Anxiety and sleep disorders are often associated with each other depending on which disorder you are being affected by first. The stressful condition of anxiety leads to a sleepless night that is responsible to increase the risk of insomnia and nightmare whereas an un-sleepy night gives you time to think more (mostly negative and emotional thinking) which results in stress and worry and finally turns into anxiety. One condition makes the other condition worse, critical, and threatened.
According to a survey, sleep problems affect more than 50% of adults with anxiety, and two-third of people that have stress also suffer from sleep problems. Now, let’s discuss these two terms separately to understand more.
What is an Anxiety disorder and how do I recognize that I am suffering from it?
Anxiety disorder most frequently occurs in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. If your regular nervousness and slight fear becoming worst and intervening or affecting your day-to-day activity such as interferes with your ability to function, you become unable to control your response towards any situation, or you become overreacting when something triggers your emotions all these behavioural changes shows an alarming sign that you are started suffering from anxiety.
Anxiety also causes other disorders such as sleep disorder, ADHD, and erectile dysfunction (in men).
Types of Anxiety disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)- People who are suffering from this disorder get worried about little things. They take so much tension or stress almost every day about ordinary issues that include money, work, school, relationships, and health.
General Symptoms of GAD include insomnia, difficulty in concentration, and restlessness.
Panic disorder- in this disorder people suffer from a sudden and intense fear of danger when there is no such thing and get repeated panic attacks.
Common symptoms of Panic disorder include sweating, heart palpitations, chest pain, and feeling of choking (looks like you are getting a heart attack).
Phobias- means being afraid of objects or certain situations. Like fear of animals (spiders, lizards, snakes, dogs, etc), blood, height, flying, injections, going to social or crowded places, etc. People who are having phobias show an excess level of fear when there is no need for that much terror.
Social anxiety disorder- also known as social phobia. In this disorder, people show self-consciousness and overwhelming worry with daily social affairs.
Agoraphobia- it develops after two or more panic attacks. People who suffer from it generally experience intense terror or fear that they are unable to get help and become overwhelmed and start avoiding the place and situation where the panic attack occurs.
Common places where Agoraphobia can occur include enclosed spaces, lines or crowds, open spaces, places outside your house, and public transportation.
Separation anxiety- mostly children and teens are suffering from separation anxiety. They have fear of separation from their parents such as if their parents met with an accident, somehow they become hurt or not come back. Stressful conditions in adults lead to separation worry in them.
What is Sleep Disorder and how do I recognize that I am suffering from it?
If you feel difficult to sleep at night regularly, are unable to perform your regular daytime activities, or feel tired during the daytime even after taking seven hours of sleep then you might be suffering from a sleep disorder and need medical treatment.
Types of Sleep Disorders
There are approx. 80 types of sleep disorders. Some common types are explained below-
Insomnia - people feel difficulty falling and staying asleep.
Sleep apnea - is a serious sleep disorder as in it people’s breathing gets interrupted while sleeping which causes waking up.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) - when sleep is disturbed due to intense and frequent irresistible urge to move and shake the legs.
Narcolepsy - is a neurological disorder of sleep regulations. In it, people experience so much daytime uncontrolled sleepiness.
How do I recognize that I am suffering from Sleep Anxiety?
Fear and worry about going to sleep when leads to a disease or disorder then it is known as sleep anxiety. The term Somniphobia is used for the person who thinks that if they sleep something wrong or bad has happened to them, they want to be alert during the night and do not want to sleep due to extreme worry, dread, and anxiety.
How can I overcome sleep anxiety?
There are some common therapies and treatments listed below to treat sleep anxiety.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)- is a psychotherapy method. It is a common treatment for anxiety. In this therapy, the psychiatrist teaches you how to change your behavior by positive thinking and alter your way of thinking.
Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBTI)- is a therapy in which a psychiatrist helps you in treating insomnia by guiding you on how to avoid the conditions that trouble your sleep.
Sleep hygiene or healthier sleep habits- proper routine, healthy diet, and habits help you to cure your sleep anxiety but it is a time taking method as you are already not able to do things properly due to your mental condition. Follow the daily timetable given by your healthcare strictly to get the result.
Medical treatment- many sleep anxiety medications are available online and offline with detailed descriptions that you may take or as recommended by your doctor.
How to Prevent Sleep Anxiety?
It is always better to take care of yourself to reduce the risk of health problems. Here are some simple tips that prevent you from having any health-related concerns.
Do regular exercise.
Adopt healthy habits.
Do not indulge in the problems or situations that make you worry.
Follow a proper routine and be disciplined.
Some other complications arise due to long-term Sleep Anxiety
Long-term or extended anxiety and sleep disorder affect you in many ways. They give rise to many more health and mental issues such as-
High blood pressure