Tuesday, September 19, 2023

How To Sleep Better With Anxiety And Depression

Difficulty Getting Out Of Bed

Sleep, Anxiety, and Insomnia: How to Sleep Better When You’re Anxious

Its normal to enjoy sleeping in or spending time in bed. However, if it has become difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed or get ready in the morning, this could be a sign of depression. Depression can make us feel fatigued and physically drained to the point where even small tasks, like getting up in the morning, can feel exhausting or difficult to do.

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.

Set Aside Time For Winding Down

If youve been struggling with sleep anxiety, Dr. Fran Walfish, family and relationship psychotherapist, suggests creating a routine that winds you down and gets you in the mood for sleep. This can include things like dimming the lights, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath.

Walfish also suggests opting for activities like light reading in place of a TV or computer, as using a screen can tend to rev up anxiety and excitatory thresholds versus relax and calm you down.

The best nighttime routine allows your mind and body time to slow down before you turn off the lights. Allot at least 30 minutes to take a bath, read a book, listen to a podcast, or play quiet music. These transition rituals can condition your brain to associate certain actions with preparing for sleep.

Read Also: Can Depression Ruin A Relationship

How Can You Manage Depression

If you dont currently have depression, you want to make sure you dont get it. If you already have depression, you want to make sure you dont get worse. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure youre getting enough sleep. Make sure to set aside time each day to relax. Meditation is a great way to do that. If youre already depressed and struggling to sleep, try to address those issues. Address your sleep problems and manage your depression. Fighting depression is a constant battle. But you can win that battle by getting enough sleep. With enough rest, you can better manage your depression and improve your quality of life.

If youre currently experiencing depression, its crucial that you manage your symptoms. There are many people who go through what youre experiencing. You arent abnormal you have a disorder. Youre normal. There are plenty of resources out there for people who suffer from depression. You can reach out to loved ones, join online communities, or even see a therapist. There are many ways that you can manage your depression. All you have to do is take that first step!

Insomnia As A Predictor Of Depression And Suicidality

Quality Sleep and your depression &  anxiety

The renowned interest into the relationships between sleep and circadian rhythms and depression is mainly due to studies that have shown that insomnia/insomniac symptoms are independent predictors for depressive disorders and suicidal ideation/ suicide and suicide attempts . These epidemiologically based data have led to great interest in sleep continuity changes in the context of depression and other mental disorders. Thus, the quest for specific biological markers was given up in lieu of focussing on transdiagnostic overarching markers/mechanisms, which can be elucidated by subjective self-report, rendering research and clinical applicability easier and economic.

You May Like: Dealing With Anxiety And Depression

Do Something You Have Control Over

Regaining some control in the moment could help overwhelming feelings feel a little easier to cope with.

You dont have to take any major action, but accomplishing a short task, such as making your bed, taking a shower, or unloading the dishwasher, can help boost a sense of accomplishment. It could also offer a temporary distraction.

Build A Sleep To Transition From Day To Nighttime

Set your night routine and follow it every night before going to bed. Do something which unwinds your mind it could be anything. For some people, it is reading a book, meditation or taking a hot water bath for 90 minutes or less before bed, playing with pets, listening to a slow song.

The important thing is you are giving yourself enough time to relax.

It means not thinking about the tiring activities like paying bills, listening to the news , talking about politicians, scrolling through the phone while going to bed.

Try to minimize the screen time at night because blue light from the screen will trouble you to sleep at night this will help you sleep better if you suffer from Anxiety.

You May Like: Celebrities With Major Depressive Disorder

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.

Invest In A Fan Or Humidifier

FALL INTO DEEP SLEEP IMMEDIATELY Healing Music to Relieve Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia And Stress

Do you get the stress sweats? A fan may not put you to sleep, but it can definitely help you get better quality sleep!

Not only will a cooler body temperature help you stay asleep , but the white noise from the fan can be a source of comfort.

If you are prone to allergies, a fan may do a little more harm than good since it can make dust and allergenic particles fly around the room. If this is the case with you, you can try a cool-mist humidifier!

Recommended Reading: Can The Er Prescribe Anxiety Medication

Recommended Reading: Depression In 19 Year Old Male

Move Your Body In The Day To Keep Your Anxiety At Bay

If you have anxiety or depression I know how it sucks the entire energy out of you. Youre not even lazy, you just dont have the strength to get up and do things.

