The Benefits Of Focused Meditation
In this style of meditation, what youre really doing is exercising your mental muscles. Your brain is highly affected by dedicated and concentrated meditation practice.
Scientists have performed countless studies on focused meditation and have found that active meditators have more gray matter volume in their brain and, therefore, offsetting the cognitive decline that comes with aging. So, not only does practicing focused meditation help you learn how to focus better on certain tasks, but it also improves similar functions, such as memory.
Likewise, it helps in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, which our society is currently crippled with. By settling your attention on an object, you are essentially building your ability to observe your thoughts and sensations from a place of objectivity. This allows you to detach from negative self-talk that is often the breeding ground for depression and other mental illnesses.
From a guided meditation for focus to practicing it yourself, daily meditation for focus comes with several benefits:
- Itll reduce stress
- Helps you to focus on the present moment
- Increase your creativity and imagination
- And boost your patience and tolerance for things.
What Causes Sleep Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural part of being human. Were meant to feel afraid or worried in dangerous situations. Stress and anxiety trigger our bodies to release hormones that help us react quickly to escape harm. But if you have chronic anxiety, you might feel stress or worry all the time. You may feel fearful of everyday situations like driving to work or even falling asleep.
Chronically high levels of these hormones, especially before sleep, can make it hard for your body to relax. You may have difficulty falling asleep. If you do fall asleep, you may wake up during the night with stressful or worrisome thoughts and not be able to fall asleep again.
The combination of a anxiety and insomnia can also be caused by a condition where there isnt enough thyroid hormone in your bloodstream and your metabolism slows down .
Research suggests that anxiety can affect rapid eye movement sleep. This is the phase of sleep when you tend to have vivid dreams. If you have anxiety, the dreams may be disturbing or turn into nightmares that wake you.
Just as anxiety can affect sleep, sleep can affect anxiety. Sleep anxiety is a common characteristic of insomnia, wherein the individual begins to experience anxiety during the day and evening about poor sleep, which may help cause another night of bad sleep.
What Tests Help Confirm A Sleep Anxiety Diagnosis
In some cases, your provider may do a sleep study to find out if you have a sleep disorder. Also called polysomnography, a sleep study is a test where you stay overnight in a sleep lab. Your healthcare provider evaluates how your body works during sleep by checking your:
- Blood oxygen levels.
- Snoring or other noises you make during sleep.
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What Happens In Your Brain
Scientists are still studying how panic attacks affect the brain. Itâs possible that the parts of the brain that are tied to fear become more active during an episode. One recent study found that people with panic disorder had lots of activity in a part of their brains tied to the âfight or flightâ response.
Other studies have found possible links between panic disorder and the chemicals in your brain. The condition may also be linked to an imbalance in serotonin levels, which can affect your moods.
Some People May Develop Panic Disorders
For many people, the feelings of panic occur only occasionally during periods of stress or illness. A person who experiences recurring panic attacks is said to have panic disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder. They generally have recurring and unexpected panic attacks and persistent fears of repeated attacks.
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What Are Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are sudden, unexpected episodes of intense anxiety, which can cause a variety of frightening symptoms. These include:
- Feeling out of control and disconnected from your surroundings
- Feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
- Chest pains and shortness of breath – a tightness of the chest and feeling as though its a struggle to breathe
- A racing or pounding heart
- Numbness and tingling, for example, tingling lips and numbness in your fingers and toes
- Fluctuating body temperature feeling very hot or very cold
These symptoms can be so severe they sometimes make first time sufferers believe theyre experiencing a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Over time, panic attacks can become more frequent, and the fear of having a panic attack becomes embedded, resulting in a vicious circle.
Night time panic attacks, also known as nocturnal panic attacks or night terrors, happen while youre asleep and wake you up, often with the same symptoms as day time panic attacks. However, while these nocturnal attacks usually only last for a few minutes, it can take a long time for you to calm down enough to go back to sleep after having one. This, coupled with worrying about whether youre going to have another panic attack, may lead to insomnia.
How Can Healthier Sleep Habits Treat Sleep Anxiety
Sleep habits, or sleep hygiene, are your routines around bedtime that can affect your sleep. Your healthcare provider may ask you to keep a sleep diary for several weeks. This is a daily log of your sleep habits. It can help identify things that might make it harder for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Some common ways to improve your sleep hygiene include:
- Avoid drinking lots of fluids before bed, especially alcohol.
- Do relaxing activities before bed, such as meditation or listening to soft, peaceful music.
- Dont consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Dont go to bed unless you feel sleepy.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- If you dont fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, quiet and softly lit.
- Only use your bed for sleep and sex. For example, avoid watching television or doing work in bed.
- Set a goal of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
- Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Try not to eat right before bedtime. If youre hungry, have a light snack and not a big meal.
