Series: 1st Installment for Health Issue and Anxiety of 4
Sleep disruption is a sign of mental health problems. Anxiety is no different. I remember when these two are of my main problems. I cannot revive myself physically and mentally because I cannot get a decent sleep and worry about many things.
It was chaos! As soon as I hit the bed, my mind runs 210kph. I think about my health and how I can recover. I think about my to-do-list at work. I think about the problems we have at work and how I will be able to manage them. I would think about my husband and me if my health got worsen. I think about our bills if I will leave my job and focus on my health. I think pretty much everything! The space in my blog is not enough if I wrote all of them!
Based on an article I read, over 40 million Americans say that they experience a long-term sleep disorder while others experiencing occasional sleep disruption. And this is Americans alone; can you imagine how widespread this is?
Today, I have managed to improve my sleeping habit. I also have managed how to counter my anxiety when it wants to interrupt me. Let me share this and hopefully give you insight into how you can deal with your sleep problems and anxieties.
7 Boosters to Improve Sleep and Manage Anxiety
At first, I was hesitant to exercise because I’m already petite. Since I have hormonal imbalance and issues on my monthly period, doing workouts will worsen my situation. But I was wrong! You don’t need to do hardcore work out. I started doing basic yoga and stretching. I usually do this during the afternoon. It helps me to get a much clear mindset and relaxed body. Now, if I have plans during afternoons, then the early evening can cover it up. At least 2-3 hours before sleeping.
Exercising will help you released happy hormones. It will help you have a positive outlook on your body and let you forget the things you worry about. Doing exercise in front of a mirror will also help get that good vibe on this activity. This way, you will see yourself day-by-day and your improvements.
2. Calm Your Mind
Breathe in and breathe out. Learn to calm your mind. Having a calm mind will help you get a good night’s sleep, even naps. My question was, how will I be able to calm my mind when it keeps thinking? Here are my few techniques which you can try:
- Close your eyes and meditate
- Read good books – motivational, inspirational ones
- Read Scriptures
- Listen to soothing music like instrumental, sax, acoustic guitar, piano
- Listen to praises songs
- Listen to audiobooks – motivational, inspirational ones
- Have a bubble bath before going to bed
- Have a lukewarm shower before going to bed
- Drink lukewarm milk
- Think of a happy memory
- Avoid noisy music
- Avoid noisy environment
- Embrace silence
3. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Avoiding caffeine was one of my struggles! I don’t do alcohol, but I love coffee! Coffee is part of my bloodstream. I bet you too! To get a perfect sleep and keep you off from palpitating that triggers anxiety, then be ready to make a perfect sacrifice. Avoid coffee at least 4 hours before going to sleep. I suggest you measure your coffee intake or any other caffeine intake. Lessen your dosage. I normally drink up to 4-5 cups of coffee a day, especially at work, but I have managed to make it a cup a day – during mornings.
Some are into sodas, liquor, chocolate drinks, but these are pretty much unhealthy. My best alternative is lukewarm milk or lukewarm water, as in plain drinking water. That is the best and the healthiest.
4. Alter Your Environment
Tailoring your environment is one good way to control sleeping disruptions and anxiety. Fix your room, remove clutter, modify your room’s lights, use an air humidifier that brings a good smell, use clean sheets, and inform any people around you. It’s the best feeling when your sleeping room gives you comfort. It will lure you into getting a goodnight’s sleep.
5. Routine Sleep Schedule
I had to train my mind on this. I set up a schedule of my sleep every day to recover, especially during the period that I really had rough times with my physical and mental health. It was hard, but I had to push myself to it. Start getting your sleep cycle. When you get that natural rhythm, your body clock will work on itself. Here are my few techniques to get that regular sleep schedule:
- Make a gradual adjustment. Do not pressurize yourself.
- Be consistent. Do not change your sleep schedule often.
- Stop frequently looking at your clock.
- Do not eat heavy meals 2 hours before bedtime.
6. Avoid Screen Time
For me, having so much screen time is the number one sleep distractor and anxiety trigger. You tend to check all your social media accounts before going to sleep. You don’t realize that it’s already one o’clock in the morning and you are not sleeping yet! Yes! Common problems. You saw your ex happy with the new one, you start doubting and questioning yourself. You saw your friend’s status; it was new to you. You start questioning why the heck he or she did not share this with you before posting it. You saw your dream car advertised; you start questioning your ability to get that money to buy it. Every single second you are on social media triggers you to get anxiety!
I am no excuse! I felt that too! I have this one Facebook friend who posts updates mostly about religion and being kindhearted to everyone, but that friend’s act is way beyond the content being shared. I get frustrated. Can you imagine? It’s no sense, but it happens. So, I had to unfollow that friend, and I had to clear the cache and cookies of my devices and limit my screen time. I had to avoid any screen time at least an hour before going to sleep.
Start practicing, no TV, no laptop, no smartphone, no blue light, no screen time at least an hour or two before sleeping.
7. Seek for Help
I hope that you will not end up on this and you can manage the problem by yourself. Because managing sleep problems and anxiety by yourself means your health issues are not that serious that can lead to a dreadful situation like suicides or some sort.
But if you feel like it’s escalating, then the best solution is to seek help from professionals. Do not do self-medication! Do not ask Uncle Google and expect him to give all the right answers to medicate yourself. Please do not be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it. Better to share it with your loved ones also. They can likewise help you seek the right professionals that will assist you in getting back on track.
This is one common problem; you tend to keep it yourself. Keeping things to yourself will not give you the right balance and answers you need. Speak up to the right people.
Yes! It was a struggle, but I’m happy that I overcame that stage of my life. I’m glad to say that I’m currently in a good state – mentally, physically, spiritually. There are still times that sleep and anxiety challenges kick in, but I always remind myself of the above! That makes it easy for me to back on track!
I hope that I have provided you some helpful insights on how you can improve your sleeping habit and smartly counter anxiety attacks. What are your sleep problems? How did this affect you in your daily life? How did you manage it? Share your experience with me, and I’d love to hear from you.
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