When I was suffering, it was great suffering for one whole month. I couldnt sleep at night and this left me with no energy the next day. I even lost all my appetite as I was consumed with anxious thoughts.

My knees felt weak as if I couldnt walk. I stayed in bed all day. At that time I didnt know what was wrong. I went to a regular doctor but said I didnt have any illness. Then I knew it was an illness of the mind.

This went on for a long time until I decided I couldnt be like this forever. I didnt want to always feel weak. So I decided to start working out again. I pushed myself to work out. It was hard, but I did it.

Slowly it helped ease my anxiety and sleep better. As my body started to feel strong, my mind also started to feel strong.

Exercising and moving my body helped me a lot and slowly my sleep returned and I started to sleep better.

So I just want to say that you have to push yourself and you have to win your own self. Dont resign and accept your weakness. If you dont do anything about it, nothing will change.

You have a vast amount of energy you dont even realize, but you will once you get started and move your body. You have to move your body. There is no other more curable remedy.

The Relationship Between Insomnia And Depression

The previous chapters on the phenomenology of sleep and depression have exemplified that disturbances of sleep continuity ubiquitously accompany affective disorders. Whereas the low specificity of insomnia symptoms rendered the study of insomnia unattractive for years, today symptoms of insomnia are seen as a critical feature of depression and a better understanding of the processes involved should contribute to the refinement of pathophysiological concepts and therapeutic approaches for depressive disorders.

Recommended Reading: Having Anxiety And Depression Is Like Being Scared

Does Depression Cause An Unusual Sleep Pattern Or Does An Unusual Sleep Pattern Cause Depression

Many people with depression experience poor sleep, either in the form of sleeping too little or too much. In fact, when people seek treatment for poor sleep, many of them also have symptoms consistent with depression. 2

Conversely, people seeking treatment for depression will often complain of poor sleep. 3 âPoor sleepâ can include:

  • taking a long time to fall asleep
  • waking up frequently during the night
  • lying awake in bed for a long time during the night
  • no feeling refreshed after sleep.

These symptoms can affect our mood, make it difficult to concentrate, leave us feeling lethargic and lead to daytime tiredness that people living with depression are all too familiar with. 2

Even though the sleep that those with depression experience is poor, itâs not accurate to say that depression causes a lack of sleep. In fact, many people living with depression experience hypersomnia â the condition of sleeping too much.

However, if that sleep is of poor quality then it will affect how the person feels and functions the next day.

Itâs also a sad fact that a link has been observed between extremes of sleep time and suicide risk but this may not be directly attributable to depression. 4

At this point, itâs worth asking âwhy does depression affect sleep?â

How To Deal With Depression And Anxiety With Good Sleep

Overcoming Insomnia, Anxiety &  Depression

A healthy body can be defined as a body free of any illnesses. However, usually, amid physical chaos and suffering, individuals forget to pay equal attention to mental health illnesses which are just as fatal for the human body. Illnesses such as anxiety and depression subtly interrupt everyday functioning and hence usually go unnoticed. They leave behind a trail of disruptions that gradually deteriorates the lifestyle of the individual suffering from them.

In simple terms, anxiety can be defined as a mental and physical feeling of expecting something bad to happen. Physical sensations like jitteriness and a racing heart, as well as cognitive thoughts of dread in expectation of a terrible outcome, are all designed to make you feel anxious and extremely uncomfortable.

On the other hand, depression characterizes itself as a state of nothingness, where the individual experiencing it may feel symptoms such as worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism, sadness along with a loss of interest or pleasure in previously cherished hobbies and activities. If prolonged, it may lead the individual towards suicidal thoughts and can act as a major threat to human life.

Read Also: Free Online Support Groups For Depression And Anxiety

How To Get Rid Of Anxiety So You Can Sleep Better

If youre struggling to fall asleep due to anxiety, it could be that treating the anxiety will help solve your insomnia and lack of sleep as well. Anxiety disorders should only be diagnosed by a licensed therapist or medical professional, and these professionals can also help you find treatment regimens as well as, potentially, medications to control the condition. You should not try to self-medicate for anxiety disorders, and should only medicate per the medical advice and supervision of a psychiatrist.


One of the most common and effective treatments for anxiety disorders is continued and guided therapy with a professional counselor or therapist.