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Try Some Herbal Supplements
Knowing you should relax is one thing, but being able to do so is something entirely different. So if you need a little extra help chilling out, you might want to try herbs such as Kava, Passionflower, or Valerian Root to help the process along. “Those three are the most effective herbs for relieving anxiety,” noted an article on CalmClinic.org. Just be sure to check with your doctor first.
The Adverse Effects Of Hyperstimulation
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. When stress responses occur too frequently, however, such as from overly apprehensive behavior or a major stressor, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a state of semi stress response readiness. We call this state stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants . Hyperstimulation can keep the survival mechanism somewhat engaged, which can prevent the body from recovering.
Chronic activation of the survival mechanism can deplete the bodys energy resources resulting in a chronic state of exhaustion. As long as the body is prevented from recovering and rebuilding its energy stores, you can feel chronically exhausted and without energy.
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What You Can Do To Stop Tiredness
Stopping tiredness is difficult because tiredness is your bodys way of promoting rest when it feels it needs a break. Drinking coffee is one way of doing this, but ideally, you dont want to do it because it can make your anxiety symptoms worse and make it harder to sleep restfully at night.
The following are some approved ways to address tiredness:
- Taking SHORT Naps: Long naps can be problematic for your sleep needs, but short naps of 20 minutes or less can help your body regain some much needed energy.
- Sleep Hygiene:The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleep hygiene tactics to make it easier to get rest, including avoiding any caffeinated food and drink near bedtime, exercising during the day to promote sleep quality, avoiding heavy and rich food before bed, and getting adequate exposure to natural light.
- Engage in Relaxation Strategies: Utilizing relaxation strategies can be valuable for reducing tiredness. Using practices like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can reduce stress during the day so that you are less drained overall.
Finally, the most important change to make is to prioritize reducing your anxiety. Tiredness is much easier to prevent than it is to stop. Thats why you need to take steps to start controlling your anxiety better. The less intense your anxiety is, the less tired you should feel.
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How Is Sleep Anxiety Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider performs a physical exam, reviews your medical history and evaluates your symptoms. They may ask you questions like:
- Do you eat or drink anything before bed?
- Does your anxiety always occur before bed?
- How long does it take you to fall asleep?
- How often do you wake up during the night?
- What activities do you do before bed?
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Chronic Fatigue Anxiety Symptom Descriptions:
Here are some of the common descriptions weve heard for the anxiety symptom chronic fatigue:
- You feel extremely exhausted, fatigued, burnt out, or worn out
- A chronic fatigue feeling
- Always have no energy to do anything
- Chronically fatigued and dizzy or lightheaded
- So tired that even small tasks are draining
- So tired you cant think or feel anything anymore
- Feel completely burnt out
- Have no stamina for anything
- Could sleep all day and still feel exhausted, tired, and worn out
- Have zero energy
- Have to drag yourself around all day because you are so tired
- You may feel tired all of the time and find even small tasks to be unusually tiring
- You feel persistently fatigued, exhausted, tired, and worn out
- You are devoid of energy and any activity is exhausting
- Unrelenting exhaustion
- Persistent fatigue
- Feel completely worn out like when you have the flu
- Wake up feeling completely exhausted as if you havent slept at all even though you had a good sleep
- You feel unable to function at work or home because of feeling chronically tired and worn out
- You feel so exhausted that you cant handle your daily affairs
- You feel so exhausted, worn out, tired, and have no energy that even your emotions feel too much to handle
- You feel physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted, spent, worn out, and like you cant take anything more
- Persistent lethargy
- Chronically listless
- So chronically fatigued that you cant even think straight or clearly
How Long Do Panic Attacks Last
How long do panic attacks last? According to health care experts, it varies from person to person. The actual panic attack lasts just a few minutes, but the symptoms that go along with it can last for hours. Feeling short of breath, having heart palpitations, or feeling light-headed or dizzy are common symptoms while youre in the middle of the panic attack. Some people visit the hospital, thinking theyre having a heart attack. Even after the panicky feeling itself subsides, you may still experience the aftereffects of the panic attack symptoms.
As a general rule of thumb, panic attacks typically come on suddenly, with symptoms reaching their peak after about 10 minutes. The attack itself lasts around 20 to 30 minutes, after which the majority of the symptoms subside. Panic attacks release a lot of adrenaline, and you could experience an adrenaline hangover afterward.
An adrenaline hangover is the feeling you have after the level of adrenaline in your body goes back down. You may feel groggy, lethargic, or weak. After a panic attack, the severe effects may dissipate, but the sharp feelings of fight or flight and the panicky response may leave you feeling woozy and disoriented.
