If you're a bit of a worry wart, it's most likely that getting to and staying asleep is a bit of a trick for you. It's no coincidence - research findings at Neuroscience 2018, (the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience) have suggested that sleep loss and anxiety are closely linked. Anxiety and sleep are intimately connected: the less sleep you get, the more anxious you feel. The more anxious you feel, the less sleep you get. It’s a cycle many insomnia and anxiety sufferers find hard to break. Findings also showed that brain activity after periods of sleep deprivation mirrors brain activity indicative of anxiety disorders. The amygdala - the seat of the brain’s fight or flight response - is particularly hard to switch off when we haven't had enough rest.
At some point it’s hard to tell whether you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re anxious, or you’re anxious because you can’t sleep. The answer may be both. It’s a two-way street: Stress and anxiety can cause sleeping problems, or worsen existing ones. But lack of sleep can also cause an anxiety disorder.
Just like physical pain, in and of itself anxiety is not a bad thing: it signals that something is wrong. Temporary anxiety is normal and can count as healthy, because it draws our attention to causes of stress that might need correcting. But anxiety disorders - the excessive and chronic reactions to stress - are mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders are, in other words, worry that sticks way past its usefulness to us; it does not go away and often gets worse with time.
It's not all doom and gloom. Here are a few simple tricks you can try to switch off your brain when it's time to catch some zzz's:
Focusing on your breath and physical sensations can help you stay in the moment, grounding your thoughts. This can help you recognize what your thoughts may be, allowing them to pass.
Exercise releases mood-enhancing endorphins that can combat the stress you may feel. It also provides you with a distraction and an outlet to release your frustrations.
Create Your Own Sleep Sanctuary
Sleep in a room dedicated to sleeping. You want your only association with the room to be sleep - and sleep in a dark room. The less light there is, the more soundly you likely will sleep.
Get Some Extra Help
Research has found homeopathic treatment improves sleep quality in those suffering acute stress and anxiety. Our natural Calm Sleep Homeopathic Tincture is formulated to help calm a worried mind and support a deep, restful sleep.
Try a sleep supplement - our Deep Sleep Supplement is specially formulated to aid uninterrupted sleep and to build regular sleep patterns. This combination of nutrients is scientifically recognised to support sleep and relaxation, making it perfect for those experiencing sleep difficulties due to stress, anxiety and lifestyle influences.
Still not sleeping? If you think that you might have more serious sleep problems, clinical anxiety, or clinical depression, talk to your doctor. A specialist can help you find a treatment plan - it's important to look after your mental health!