7 Ways to Effectively Banish Sleep Anxiety and Insomnia
Halfway through the workday, you’re exhausted.
You’re so tired that you’ll do just about whatever it takes to stay awake and finish the day strong.
You visit the breakroom for your midday caffeine fix, blast the radio on the ride home from work, and hit the gym to drain whatever’s left in the tank.
You just can’t wait to go to bed!
But when your head hits the pillow every night, you can’t seem to fall asleep. You may just be one of the 25% of Americans who suffer from insomnia or sleep anxiety.
It’s time to regain control of your life and get a restful night’s sleep. So, here are some tips for leaving insomnia and sleep anxiety in the past where they belong!
1. Cut Caffeine & Other Stimulants Out of Your Diet
Caffeine is your lifeline during long workdays. You count on your beloved coffee to perk you up, give you energy, and improve your focus after another sleepless night.
But since caffeine is a stimulant, it’s also ruining your sleep schedule!
Unlike alcohol, caffeine will light a match under your body’s systems. Your heart’s functioning goes into overdrive, and you’re hyper-focused mentally,
By bedtime, you’re too energized and awake to fall asleep and, if you do happen to fall asleep, your sleep quality is practically non-existent.
You either wake up more tired than you went to bed, or you roll around all night!
So are you ready to save your sleep habits?
Then cut your caffeine down to fewer than 200 milligrams per day and avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime.
Morning coffee should be okay, so long as it’s really morning coffee.
2. Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sleep Haven
No amount of tiredness will matter if you can’t get comfortable enough to catch some shut-eye.
So make your bedroom as comfy as possible!
Here are some tips for how to do that:
- Invest in a comfortable mattress, sheets, and pillows.
- Get rid of anything that makes distracting sounds.
- Block all outside light from coming in with dark shades.
- Drop the temperature to 60 – 67?.
- Move the TV or gaming systems to another room.
The goal is to make your bedroom dark, cool, quiet, and free of distractions.
That also means limiting your exposure to blue light within a half-hour of bedtime. So set your iPhone to Airplane Mode as you’re looking to settle down before bed.
3. Add Natural Remedies to Your Bedtime Routine
No, essential oils won’t magically “cure” your insomnia or sleep anxiety like you’d hope. But natural remedies do have the potential to make falling asleep easier.
There are three natural solutions to consider.
The most popular natural sleep remedy is melatonin. This is a hormone in the form of a pill that regulates your sleep schedule and helps you recover from jet lag.
Lavender is unique because you won’t be ingesting it — you’ll be smelling it.
With a few drops of lavender in the tub or your aromatherapy diffuser, you can better relax at bedtime and encourage high-quality sleep.
There’s magnesium to save you from poor sleep caused by restless leg syndrome.
Add one or more to your bedtime routine, and you’ll be catching Z’s in no time.
4. Play Nature Sounds or White Noise
For some people, silence is louder than any sound in the world. And this might be precisely why you can’t fall asleep at night — it’s too quiet!
Calming sounds played at bedtime (and as you sleep) are a must!.
We’re talking rain on the roof, ocean waves crashing on the shore, birds chirping in the morning, and even white noise for a pure yet not distracting sound.
There are dozens of sleep apps on the App Store that offer these sounds and more.
You just have to find out which sounds relax you the most. So it might be the right call to pass on the “relaxing” wind sounds if you live somewhere in Tornado Alley.
5. Address the Anxiety in Your Daily Life
Often, real-world anxiety will follow you to bed. You’ll find yourself rolling around in bed, digesting the day’s events, and worries for the future.
To fix the sleep anxiety, you need to address the daytime stress first.
Seeking a therapist is a great option.
Are you experiencing acute stress?
Do you worry about your future?
Are you barely getting by financially?
These are all critical topics to discuss with a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist as you get your mental health back on track.
Your sleep quality may improve once you heal your emotional wounds.
6. Practice Mindfulness Relaxation Methods
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the word “mindfulness” once or twice. As it turns out, mindfulness might be your solution for a better night’s sleep.
And there’s research to back that up!
Science proves that practicing mindfulness for even an hour each week can help your insomnia. Not to mention improve your outlook and reduce your fatigue.
Better yet, there are plenty of ways to practice this technique in your free time.
You can set aside just two minutes a day to practice a body scan and bring yourself back to the present moment. Or sign-up for yoga classes to induce a sense of “calm” late in the evening a few hours before bed.
No matter how you pursue mindfulness, know this:
Mindfulness is a great way to relieve anxiety, improve focus, and calm you down.
7. Create a Sleep Schedule & Stick to It
Now, this one is much easier said than done. But it’s the one tip on this list that can indeed be a game-changer in achieving quality sleep now.
The first step?
Setting a consistent sleep schedule.
You’re going to need to choose a time to wake up, and a time to sleep. Then stick to this routine seven days a week.
Yes, including weekends and holidays!
This method will help you get your body’s internal clock back on track so that you’ll be getting sleepy around bedtime each night.
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to cut naps out of your schedule for this one.
It might be worth the risk.
There’s a good chance that your insomnia or sleep anxiety stems from a variety of factors. Things such as real-world stress or too much caffeine in your system.
So try one of these solutions at a time, and give yourself some time to get used to them in your new sleep schedule.
A restful night’s sleep is in your future!
About the Author
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Arch Troy to help them with their online marketing.