIED EVERYTHING. Unfortunately all this does is make you feel sad, frustrated and lonely. This can impact all parts of your life including your relationships, career, and daily happiness.
Eventually, you wind up in a place of defeat where you feel that nothing will get better. Or you are desperately wanting things to get better, but really unsure how. But the truth is lots of people struggle with anxiety and lose sleep as a result. There is something about the nighttime when our mind is supposed to rest, but it just goes into process mode.
The mind feels the need to process everything that happened within the day and account for everything that could happen tomorrow. The reality is that your mind and anxiety really take you for a ride and you feel that you are a passenger without much control in the way the ride maneuvers. So many people struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep and anxiety is a big culprit in this for many.
It’s inevitable that anxiety can really have a negative impact on one’s sleep. However, if we can learn to use tools to combat and simultaneously soothe the anxiety we can get our sleep back. When we try things differently and take hold of our anxiety, it is entirely possible to sleep through the night and not have anxiety take over.
Keep reading to figure out how you can sleep better at night with anxiety
When you are not sleeping at night with anxiety
When you don’t get help for your anxiety, sleep can really be impacted and leave you feeling burned out, frustrated, and confused on what to do. Feeling that anxiety is the end all and disappointed with yourself that you allowed the anxiety to take away from sleep.
You have less energy during the days so it makes it harder to deal with things coming up. Spending your nights thinking and ultimately overthinking about things that can go wrong the next day or worrying about having a panic attack feels all too familiar. You are recognizing how this is impacting your friendships, marriage or relationship, and confidence overall.
When you are able to put anxiety to bed and having a good night sleep
You will experience a sense of ease knowing that you have the ability to slow down anxiety and have control over this mental state. Feeling that you can enjoy the moment and your thoughts rather than allowing thoughts to take over. When you are able to use your own resources and trust yourself, you will feel proud. You are proud that you are your own source of reassurance, and that you make choices to help you calm down the overwhelm and soothe anxiety. As a result, you are able to have a much better night sleep and have more energy throughout your days.
Yes, it is true, as of now, you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with your anxiety and have sleepless nights.
Not sleeping at night is only one problem with not treating your anxiety but it is a HUGE problem. But you know that the key to having more control over anxiety and sleeping better at night is doing things DIFFERENTLY. Making these changes are not as difficult as you think because you have the ability to learn how to tackle anxiety and take care of yourself.
Take a look at these steps to help you better sleep at night with anxiety:
Nightime can feel like a tornado of things to do and think about. So much so that you have trouble calming it all down and getting your mind to rest. One of the reasons you struggle with sleeping at night is that you don’t have a clear method for settling it all down. You may try to escape from the overwhelm by watching TV, but it all comes flying back.
It makes sense that you are feeling overwhelmed with calming down your mind at night and easing anxiety. Instead of going with the flow and using methods of escape you may consider having a really clear bedtime routine to help you feel that you are really CHOOSING to slow things down. Take a look at these steps to help you sleep better at night with anxiety.
Understand that there is a nighttime routine that will either help you ease anxiety or will amplify it. Choose to ease it. Come up with a list of things you can do to help you at night that feels good to you. It may feel odd, since its different, and different feels odd at first. Assign an amount of time you have to help you settle down and ease anxiety. Have this time become clear in your calendar so that you are prioritizing this in your night time routine.
Here at Simi Psychological Group, we would help you identify what is a plausible routine for you to help you settle down at night. Talking through any obstacles that would be in the way and adjusting the routine as needed. We would work with you on developing alternative ways to slow down and deal with anxiety. We would also practice some of those strategies in the room together.
When you do this you will start to feel more in control of your night. You will feel that you are taking care of yourself and making a change in your life that is for the better.
Understand the different methods you have and how you can implement this in your evening. Some of the methods include:
Going for a walk
Talking out what is on your mind
Reading a book
Taking a bath
Eating a mindful meal or snack
Coming up with a clear “Mantra” and clear talk back language to the anxiety
During sessions with us in Simi Valley, we will help you understand each of these methods in detail. We help you identify any obstacles that may come along the way. Truly understanding the talking back strategies to be used against anxiety is key and therefore, we practice this in the room.
When you start implementing these into your evening routine, you will feel more at ease and recognize that your mind is clearer. You will feel more settled getting into bed and experience less anxiety overall and sleep will come easier to you.
Reduce Self-Blame and allow more space for anxiety to come in and out without giving it too much power. What does this all mean? We can be pretty hard on ourselves and sometimes even mean to ourselves. Blaming and being hard on yourself for experiencing anxiety is likely something all too familiar. Challenge yourself to ALLOW for anxiety to enter and leave without getting overly reactive, frustrated, or irritated with it. Just acknowledge it and know that it will pass.
In sessions, we work on giving anxiety less power. We do so by discovering ways to recognize the anxiety, accepting, and allowing for it to exit in time. Anxiety exacerbates when it has more power and higher levels of focus and attention is given to it. We work on talking back to anxiety and being nicer to yourself in the moment when you are feeling anxious.
When you start working on this you will thank yourself for giving YOU MORE SPACE to feel what is happening without over judging. You will be able to calm your anxiety more easily and soothe it in a given moment.
The ability to ease your anxiety and take hold of your sleep is priceless. Not being able to sleep for extended times is really a strong sign that things are too much and that you need to settle it down. You have the ability to use these tools to truly help you calm anxiety and enjoy sleep again. Simi Psychological Group is here to help…
Call (805) 842-1994 to schedule an appointment today