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Dizziness As A Symptom
Of course, dizziness is one of the symptoms of anxiety. Often as a panic attack gets worse, the person starts to feel increasingly dizzy, and may feel as though they are in the process of passing out. It is often combined with lightheadedness, and possibly even a little bit of nausea, which both combine to make the dizziness scarier. Often those that experience dizziness start to become even more anxious after the symptom occurs, making the panic attack significantly worse.
You Dont Have To Live Your Life Anxious And Exhausted
Times of extreme stress, like driving in heavy traffic or nerve-wracking situations like public speaking, can easily induce an anxiety response. Even normal everyday stressors, like feeling overwhelmed with work and home responsibilities, can build up to anxious feelings over time.
Our bodies response to stress and anxiety affects many of its functions in complex ways. When we unravel the interconnections of these processes, we can see how each part plays an intrinsic role in contributing to fatigue. By addressing each element individually, we can make simple lifestyle changes that resolve anxiety and diminish the ways it makes us tired as a result.
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Coffee Doesn’t Seem To Be Helping
If you were dealing with run-of-the-mill sleepiness, you would likely feel a jolt of wakefulness after drinking a cup of coffee or two. Butthis trick doesn’t always take the edge off for people with anxiety â and in some cases can even make it worse. “If your daily cup of coffee or some midday chocolate isn’t perking you up, you may be dealing with more than being tired,â says psychotherapist Kimberly Hershenson, L.C.S.W.
How Can Medication Treat Sleep Anxiety
Your healthcare provider may recommend medication to treat anxiety or other mental health disorders. Medication can also help improve the symptoms of sleep-related disorders such as restless legs syndrome or insomnia.
But some medications might actually increase your anxiety or make sleeping harder when you first start taking them. If you experience these side effects, talk to your healthcare provider. Many over-the-counter sleep aids can also be habit-forming. Dont start any medication for anxiety or sleep without your healthcare providers supervision.
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Tiredness And Anxiety: Symptoms Causes And Proven Ways To Relieve Your Fatigue
- Anxiety itself is physically and emotionally exhausting, and may also lead to issues like insomnia, which contributes to even further tiredness
- Anxiety can also lead to adrenal fatigue, which creates feelings of intense tiredness even when otherwise perfectly rested
- Several symptoms and issues related to anxiety can also lead to tiredness
- Sleep Hygiene is one of the most highly recommended ways to get more sleep
- Anxiety reduction techniques are going to be the best long term way to address tiredness
What Is Sleep Anxiety
Sleep anxiety is fear or worry about going to sleep. You may be apprehensive about not falling asleep or not being able to stay asleep. Some people also have a distinct phobia, or fear, about sleep called somniphobia. They may think something bad will happen to them while they sleep, or that they shouldnt sleep because they need to stay alert and watchful.
Sleep and psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, often go hand in hand. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Similarly, if you have a sleep disorder, you might feel anxious or fearful before bed because youre afraid you wont get the rest you need. One condition usually makes the other worse, so it can feel like a never-ending cycle.
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You Have Muscle And Joint Pain
Do your shoulders hurt all the time? âOftentimes those with anxiety tense their muscles unknowingly and have a hard time relaxing their bodies,â Noel tells Bustle. âIf your fatigue is accompanied by body soreness/tension and you have not been working out, this may be a sign it was due to anxiety.â
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Since panic attacks can make the world look and feel unreal, it can really help to focus on the sensations around you as a way of coming back to reality. What do your clothes feel like against your skin? How do your feet feel on the floor? What sounds can you hear nearby? Paying attention to these senses will hopefully shake off that bizarre dreamlike state, and make you feel human again.
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Manage Fatigue From Anxiety With A Broader Approach
None of us have unlimited resources, though a lot of anxiety, depression and bipolar sufferers have a surprising amount of energy. Anxiety is energy, for that matter. It’s just not that useful when it comes in the form of panic attacks or negative thinking and worry.
Anxiety disorders wreak merry mayhem with your ability to recover from things like a poor night’s sleep. Maybe you don’t necessarily need more sleep. Maybe it takes a broader approach to control anxiety.
So, what are you doing to treat anxiety? Breaking free from anxiety is about somewhat nebulous things: mindfulness, the absence or presence of joy or peace, support, and those anxiety coping skills I’m always on about.
Don’t know any coping skills? Here’s one:
Think of a cup. That cup contains what I’ll go ahead and call my daily allowance of useful energy.
- Is there enough to get me through the day?
- How will I use it, and how strict do I need to be?
You don’t want a dried-out cup by midday. I like leftovers, because I’m not that sure tomorrow won’t be harder, that I won’t stumble or have a panic attack. Planning your day based on your energy level gives you an honest idea of what you can do in the following hours without overpromising or accepting challenges that will take too much out of you.
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