Getting A Peaceful Nights Sleep
We all feel anxious at one time or another in our lives. Two thirds of Americans report having issues with anxiety and stress causing them to lose sleep. Anxiety disorders are associated with reduced sleep quality in a chicken and egg scenario where each tends to make the other worse. Knowing how to stop the vicious cycle is important so you can get on with enjoying your life.
But what is anxiety? Essentially, it is the bodys natural response to stress. You may feel fearful or apprehensive about making a decision or about the curve balls life might throw your way. You may feel unable to cope and that anxiety has started to interfere with your daily routine or affect your relationships with friends and family. If you are finding yourself agreeing to a lot of these, then speak with your doctor about your concerns.
Anxiety manifests itself differently for each person, but common symptoms include an increased heart rate and trouble sleeping. Having a dry mouth is also a physical symptom of anxiety and can further disrupt your sleep.
Take Stock Of The Day
Cant stop thinking about work, or something else that happened in the day? Wardle recommends taking stock of the situation: what really happened and what didnt? How is the mind exaggerating? Are things really so bad?
It might help to make a quick list of whats going on in your head. What are your top three worries? Now, add brief solutions to the issues youve written down. And were talking bite-size, actionable chunks not lengthy paragraph-long conclusions.
Trick Your Brain Into Tiredness
Just as a baby tries to keep itself awake, try keeping your eyes open, and then letting them close, suggests Treacher.
First, let your eyes close just a little. Then, open your eyes fully. Then, close your eyes a quarter way. After this, open your eyes. Repeat, gradually increasing the amount you close your eyes, until your eyes close fully, before opening your eyes again. This way of behaving like a baby may fool your brain into tiredness.
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Panic Attack Signs And Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop abruptly and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. They rarely last more than an hour, with most ending within 20 to 30 minutes. Panic attacks can happen anywhere and at any time. You may have one while youre in a store shopping, walking down the street, driving in your car, or even sitting on the couch at home.
Panic attack symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Heart palpitations or racing heart
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
Is it a heart attack or a panic attack?
Most of the symptoms of a panic attack are physical, and many times these symptoms are so severe that you may think youre having a heart attack. In fact, many people suffering from panic attacks make repeated trips to the doctor or the emergency room in an attempt to get treatment for what they believe is a life-threatening medical problem. While its important to rule out possible medical causes of symptoms such as chest pain, elevated heart rate, or difficulty breathing, its often panic that is overlooked as a potential causenot the other way around.
How To Subdue A Panic Episode In 9 Steps
Here is something you can try to treat the pre-described symptoms,
It is a series of simple breathing techniques aimed at helping your body override its natural fight-or-flight response .
The following may be performed sitting down, standing up, or lying down. You can do this whilst on a crowded commute into work, when youre in bed, during a stressful work meeting, or basically in any situation where it is safe to switch your attention to yourself for a few minutes.
To feel less panicky, do the following:
This simple breathing exercise is effective because when you are feeling stressed, your breathing pattern changes. When we feel anxious, out natural physiological response is to breathe too much in short shallow bursts.
The above abdominal breathing exercise makes you conscious of how you are breathing.
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What Triggers Night Anxiety
Its dark and everything seems tragic when its dark.
Then you worry about not getting enough sleep again and the cycle continues until its 5 AM and youve slept only 2 hours the entire night.
You may also experience hideous dreams that make no sense at all. You wake up feeling awful. You just know that youre going to be a wreck again tomorrow.
A surefire way to ruin your entire day too, right?
Why? What keeps triggering these night anxiety attacks especially when youre in bed at night?
The relative isolation, quiet, and absence of distractions are probably the most important factors here.
During the day, we can use a variety of strategies to modulate these concerns, including taking direct action to address them.
Lying in bed in a dark room, they become overwhelming and inescapable.
If You Can’t Sleep Get Up
Insomnia is frustrating, but lying in bed and trying to get to sleep is only going to make you feel worse. If you can’t get back to sleep within 20 minutes, get up.
“Some people get a sleep phobia where they get fixated on not being able to get to sleep, which can become a big anxiety worry,” Lidbetter says. “If you can’t go to sleep, get up and do something else. Reading can be therapeutic or you could practise mindfulness.
