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Fear and Sleep

Anxiety and insomnia often go together as let’s face it anxiety isn’t much of a recipe for a good night’s sleep. Anxiety can quite often be the very cause of the insomnia itself, as being constantly anxious and worried will often keep people awake at night. The reverse is often true as well where insomnia leads to anxiety from too many nights without sufficient sleep.

There are different types of insomnia that are characterized by the time of night that they occur.

The first type of insomnia is called Early Insomnia. This is when you go to bed and cannot even get to sleep at all and you spend much of the night tossing and turning. People with early insomnia might eventually get to sleep after a few hours or they might even spend the entire night awake. If you suffer from this form of insomnia then make sure you aren’t taking anything stimulant such as tea or coffee in the last few hours leading up to your bedtime.

The second type of insomnia is known as Middle Insomnia. This is where you are able to fall asleep normally but wake up frequently throughout the night. Waking up in the middle of the night is often accompanied be feelings of anxiety. Middle insomnia is common amongst people who suffer from anxiety or depression.

The last form of insomnia if you haven’t guessed already is called Late Insomnia. This is where you manage to get a good few hours sleep but you still wake up too early. Not only that you will wake up without feeling refreshed and you may feel anxious too. The causes are similar to middle insomnia so it is likely to be caused by anxiety or depression.

If you suffer from panic attacks or anxiety then insomnia can have a big influence on your anxiety levels. Overcoming insomnia can therefore greatly help you in your recovery from anxiety disorders. If the insomnia is a symptom of anxiety then it is likely that treating the cause of the anxiety will be more beneficial in the long run.

Lying in bed tossing and turning often leads people to becoming very frustrated as it’s so annoying not being able to get to sleep. The mind starts thinking about falling asleep and nothing else and the restless thoughts just make the insomnia worse. The best thing to do when this happens is to try and distract yourself from these restless thoughts. It might be helpful to get out of bed for a few minutes and occupy your mind with something else. I always find it helpful to go outside for some fresh air before returning to bed. You should find it easier to get some sleep after you have distracted yourself for a little while as your mind will be a lot calmer.

The kind of help that you seek should really depend on what is causing your insomnia. If you are being kept awake at night because you are anxious then you may want to investigate methods of overcoming anxiety. If on the other hand you are suffering from anxiety because you can’t sleep then maybe you should focus more on why you can’t sleep rather than what is making your anxious.

When you suffer from two related problems where one is a symptoms of the other, fixing one of the problems will often fix the other problem as a result.

23 Jan 2017

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