One of the worst things when dealing with anxiety is the sleepless nights, this is coming from personal experience. That’s why I created this list of the best way to sleep with anxiety.
In my case, my anxiety came from me feeling like I wasn’t productive enough in the day and it kept me up many nights.
How Anxiety Affects Sleep
I want to keep this short and sweet because I know that the real nuggets of gold in this post are below this section. But it’s still important to know why anxiety affects your sleep.
Now, sleep problems caused by anxiety aren’t limited to people with diagnosed anxiety disorders.
In fact, I have suffered from sleepless nights due to my anxiety.
And while most that know me, know I’m pretty carefree and easy-going, there are nights where I’m just anxious about something.
Half the time I don’t even know what I’m anxious about.
For me, the more anxious I am about sleep, the less I sleep making me more anxious about not sleeping.
Like a big loop. My mom calls it “Active Mind” but in Spanish.
But below are by far the best ways to sleep with anxiety that I have found.
10 Best Ways to Sleep With Anxiety
Limit Screen Time
I love watching Youtube videos on my phone as I fall asleep. Something about it just helps me relax, maybe it’s the light, the background noise or both.
While it does help me relax it also keeps me up, giving my mind a higher chance to worry and have even less sleep.
And it’s worse on nights when I’m anxious, I just stay up longer and sometimes only get 2 hours of sleep.
But I found for me and most people, if I put my phone away, especially somewhere inconvenient, I fall asleep faster. The same goes for watching TV.
Research has shown that blue light found in most electronic stimulates that part of your brain that keeps you up.
Anxiety Tip :
If you also find it difficult to fall asleep because of your phone, hide it. Yup you heard me right.
Put your phone in a drawer or out of the bedroom entirely. This will hopefully stop you from using it at night.
If I can make it annoying to get my phone it’ll help me resist the urge to watch videos, it might just be exactly what you need as well.
Clear Your Head-Space
While meditation can be a wonderful thing to practice before bed, that’s not exactly what I’m talking about here.
What I’m referring to when saying clearing your head-space is the area around you when sleeping, this includes the bed, nightstand, even the floor.
When going to sleep you want your bedroom to be inviting, a place of peace and quiet where you can lay your head and rest.
Not filled with anything that can lead to worries of concern. Personally I don’t have much on the nightstand next to my bed, just a few books and miscellaneous items.
Since I brought up meditation, I figured why not touch on it just a bit. But ill keep it short and sweet since I talk about meditation a lot at Unwind Therapies.
I personally don’t meditate as much as I should honestly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great way to clear your head.
In fact its probably one of the best ways to do so!
So if you are interested in learning a quick meditation, I wrote a guided step-by-step meditation routine for reducing high blood pressure.
Even though it was written for dealing with high BP, the beautiful thing about meditation its that it’s universal. So definitely give it a read!
Keep it Cool and Dark
Most people find they sleep best when the temperature in their room is between 65 degrees and 75 degrees, but everyone is a little different.
I can’t sleep in a hot room. My body enjoys sleeping in a cooler room, it also really lets me enjoy the warmth of my sheets.
If I’m too hot I start tossing and turning, contemplating if I want to take my feet out of the sheets, but then I get paranoid something is going to grab them, leading to anxiety and a bit of fear.
So yea, I stick to a slightly colder room and get warm and cozy under my protective sheets.
While I have never tried using a weighted blanket, a lot of people use them because of the reasons I stated above
The weighted blanket can help you feel secure and safe, which helps calm you down and let you finally rest.
Get Rid of the Clock
This is one of the first things I got rid of as soon as I could. I used to have this little clock on my nightstand that I used as an alarm.
But I quickly noticed that on nights I couldn’t sleep, I would look over to the clock and check the time.
Then after what felt like 10 minutes, I would check it again. To my surprise, only a few minutes passed.
If I was anxious about the next day, this became my worst habit. I couldn’t sleep because I was worried, then seeing the time go and me still awake gave me more anxiety.
So if you can, I would recommend getting rid of most clocks in your room. And the clocks you do keep, move them somewhere you cant actively look at.
Kind of like the first tip on phones, as the old saying goes, out of sight out of mind.
Get into a Routine
Routine, routine, routine. Got it? Good.
I can’t stress this enough when managing anxiety one of the best things you can do for both your mental and sleep is a routine.
Your body loves routine, its practically in our DNA. The more you do something the more consistent and effective it becomes.
Make a habit out of going to bed and waking up around the same time. Both your body and circadian rhythm will thank you for it.
This is something I also have personal experience with and realized about myself before I learned others actually also do for better sleep.
Most people force themselves to stay in bed and hope they’ll get tired and fall asleep. But you soon find out that the more you force it the harder it gets.
I hated it when I laid there and couldn’t sleep. I would be in bed for 2 hours and still not asleep. My mom called it having an active mind.
So what did I do? When I went to bed and 10 minutes have passed and I didn’t feel tired or sleepy, I got up and started writing.
Working on Unwind Therapies helped me sort of get all my thoughts out and also made me feel productive because I was working on something I’m pursuing as a career.
This is how I was able to reset myself.
Anxiety Tip #2 :
If you don’t fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, get up and go to a different room.
You can do some light yoga, meditate, or read a book. Just try to stay away from anything electronic or you might stay up even longer.
Try Taking Anxiety and Stress Supplements
Supplements can be a great alternative to relieve anxiety and stress before bed. Check out our list of top 10 Natural Supplements that Fight Anxiety!
Magnesium supplements gummies are a great example, especially since most of us are deficient in this calming mineral.
But my favorite supplement “Stress Fighter” has many benefits including fighting anxiety and helping you get better sleep.
Definitely check our REBL Jane the company responsible for such an amazing product!
Write it Down
The second thing I most promote is journaling. It’s such a great tool to use for managing anxiety.
My mom is a perfectionist and even though I’m not one per se, some of her perfectionist characteristics live in me.
This perfectionist side of me shows itself when I’m working on this blog. It causes me worries and anxieties every now and again.
But blogging has totally helped me when it comes to sleep. To me writing a new post feels like a journal entry, It helps me clear up my mind and focus it on something productive.
I especially use it on those nights when my mind is off its rails.
I tell my mind, you are not keeping me up tonight. And if you are we are working, dammit!
If anxiety is what is keeping you up, my logical brain is telling me that managing your anxiety is the solution to your sleepless nights.
So try journaling or a planner (Habit tracker is a perfect example of one) even writing a few things to do the next morning.
Try Out The "Breathe" Anxiety Workbook
Let me know if any of these tips helped you, and also check out the “Breathe” anxiety workbook above.
It has everything you need to get started with managing anxiety through journaling.