“Anxiety UK has a strong partnership with the Headspace people, which is a great app and something you can just practise which is relatively easy to do. It just sets the scene for a restful night’s sleep because it calms down your sympathetic nervous system and puts you into relaxation mode.”
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When To Seek Professional Help
If nighttime wake ups are frequent, bothersome, or impact your quality of life, dont hesitate to seek help from a therapist or a sleep medicine specialist. If you have anxiety, treatment may also include medication, like SSRIs or SNRIs, as previously discussed.
You should also focus on healthy lifestyle measures, like diet and nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness, and relaxation exercises. Your doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, or sleep medicine specialist can help you come up with a plan that will work for you.
How To Calm Anxiety At Night
The relationship between sleep and mental health is cyclical. If you have poor sleep, you’re likely to feel tired the next day, which can make things even more difficult and stressful, which can make anxiety worse and result in another night of disturbed sleep. If you are struggling with anxiety at night and have trouble falling asleep, though, there are steps you can take.
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Does Anxiety Require Treatment
Constant worrying and avoidance behaviour can be very disabling to your everyday life. Since the practice of psychology is evidence-based, there are strict guidelines to facilitate effective diagnosis of people with anxiety. Unfortunately, terminology such as mental health, mental illness, and mental disorders come with a lot of societal stigma.
One of the barriers to getting the help you need is the language that surrounds anxiety and other mental health presentations. This is because most people dislike being labelled with a disorder such as GAD and will actively avoid seeking professional help and diagnose.
Sadly, only one-third of people experience an anxiety disorder receive treatment.
Being told that you have a mental illness is a burden nobody wants to shoulder. Ironically, the diagnosis is necessary to prescribe an appropriate action plan to help you maintain a healthy quality of life.
It is a normal part of life to experience occasional anxiety.
A teenager may experience anxiety in the lead up to their exams and upon release of their academic results. They may also feel anxious prior to asking someone out to be their boyfriend/girlfriend.
According to Beyond Blue, one in fourteen young Australians aged 4-17 experienced an anxiety disorder in 2015. This is equivalent to approximately 278,000 young people.
An adult may experience anxiety in the workplace and in their relationships .
Preventing Anxiety At Night
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Treatment For Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
The most effective form of professional treatment for tackling panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia is therapy. Even a short course of treatment can help.
Cognitive behavioral therapyfocuses on the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your panic attacks and helps you look at your fears in a more realistic light. For example, if you had a panic attack while driving, what is the worst thing that would really happen? While you might have to pull over to the side of the road, you are not likely to crash your car or have a heart attack. Once you learn that nothing truly disastrous is going to happen, the experience of panic becomes less terrifying.
Panic attacks: what they are and what to do about them Free course to help you manage panic.
Panic Disorder Explanatory video from Khan Academy and American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Hotlines and support
NAMI Helpline Trained volunteers can provide information, referrals, and support for those suffering from anxiety disorders in the U.S. Call 1-800-950-6264.
Find a Therapist Search for anxiety disorder treatment providers in the U.S.
Support Groups List of support groups in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and South Africa.
Anxiety UK Information, support, and a dedicated helpline for UK sufferers and their families. Call: 03444 775 774.
Anxiety Canada Provides links to services in different Canadian provinces.
How Do Psychologists Treat Anxiety
The treatment outcomes for anxiety are very positive through counselling sessions with an experienced psychologist. This is because psychologists have experience in understanding human behaviour and can assist in identifying emotional triggers. By doing this, psychologists can provide you with practical solutions to address the underlying issue so that they do not keep coming back.
As the practice of psychology is an evidence-based one, many psychologists will employ psychoeducation and cognitive behavioural therapy to treat people with anxiety.
Psychoeducation is a process where a psychologist helps you understand the nature of anxiety so that you are no longer afraid of it.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is based on the reduction and elimination of anxiety symptoms. CBT has been shown to be highly effective in the short-term. Research indicates that over 60% of people who undergo CBT experience substantial improvements in anxiety symptoms. It is also the best long-term treatment for anxiety as CBT teaches you skills that you can apply on-demand.
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Set An Intention Early
Many of us go from one activity to the next throughout our day without really considering how we are feeling, let alone how we would like to feel. For example, do you ever come home after a long day of work and think to yourself, I really want to relax and enjoy this evening?
