As most doctors will tell you, there are 2 things that disturb sleep: physical pain and worry.
It is therefore understandable that many people with anxiety report frequent sleep disturbance as a major problem.
Not being able to sleep can actually be quite traumatic for many people.
The first thing you need to understand about sleep is this.
It is not the amount of sleep you get that’s important, but rather the quality of the sleep.
Quality Over Quantity
I am going to give you some quick tips to help tackle any problems you are having with sleep.
Firstly, to break the insomnia cycle, begin by not presuming you will sleep!
That seems like the wrong attitude, but if you approach each night as just a possible opportunity to sleep, this helps remove the pressure you are placing yourself under.
In a way, some people have performance anxiety when they think about sleeping.
Will I be able to make myself sleep tonight?
The answer is maybe yes, maybe no.
If you are going through a period of sleeplessness, a good night’s sleep is not guaranteed.
For whatever reason, so you have to accept that for the moment.
If you get 1 or 2 hours’ sleep, that is well and good.
But if you get nothing, then accept it and move on.
Each night, as you retire, say to yourself.
“I’m preparing for bed, but I won’t try to force sleep.
If it comes, it comes.
If not, I won’t beat myself up over it.
This is a period I’m going through, but I’ll soon return to normal sleep patterns.”
Every person goes through periods of sleeplessness from time to time.
It is very natural.
You may not be aware of why you experience sleeplessness, but at the very least, you can accept it.
Let me emphasize the importance of surrendering to your inability to sleep.
Surrender to whatever may or may not happen during the course of a night, and you put your mind under less pressure.
After a certain point, it is really the anger and frustration that keep you awake most of the night.
Naturally, the best way to get a good night’s sleep is a good physical workout each evening in the outdoors.
This is effective because the mind may try to keep you awake, but the sheer physical exhaustion brings on sleep quicker.
Couple that with a willingness to accept sleeplessness and you will find yourself sleeping much easier.
Remember that alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine should be avoided several hours before sleep.
You may be the type who finds it initially hard to get to sleep as your mind races with anxious thoughts.
Night Panic Attacks
People with anxiety disorders can sometimes be awakened at night by panic attacks.
We know that most night-time panic attacks aren’t caused by dreams.
Records of sleep polysomnographia show that most panic attacks take place during the early sleep phase (phase II), not during the REM phase associated with dreams.
This is different from nightmares. Nightmares happen during the second half of the night, so we often able to remember the content of these dreams.
It is important not to go to bed fearing you might have a panic attack.
Go to bed confident that if one should arise, you will successfully deal with it.
That way, do not put yourself under pressure to NOT have a panic attack.
Many panic attacks are experienced at the very moment of falling asleep.
Designed by Barry McDonagh, Panic Away is among the top selling e-learning programs to teach people how to cure their panic blues and live normally again.