Insomnia is a medical term that refers to difficulty sleeping. This difficulty sleeping can also include:
- Waking up feeling tired
- Trouble with REM sleep
- Difficulty falling asleep
Anxiety on the other hand is defined as the body’s natural response to stress. When you are anxious, you feel fear or apprehension about what is going to happen next. It is likely that you have anxiety disorder if:
- Your anxiety feelings are extreme
- The anxiety feelings last for six months or longer
- The anxious feeling interferes with your life and relationships
Anxiety and insomnia can be attributed to many causes. For instance, patients with dental anxiety or dental trauma can feel anxious about dental treatments like the dental implant procedure.
Others can also feel anxious not knowing much about the procedure like how much dental implant costs or if it is the best option available for them. It is also common for these people to experience insomnia, especially the night before the procedure.
In the United States alone, at least two-thirds of Americans admit that feeling stressed causes them to lose sleep. It has also been noted that poor sleep and poor sleeping habits have been linked to other conditions like anxiety and depression.
Insomnia and Anxiety
People often wonder if anxiety causes insomnia or is it the other way around. The answer will differ depending on which came first. For instance, sleep deprivation has been known to increase the risk for anxiety disorders.
Insomnia has also been proven to worsen symptoms of anxiety disorders or prevent recovery in general. On the other hand, anxiety can also contribute to disrupted sleep and this manifests in the form of nightmares or insomnia.
The Link Between Mental Health and Sleep
While the relationship between sleep and mental health is not fully understood yet, neuroimaging and neurochemistry studies suggest that:
- Getting sufficient sleep can help enhance both emotional and mental resilience
- Chronic sleep disruptions can result in emotional sensibility and negative thinking
It is also implied that treating anxiety can help ease the symptoms associated with insomnia and vice versa.
Ways to Improve Your Sleep
There are various strategies that you can look into to help you get a good night’s sleep. Start developing good sleeping habits by keeping the following basics in mind:
- Set a consistent bed and wake up time. Doing this can help you train yourself to sleep consistently. It has also been known to help improve your sleep quality significantly.
- Control stimuli. Use your bedroom for sleep only and don’t allow stimuli like electronics and gadgets in your bedroom. This can help you effectively dissociate your bed as a place of busy activity.
- Use relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques like breathing exercises have been known to help minimize anxiety during bedtime. Other relaxation techniques you can look into include meditating before going to bed or taking a warm bath.
- Avoid naps especially during the day. Avoiding naps and similar sleep restrictions can help ensure you will feel more tired during bedtime. This can help minimize insomnia in some people.
- Avoid stimulants. Avoid stimulants like nicotine and caffeine if you want to be physically ready for sleep. Some experts also recommend consuming alcohol especially during night time.
- Get comfortable. Make sure your pillows and mattress are comfortable. It would be a good idea to do your research and check expert verified mattress and pillow recommendations online.
Your doctor can also suggest and recommend other strategies that are tailored to your lifestyle and sleep environment. They can also guide you in terms of the habits you need to develop to improve your quality of sleep.