Sleep Anxiety: Quieting the Thoughts That Keep You Up
Picture this: after a long day you’re tired, drained, and the only thing you want is to rest and drift off into sleep. But you can’t let your day go, and your racing mind keeps you awake. For many of us this isn’t something we have to imagine, this is a reality called sleep anxiety.
Sleep anxiety is characterized by the inability to relax your mind, and often involves an unsettling feeling that leaves you unable to sleep. While different from insomnia, sleep anxiety often yields similar side effects. Aside from restlessness and the inability to sleep, sleep anxiety can also hugely interfere with your ability to focus the next day, your capability to perform certain tasks, your attention span, motivation and of course, your energy.
70% of adults suffer from some sort of sleep anxiety or sleep disorder. That’s millions of people that have their nights disrupted, and this feeling of anxiousness and the inability to relax often spills into the next day. Think of how you feel after a bad night’s sleep. Now imagine that multiple times--maybe even every night—during the week.
At times, sleep anxiety can lead to a vicious cycle that feeds itself. Sleeping issues can cause stress and anxiety; this stress and anxiety can lead to sleeping issues. Stress, lose sleep, repeat. Many have trouble breaking free of this cycle, so we are here to offer you some solutions.
What can you do to help ease your sleep anxiety? Here are some methods to quiet your sleep anxiety that don’t take a lifestyle change.
- Listen to music. Music is known to help relax you, and even help to release endorphins in your brain. Getting lost in music can often distract you or pull your mind from the thoughts that carry your mind away. Put on your favorite soothing music, and focus only on this. You may soon find yourself drifting off into sleep.
- If this doesn’t work for you, try the opposite. Quiet everything (also known as meditation). Make a conscious effort to pull your mind back from the thoughts that consume you. It takes time, and it certainly not easy for all, but meditation is a useful tool for quieting your mind and regaining some calmness from your day.
- Take CBD. Sleep anxiety is an offset issue of general anxiety, which CBD is known to calm. While not a sleeping agent, studies have shown CBD has properties that counteract anxiety and soothe your mind without getting you high, because it is non-psychoactive. CBD hemp oil can ease many of the symptoms that keep us up and allow you to sleep sounder without interruption.
- Austin Peterson