When you don’t get enough sleep, your cognitive and behavioral functions can decline, causing issues like brain fog, a lack of concentration, and mood changes. There are many reasons why people suffer from a lack of sleep, including anxiety.
Studies have shown that this problem can be cyclical, which means if you can’t sleep, it can cause anxiety. If, however, you’re prone to anxiety, you can’t sleep.
If you have this issue, you need a solution. Here, at Palo Alto Mind Body, M Rameen Ghorieshi, MD, MPH, and our team have some guidelines you can follow to help you get the restful sleep you need and deserve.
Get in a routine
Implementing healthy sleep habits can enhance your sleep. To practice good sleep hygiene, start with setting a bedtime. Once you establish this, you can then build your sleep routine around it.
For instance, start getting ready for bed 30 minutes beforehand. Take a hot bath or shower to help you begin to relax. Put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, and make your bed an inviting place with pillows and blankets to provide comfort. Eliminate anything that can disrupt your sleep, such as light or distracting noises.
Once you lie down, if you find yourself tossing and turning, it’s okay to get up and read or do something to keep yourself calm in low light until you feel yourself beginning to fall asleep.
You should also establish a fixed wake-up time every day, even on the weekends. This puts your body in a rhythm of consistent sleep.
Practice relaxation exercises
You can practice relaxation techniques to help ease your anxiety and make you feel calm, relaxed, and sleepy. Exercises include breathing, visualizing, and focusing on relaxing specific muscle groups when you lie down.
Implement healthy lifestyle routines
Adding positive routines to your day can promote healthy sleep at night. Some tips include:
- Schedule daylight exposure
- Refrain from smoking
- Avoid going to bed on a full stomach
You should also limit your alcohol consumption, and avoid caffeine later in the day. These recommendations can set you up for a smooth transition into the evening hours and then bedtime.
Employ sleep aids
A few things that can help you sleep well include having black-out curtains to keep your room dark or wearing an eye mask. If noise interferes with your sleep, try wearing ear plugs, or turn on a noise machine. You can also invite a relaxing atmosphere to your bedroom by adding calming scents like lavender.
Making these changes should be gradual. You may need to shift your bedtime and wake-up time until you find what works best for you. However, be careful not to take too many naps. Though they can energize you, they can also throw off a nighttime routine of sleep. If you need to nap, make them short and limited to early afternoon.
If your anxiety is standing in the way of getting you the sleep you need, we can offer additional advice. Reach out to our friendly office staff today in the surrounding Bay Area, which includes South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, and San Francisco, California. Call 650-681-2900, or make an appointment online today.