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Unique Ways To Conquer Your Sleep Anxiety

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We all know that anxiety affects sleep, and vice versa. If you get a poor night’s rest, it can bleed into the next few nights, creating a tough cycle that is hard to break. It’s not easy being able to conquer it, especially when you can’t sleep in and have to get up at a certain time.

However, conquering your sleep anxiety is possible, but it’s not easy. You need to figure out what’s right for you, and that’s key here. Everyone is different. You can read articles with generalized sleep advice, but everyone is different, and some people can fall asleep in unique ways. Plus, we all know the general advice. Don’t use your bed for more than sleep or intimacy. Make sure that you get  up and do something to make you tired if you haven’t fallen asleep within 30 minutes. We all know these general tips, so here are some unique ways to quell that sleep anxiety and get a better night’s sleep.

(Note: This is based on my own personal experience with sleep anxiety, and knowing some unconventional ways to handle it.)

Don’t Fear the Screen

A common piece of advice you may hear when reading articles about beating insomnia is to avoid looking at screens before bed. How long you have to avoid screens before bed can depend, with some people saying up to two hours—a feat that many can’t avoid. If you work long shifts, not being able to unwind with a show or video game is a bit unfair, yet the articles always emphasize avoiding screens before bed at all costs.

However, technology, which can affect your ability to sleep, may be able to help you as well. How many people you know have passed out while watching a show, for example? Obviously, checking social media or playing an action-packed game isn’t a good idea, but some pieces of tech may help. Here are some examples:

  • A sleep app. These apps usually have meditation, sleep stories, or white noise that can help you get a better night’s rest.
  • A boring documentary or videos. Relaxing, “satisfying” videos also may be able to help you.
  • Trying to write your own bedtime story.
  • Using online counseling apps such as BetterHelp to talk to your counselor or therapist and see how you can fall asleep.

BetterHelp

There are many shows that can hold your interest to keep your mind off the sleep anxiety, but not be too stimulating. Click To Tweet Of course, this is for a small group of people; many should avoid screens. However, for
the technological folk, using some tech wisely may be able to help. With that said, make sure to turn on night mode and blue light filters (avoid blue light), lower your brightness, and see if it’s for you.

Put Some Food In Your Tummy

This one is polarizing. If you’re watching your weight, some will tell you not to eat before bed. Others may say that food will keep you up.

However, there seems to be growing evidence that the opposite is true as well. For some people, eating before bed may help with their diet, and it may help them fall asleep faster.

Of course, this all depends on what you eat. Eating foods and drink that’s rich in caffeine is certainly not going to help. Eating too much may make it hard to sleep. However, having a snack may help you fall asleep. Like the screen suggestion, it obviously depends on person to person, so try it out. For example, try sipping an herbal tea, and eating a banana—since bananas contain natural muscle relaxants like magnesium and potassium, they may help you wind down.

Try to Be Productive

Your body loves to be contradictory. We all know the cliché of being so tired throughout the day, but then full of energy the second our head hits the pillow. So why not use that to your advantage? Tell
yourself, “I’m going to skip sleep and be productive,” and do something productive. Try cooking, working on an essay, or doing something else. Sometimes, your body likes to be contradictory and
fall asleep when you’re trying to use the insomnia to your advantage. Obviously, this doesn’t work for everyone, but it may work for some.

Draft a Little Story in Your Head

Visualization and guided imagery has been a great way to fall asleep. Thinking about a story in your head can distract you from your sleep anxiety and allow you to get a better night’s sleep.
With that said, we do realize that some people get writer’s block while thinking of the story as they try to fall asleep.

This is why you need to think up a little story in your head beforehand. It doesn’t need to be fleshed out, but have an idea for about 10-20 minutes of the story. This can allow you to fall asleep.
By 20 minutes, if you haven’t fallen asleep, you should get out of bed, anyway.

Above all, remember to be kind to yourself. Click To Tweet If you find that you’ve tried everything and you’re still not falling asleep, it’s easy to feel frustrated. Instead, reassure yourself that it’s okay. Distract yourself with any of the activities mentioned above, and forget about trying to sleep. You may find that sleep comes when you’re not thinking about it. If you’re still struggling, try reaching out to a counselor with experience in sleep issues. A licensed counselor can determine the underlying cause of your
insomnia, and help you return to restful nights.

