There may be a link between sleep and anxiety . It's possible that a lack of sleep is the cause of anxiety. Likewise, anxiety can affect a person's sleep. Treatments may include lifestyle changes, therapies, chemical medications, or natural treatments . We will explain everything to you !
According to research, 10-30% of the population does not sleep well .
Does anxiety affect sleep?
According to an article in the journal Sleep , anxiety can lead to sleep problems and vice versa. Doctors have found that there are common brain pathways between sleep problems and anxiety.
According to an article in the journal Current Opinions in Psychiatry , about 90% of young people who suffer from anxiety report having problems sleeping .
An article in the journal Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience , notes that symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include difficulty falling and staying asleep, restless and unsatisfactory sleep, and sleep disturbances.
Modern technology may also play a role in anxiety's influence on sleep . A study published in the Journal of Adolescence looked at 467 teenagers in Scotland and found that using social media in the evening increased anxiety as well as feelings of depression and low self-esteem.
Does sleep affect anxiety?
A 2020 study in China of nearly 4,000 people aged 60 and older found that people whose sleep quality and duration were affected had a higher risk of anxiety.
The researchers studied people who reported poor sleep quality and adjusted their results for other possible risk factors, including socioeconomic status, health status, and social support.
They found higher odds ratios that a person with poor sleep quality would have a higher risk of suffering from anxiety .
It's not entirely clear whether lack of sleep is the cause of anxiety or whether anxiety is the cause of the inability to sleep. However, researchers generally consider these two conditions to be interconnected and closely related.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person is unable to fall asleep or has difficulty staying asleep.
A person suffering from insomnia may experience:
- difficulty falling asleep, even when lying in bed and feeling ready to sleep
- waking up frequently during the night and not being able to go back to sleep
- waking up much earlier than expected in the morning
- waking up and feeling like you haven't had a restful sleep.
Some of these symptoms may be associated with other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when a person's breathing stops and starts while they sleep.Anyone who thinks they may have sleep apnea should see a doctor for an evaluation.
There are two types of insomnia
- Acute insomnia : Stress can cause acute insomnia. It usually lasts a few days or weeks. This type of insomnia disappears without therapeutic intervention. Certain lifestyle changes can also promote sleep.
- Chronic Insomnia : Medications, medical conditions or sleep disorders can cause chronic insomnia. It usually lasts a month or more. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication can help this type of insomnia. There are also natural treatments to relieve insomnia:
According to a 2010 article in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, people with chronic insomnia are more likely to suffer from mental disorders, such as anxiety , substance abuse, suicide and depression.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a symptom that occurs when a person perceives a situation or event to be more threatening or stressful than would normally be the case. Anxiety causes feelings of stress, worry, and even fear.
Doctors have identified different types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder : Generalized anxiety disorder is a condition that causes excessive anxiety and worry. The person has difficulty controlling their worry and may experience physical manifestations, including sleep disturbances.
- Separation anxiety disorder : This disorder is common among young people and may be due to fear of moving away from a family member, such as a parent, or from home. Adults can suffer from separation anxiety disorder, and fear of separation can affect their ability to sleep well.
- Social Anxiety Disorder : This disorder results in overwhelming anxiety related to social situations that other people consider mundane. Examples of behaviors that doctors associate with social anxiety include eating in front of other people, speaking in public, or attending a meeting.
Treatment for anxiety can be similar to that for sleep disorders. It is a combination of lifestyle changes, medication and CBT.
There are also natural treatments to relieve anxiety and insomnia such as our serenity and sleep range.
Making lifestyle changes can create an overall sense of well-being that promotes sleep and can help a person reduce their anxiety levels.
Here are some examples of ways to achieve this:
- Avoiding stimulants before bed: Stimulants, such as caffeine, nicotine, and strenuous exercise, can affect the body's natural rhythm.
- Establish a bedtime routine: Going to bed and waking up at regular times while avoiding naps during the day can “train” the body to fall asleep and wake up more refreshed.
- Follow bedtime rituals: Having a regular bedtime routine that includes visual cues, like starting to dim the lights, can promote sleep. These routines can begin to signal to the body that it is time to calm down and that it is nearing time to sleep.
- Find a distraction: Get out of bed and do something else that can make you want to sleep, like read a book. A person should only return to bed when they feel like they can fall asleep.
- Making sure the bedroom is a cool, dark, comforting place can also help.