Throughout my experience with working with clients, a common correlation can be found between those who struggle with anxiety and also have poor sleep patterns. And you guys, we all know that when your body can’t rest properly at night, it makes the days soooo much more difficult.
I’m sure we can all relate to laying down at night to go to bed, pulling those covers up close and then BOOM, your mind starts racing. It’s like when the noise around you gets quiet, the to-do list seems to be at the forefront of the mind.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average amount of sleep and adult should be getting every night is between 7-9 hours. Most people don’t realize that even though you set your alarm and are laying down in bed 8 hours before it’s set to go off, doesn’t mean you’re getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Depending on a number of other factors, including anxiety, you may actually only sleep about 4-6 of those 8 hours. You need to create a healthy sleep routine in order to get enough shut-eye and be well rested for the next day.
No, this isn’t cleaning your sheets before you sneak under the covers, although we all know how good it feels to get into bed with crisp linen! Sleep hygiene just refers to the best practices that a person can do to improve their quality of sleep. Please read these carefully and check out my free cheatheet for more details, you will improve your sleep in no time:
Exercise: routine exercise throughout the day can help regulate hormones and make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid extensive workouts prior to bed or late at night as this will have the opposite effect you’re looking for. The exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous or intense, it can even be brisk walking about 30 minutes per day which is good for settling your nerves as well. Find what form of movement makes you feel the best and will be sustainable for you and do that! Even better get a workout buddy, nothing says staying on track like positive peer pressure.
Caffeine and Sugar: Be mindful of the amount of caffeine you’re drinking or eating. Yes, eating. Chocolate and ice cream contain caffeine which is a stimulant and can get your mind all energized like a sugar rush. Sugar should be eaten in moderation and not close to bed. It wouldn’t be recommended to have a bowl of chocolate ice cream before bed and go lay down. In fact, most research indicates limiting any form of caffeine after 1:00pm to avoid affecting your sleep. Skip that afternoon coffee or bedtime chocolate treat. That would make for a rough night.
Screen Time: There is a particular light that is emitted from electronic devices like your TV, smart phone, or tablet that make the brain excited, called Blue Light. Without getting to sciency, blue light rays are the shortest wavelength but have the highest energy. This light suppresses the production of melatonin, a critical hormone that helps to control daily sleep and wake cycles. Most people tend to scroll on their phone while they are in bed or watch tv but this can definitely disrupt your sleep patterns as it stimulates the brain. Best case scenario, no TV in your room, and if you use electronics at night limit your exposure at least one hour before bed. If you have to do work or something on electronics before bed you can get some cheap blue light blocking glasses to help!
Anxiety + Depression = Poor Sleep
Research has shown a link between anxiety and sleep and it’s similar to the saying “What comes first, the chicken or the egg”. There have been studies that have shown anxiety causes restlessness and trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Where other studies have shown that not getting enough sleep causes anxiety as well. If you find yourself in this pattern of not enough sleep and anxiety symptoms have you on edge, you’re not alone.
Like anxiety, there are people with depression who also are unable to get quality sleep. Many clients that I’ve worked with have had a combination of depression and anxiety which makes them feel all the more overwhelmed. Check out my FREE guide, by clicking here, to help you improve your depression and anxiety symptoms by getting a better-quality sleep. Definitely let me know what you think of it and how it is helping.
Everyone has that family member or friend who could really use this information to help them, so be sure to share the love and forward this article to them! After you download this freebie, the 5 Steps to Reducing Your Anxiety & Depression with Healthy Sleep, be sure to share with me how you’re doing. I would love to get your input!
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