AUTHOR BIO

Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion andgrowth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.
With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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  1. Rose Rose

    I have to admit, I am one of those people who believed that watching TV or working on your computer before bed would cause you not to fall asleep. I did try avoiding these things before bed but it did not help.

    I think if you watch TV or something on Your computer while seeping a cup of herbal tea, you will fall asleep, well, at least that works for me.

    I do however avoid watching something that is too thought-provoking because then I will not be able to relax and start dozing off.

    Another thing I found about myself is that if I don’t eat properly at dinner time, then I will not sleep well, so I agree with you when you say, having a snack like a banana before bed does help you sleep. To be honest, if I have my dinner too early and I don’t have a little snack before bed, I find it difficult to fall asleep, or I might fall asleep for a couple of hours then I will wake up and not be able to fall asleep again.

    Because I am a blogger, I like your idea about creating a story in your head, I do that sometimes and it’s true it does help sometimes, and also it does give me something to blog about the following day. I will also try your tip about getting out of bed if I am not asleep after 20 minutes, I have not tried that.

    Sometimes I create a story in my head, then the story is over and I am not asleep, then I count to a thousand, Do You think counting is a good idea?

    Anyway, I have learned a lot from your post. As someone who sometimes has difficulties sleeping, this post is very helpful to me so thank you.

    Rose.

  2. MrBiizy MrBiizy

    Hey, these are truly gorgeous tips 100% useful to conquer sleep anxiety. How do I know this, I have been using this for a long time now. I most of the time eat at night before bed and on many occasions, I easily fall asleep. Well, I am the night kind of guy. I do most of my stuffs at night so I try avoiding late meals, lol.

    Regarding screens, screens aren’t very good becauseof the blue lights. One way we can filter blue lights is to use some sort of blue lights defender apps; as a matter of fact, most of our devices these days especially smartphones and tablets come with inbuilt “Eye Care” app which we can access by swiping down the notifications bar and simply tap. This could help in a way while watching those videos, reading those articles and the rest.

    One thing I love doing at night is being productive. As it stands now, it’s one of the time I do most of my productive stuffs.

  3. Marina Marina

    I’m going to be honest. I don’t have any issues with falling asleep. I already have my own tricks to get me there. I usually go for this searches for my husband as he really have some anxiety issues after not falling asleep fast. Either thinking about the time he has to wake up or the problems from day to day that stays in the head and don’t let you fall asleep. 
    And this is some very good advice which I’m definitely using, one by one if necessary until I find what makes him better.
    I’m coming back for more tips for sure!
     

  4. Princess Princess

    Thank you so much for writing this relevant post, I have been struggling to fall asleep for the past few months and very frustrating. Even now as I am writing this comments, I have a headache which I think it due to lack of sleep. I think I have found a solution through your post.

    I am going to start with eating banana and drinking herbal tea, hopefully it will help.

    Which type of herbal tea can you recommend?

    I will also try to limit screen time before bed and meditation

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Hi Princess! You can try chamomile tea. It’s excellent for relaxation and getting you in the right state for bed.

  5. Rhain Rhain

    I think you’re right about the idea that everyone is different and as such, would probably require a personalized approach to finding the right solution. I’ve had issues with sleeping in the past which resulted in waking up feeling tired instead of energized. I tried to take too many advice and recommendations which all turned out to be ineffective. But then, I discovered that watching a boring video does it for me. This is definitely a good article. Thanks for sharing 

  6. Parveen Parveen

    Hey, I enjoy your article while reading and find it very useful for me. Your guide is awesome on Unique Ways To Conquer Your Sleep Anxiety. 

    I learn from your side that Visualization and guided imagery has been a great way to fall asleep. Thinking about a story in our head can distract us from our sleep anxiety and allow us to get a better night’s sleep. Keep it up

  7. Danijel Danijel

    Hello Marie, I must say that this article is very helpful and inspirational. Anxiety is definitely my problem, even if I am tired because of a daily job, I can’t sleep well. I tried going to a doctor but he only prescribe me some medications and that’s it but it won’t work either. I will try to follow your advice and tips and hope for the best. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I will start following you on this theme.

  8. Jake Jake

    Hi, just some ideas would be meditation. In particular I like to use Matra medication.. I also like to read before I go to bed. I do not find I could stay awake for too long when I am reading. Other ideas would be to get out of bed earlier. That way you’re nice and tired when you go to sleep.

    • AnxietyPanda AnxietyPanda

      Excellent tips, thank you, Jake! 

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