The branch of therapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be effective for many people, as it helps patients suffering from anxiety disorders create new, positive thought pathways that can help when in anxious situations. There are three different types of CBT, each with an individualized approach in treatment, including interpersonal therapy, thought records, and modern exposure therapy.

Another form of therapy is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, also known as ACT. This form of therapy is more focused on mindfulness training and taking action based on personal values, and is unique in that it is not focused on symptom reduction.


Shifting Your Perspective

Volunteering Can Be A Great Way To Do Both

Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.

You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.

Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a

Read Also: Withdrawal Symptoms From Depressants Can Include

Dietary Habits To Promote Better Sleep

Below are some dietary tips you can employ that may help promote better sleep hygiene.

Refrain From Eating Three Hours Before Bedtime

It takes the body time to digest food after eating, which causes the metabolism to operate at night when the body is attempting to rest.

If you feel a need to eat before bed make sure it is something light that wouldnt delay sleep. For example, consuming anything with caffeine in it will make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Try Supplements That Promote Relaxation

Dietary supplements like magnesium, melatonin, and ashwagandha are sometimes used to help calm the mind and body and settle the nerves.

Melatonin is one of the most popular dietary supplements used to help with sleep. In a review of multiple studies, researchers found melatonin to benefit the sleep quality of those with sleeping disorders.

Melatonin helped individuals to fall asleep quicker and remain asleep longer. Melatonin was not as effective as certain sleep medications, but some individuals would rather try a supplement for sleep before resorting to sleeping medication that may have side effects.

Unfortunately, supplements like melatonin and ashwagandha may not benefit every person and could cause a reverse effect that negatively impacts sleep, anxiety, and depression.

Try Herbal Tea

Write Down Your Worries

What is Depression and How to Treat Depression

Palacios suggests writing down your worries before you get into bed each night. Ruminating thoughts happen because we continue to go over and over things in our minds, she says.

Writing down our worries and to-dos can help free up some space in our minds, Palacios says.

Writing ones anxious thoughts down is an excellent way to disconnect from them, says Po-Chang Hsu, a physician and medical content expert at SleepingOcean, a website that reviews sleep products. Many people also find the process itself soothing, which may help them wind down and sleep better.

You can try starting a nightly journal where you write down your thoughts each night before you go to sleep.

Recommended Reading: Best Weed For Depression And Anxiety

Creating The Right Sleep Environment

  • 1Use white noise. If you are having trouble sleeping, try to incorporate some kind of noise into your environment to help drown out the silence or other ambient noises. This will act as a diversion for your brain and give you something to focus on instead of your anxieties or your efforts to fall asleep.
  • Sound machines are great for this. They have multiple different kinds of soundscapes, such as ocean waves or thunderstorms, that can help you fall asleep.
  • This can also be helpful if you live somewhere where there is a lot of outside noise that constantly wakes you up. If this is the case, you may also want to consider ear plugs to help you sleep.
  • 2Keep the lighting low. When you are trying to create the best environment to sleep in, you need to make sure the lighting is low in your room. This means you should avoid turning on overhead lights or bright lamps too close to bedtime. These lights will lower your production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source You should also turn off all lights when you go to bed.
  • If you cant control the light in your bedroom because of external sources of light, try using blackout curtains, blinds, or an eye mask to help block the light so you can sleep.
  • This may be warmer during the colder months and cooler during the summer months.
  • Biological Timing And Sleep Deprivation In Depression

    Wehr et al. published ground-breaking work on the likely involvement of the biological time keeping system in the pathogenesis of affective disorders, high-lighting that an advance of the sleep period by 6h normalized the REM sleep phases and induced a longer-lasting remission of depressive symptoms. The authors inferred from their longitudinal observations that REM sleep rhythmicity and their underlying biochemical rhythms must have altered internal phase-relationships that are associated with certain psychopathological phenotypes. Similar remissions of depressive symptoms were also achieved in patients undergoing complete wake therapy , that was first tested by Pflug and Toelle . These results were better understood with the two-process model of sleep regulation proposed by Borbély et al. , in which a homeostatic sleep process and a circadian process , interact in a threshold- and time-dependent manner , thereby incorporating that appropriate timing of sleep with respect to the internal clock is crucial for stable mood as described in the internal coincidence model .

    You May Like: Best Medication For Add Anxiety And Depression

    Popular Articles
    Related news