Most likely you are far too busy or preoccupied to stop and ponder how you want your evening to be. However, by setting an intention early, you are more likely to get the results you want.
If you remind yourself each day that you are determined to have a peaceful evening, you are more likely to actually experience it that way.
Remembering to set an intention is easier when you mark a certain point in your day for it. For example, while driving home from work, you may be going over in your mind all the stress that you went through that day.
At a certain point during your drive home, such as when you drive over a certain bridge or pass a particular landmark, you can set the intention to let go of work stress from that point forward and enjoy the rest of your evening. Another option can be to set an alarm that reminds you to set your intention for a nice evening.
Regardless of what type of prompt works for you, get in the habit of setting your personal objective of how you want to feel each evening.
Write Down Your Worries On Paper
According to Juanita Wells, director of clinical development at New Method Wellness, putting your thoughts down on paper can help us remain accountable to ourselves, our feelings, our purpose, and plan.
Instead of letting thoughts and to-dos swirl around in your brain, write them down so that your brain has a game plan for the following day. Wells says that writing down your anxious feelings, especially through stream-of-consciousness journaling , can help ease anxiety before bed.
In addition to calming pre-bedtime anxiety, research shows that journaling can also help you fall asleep more quickly. To get started journaling, just snuggle up with your notebook and some cozy pillows and let your thoughts take it away.
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Panic Attacks I Turned My Mental Health Crisis Into A Mental Health Triumph
Although it’s taken me a long time I have learned I am a strong person who has the potential to help others.
You might find that you become scared of going out alone or to public places because you’re worried about having another panic attack. If this fear becomes very intense, it may be called agoraphobia. See our pages on types of phobia for more information.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I just wanted to get out, to go somewhere else, but I couldn’t because I was on a train.
Sleep Anxiety Tips: How To Calm Anxiety At Night
*This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. Visit the links within the text for sources. Casper has not independently verified the sources. While some of us may toss and turn some nights, every night can be a restless night for others. If youve ever struggled with sleep anxiety, you know the feeling of anxiously watching the clock as you worry about not being able to fall asleep and waking up sleep-deprived the next day. There are many statistics that reveal Americans struggle to sleep on a regular basis. As it turns out, anxiety and sleep are connected in a number of ways. Fifty percent of those who are sleep-deprived say that their anxiety impacts their ability to sleep at night. Its important to understand how anxiety can affect your ability to get a good nights rest. This guide covers what sleep anxiety is, the effects of anxiety-induced sleep deprivation, and science-backed tips for decreasing anxious thoughts, as well as how to set yourself up for better sleep.
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What Is Panic Disorder
If you’re having lots of panic attacks at unpredictable times and there doesn’t seem to be a particular trigger or cause, you might be given a diagnosis of panic disorder. It’s common to experience panic disorder and certain types of phobia together. People who experience panic disorder may have some periods with few or no panic attacks, but have lots at other times.
Panic disorder and high sensitivity
Some research suggests that people who have panic disorder might be very sensitive to sensory experiences , but there’s not enough evidence yet to say for sure.
Also it’s not clear whether having a high level of sensitivity to these sorts of things is something that might cause you to develop panic disorder, or whether it may be an effect of having it.
“Never knowing when I was going to have a panic attack was the worst feeling in the world.”
The Causes Of Nocturnal Panic Attacks
Nocturnal panic attacks are a bit of a mystery, as there is no known reason why one should occur while you are asleep. However, if a panic attack occurs during the night, there is a chance you could also have one during the day. If you have multiple panic attacks, that can be a clue you have a panic disorder.
There are certain triggers that can make you more likely to have a panic attack. There may be a genetic component to this condition, such as having a family history of panic attacks. Gender can also be a factor women are twice as likely to have panic attacks than men. Panic attacks can also be brought on by an extremely stressful life event or traumatic incident. If you dont handle stress well, especially during times of life change, that may also increase your risk for panic attacks. Other factors include childhood abuse , changes in neurological function or smoking or drinking caffeine too much.
Finally, panic attacks can co-occur with other types of disorders, and in fact be triggered by them. For instance, someone with deep social anxiety may experience a panic attack if they are alone at a large party or must give a speech in front of a lot of people. Instead of panic attacks occurring spontaneously without warning, in these cases a person may begin to anticipate that a panic attack can occur if faced with a situation that feels threatening.
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