How Anxiety Affects Your Sleep
Falling asleep. Does the thought of it make you feel anxious? Do you wake up during the night feeling anxious? If this sounds familiar, you know that anxiety can definitely make it difficult to sleep.
Many people who have trouble sleeping also feel anxious or they may have a mental health diagnosis - i.e. an anxiety disorder. The anxiety makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. In either case, many people report that they can't sleep due to anxiety.
Likewise, poor sleep quantity and quality associated with sleep disorders, often worsen anxiety. However, the opposite is also true; anxiety treatment may lessen or even resolve your sleep problems.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder or panic attacks, and nighttime (nocturnal) panic attacks. A nocturnal panic attack occurs at night and may occur with or without daytime panic attacks.
With some anxiety disorders, the feelings last and may worsen over time. Anxiety disorders are also likely to create problems with relationships, work or school, or other activities.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder?
Feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge.
Not being able to stop or control worrying.
Worrying too much about different things.
Being so restless, it is hard to sit still.
Becoming easily annoyed or irritable.
Feeling afraid, as if something awful might happen.
These symptoms occur at least several days in a 2 week period. They may also make it difficult for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with people.
How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?
What Is The Treatment For Anxiety Disorders?
If you can't sleep due to anxiety, try:
Slow, deep breathing
Writing in a journal
Listening to soothing music
Soaking in the tub
Goodpath can show you how to sleep when you feel stressed and anxious.
Which Prescriptions Are Used To Treat Anxiety Disorders?
May use a combination of medicines.
Medicines may be added or changed.
Doses may be gradually increased.
They may be prescribed short- or long-term.
It depends on many factors, such as the type of anxiety disorder, a person’s medical history, symptoms, response to the medicine, and possible side effects.
How Anxiety Medicine Affects Your Sleep
Some of the medicines may directly affect your sleep because drowsiness is a possible side effect. Be watchful with antidepressant medicines because they may also interfere with your sleep.
What Are Some Common Antidepressant Medicines For Anxiety?
Two types of antidepressant medicines are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Some common SSRIs are escitalopram and sertraline. Some common SNRIs are duloxetine and venlafaxine, extended-release.
Possible side effects of antidepressant medicines include: feeling nervous, feeling tired or trouble sleeping, nausea, weight changes, headache, and sexual problems.
Antidepressants can help with sleep and anxiety. However, talk with your doctor if your difficulty sleeping worsens.
What Are Some Common Anti-Anxiety Medicines?
A unique anti-anxiety medicine is buspirone. It may take longer to take effect, but it has few side effects and does not lead to dependence.
Should I Contact My Doctor?
If you have anxiety disorder symptoms, which often interfere with sleep, you should contact your doctor to schedule an appointment. In some cases, your doctor can provide treatment. They may also refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. At the same time, you can participate in our sleep program.
Goodpath offers cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which includes methods to lessen anxiety. CBT-I is one part of our sleep program that includes mind-body techniques, supplements, exercise, and nutritional support.
The first step in our program? Our 5-minute assessment. It allows us to look at your specific symptoms and needs. Start your free sleep assessment today.