5 Tips to Improve Sleep and Manage Anxiety

Dr. Laura Tanzini

Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, as they can impact many aspects of daily life such as your career, personal life, and emotional well-being. They can manifest themselves in many ways, but one common symptom reported by anxiety sufferers is disrupted and inconsistent sleep patterns. It’s difficult in many cases to determine which situation is responsible for the other, as they become interrelated in a self-perpetuating cycle. Anxiety can lead to sleep disturbance, and sleep disturbance can lead to increased anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle that can detract from the quality of life of those suffering from anxiety disorders and must eventually be treated with the help of professionals at an anxiety disorder treatment center.

The best treatment for anxiety disorders that lead to sleep disturbances includes a treatment plan involving mental health practitioners, sleep center doctors, and cognitive behavioral therapists. Together, they can help you beat the cycle of anxiety and sleep disturbance. There are also some steps you can take to improve your sleep and as a result, better manage anxiety. Read on to learn more about how you can improve your sleep and manage anxiety.

Create a Routine

In many cases, sleep disturbances can be remedied by creating a routine that lulls your body into a circadian rhythm. That helps to facilitate sleep during consistent periods each day. To program your body’s internal biological clock, you must establish a routine that is unwavering. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. While it may be painful at first, those initial sleepless nights will give way to the enforced schedule eventually as your body accepts your new routine.

Seek Natural Light

To set its internal clock, your body needs daily exposure to sunlight. Natural sunlight is the beacon upon which your body sets its course, so make sure to get at least 30 minutes per day of direct sunlight. If you can get your daily dose of sunlight at the same time each day, that will help your body set its new rhythm more easily. This will allow your body to set your clock and begin to take steps to facilitate sleep on a proper schedule.

Get Exercise

Your body also gets a boost to the natural sleep cycle through exercise. It’s important for many reasons to inject physical activity into your life each day. For those who are trying to rid themselves of sleep disturbance and improve sleep, it’s a necessity. The prime time for exercise to facilitate sleep is the afternoon. Don’t exercise too late, however, as you could undo the benefit by energizing your body too close to bedtime.

Limit Caffeine

Caffeine is a common part of everyday life for many people, but those who are seeking to regulate sleep cycles should abstain from it, even if only temporarily. Even coffee consumed late in the afternoon can keep you alert at bedtime, so refrain from caffeine until you can establish a consistent sleep routine. If you must have a cup of coffee to jolt you into action in the morning, try to consume it before noon to make sure that it doesn’t disrupt your sleep pattern.

Avoid Vices

Many vices can lead to sleep disturbance. Smoking can cause the pulse rate to rise, the blood pressure and the blood pressure to increase, which begins a chemical cascade within the body that keeps you awake and alert. While alcohol may be a sedative, drinking too much in the evening can cause unrestful sleep and worsen sleep apnea, which will prevent satisfactory sleep even when you can doze off. Overeating, particularly at night, can have the same effect on your body and be counterproductive to establishing healthy sleep patterns.

By following these tips, you can better manage your anxiety by getting improved sleep. While you should still seek professional help if you think you suffer from the symptoms of anxiety disorder, routinely getting a restful night of sleep can help you keep anxiety at bay.


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.