Anxiety Trying To Fall Asleep – Anxiety and insomnia are two very common problems that can hinder your ability to sleep. Both conditions can keep you awake for hours, wondering if you’ll ever get a wink of sleep before the day begins again. Additionally, both conditions can cancel each other out, making the other worse. If you struggle with anxiety or insomnia, or a combination of the two, you’re not alone.
This guide will explore the definitions and symptoms of both conditions, how they can affect each other, and what you can do to treat, manage, and potentially prevent anxiety or insomnia from disrupting your sleep.
Anxiety Trying To Fall Asleep
It can be very normal for most people to experience anxiety at times, as anxiety is an echo of our previous defense mechanisms of “fight, flight or freeze” when faced with danger. Although threats have changed from animal predators to the fear of being late for meetings, the physical parts of our brains haven’t changed much: our brains still see the cause of our anxiety as “threat” and, therefore, they spring into action. jump Trying to find a possible solution or escape route.
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Sometimes anxiety isn’t the cause of anxiety, but many Americans experience an extremely intense, recurring, and overwhelming feeling of anxiety, which can lead to the development of an anxiety disorder. Overall, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders and it is the most common mental illness in the United States.
Anxiety disorders can be caused by very specific triggers (known as “phobias”), or they can be chronically excessive anxiety that interferes with daily life, regardless of the specific trigger or the actual cause. in danger. In these cases, the brain can flood the body with adrenaline, causing the person to experience palpitations, shortness of breath, or loss of concentration at work or school. In addition, anxiety can lead to serious sleep problems, such as insomnia. Although experiencing anxiety attacks can leave many people feeling tired or fatigued, the act of falling asleep can be more difficult due to anxiety and a sense of body anxiety or fear.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects 3 million Americans and is characterized by the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for long periods of time. It can often be a side effect of a larger problem (known as secondary insomnia), but it can also happen independently for many people, without an overriding cause or identifiable trigger (known as primary insomnia). ).
There are also people who suffer from both anxiety and insomnia, each symptom independent of the other. In these cases, known as bidirectional comorbidity, the two conditions can exacerbate each other and be difficult to treat independently. In addition, anxiety can be a side effect of other, more serious psychiatric conditions, which can increase the difficulty of treating people with comorbid anxiety and insomnia.
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Anxiety disorders come in many forms. Below are some of the more common types, along with some of their symptoms and effects.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is a form of anxiety that people may experience for long periods of time, usually longer than six months, and is a reaction to work relationships, personal health, social interactions or daily routines. . GAD can cause an overwhelming sense of fear or anxiety that arises from normal daily routines or activities, and can significantly affect a person’s work, social, school or general life. According to the ADAA, approximately 6.8 million Americans suffer from GAD each year. Some common symptoms may include:
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD is a condition that affects 2.2 million Americans and causes people to have recurring thoughts, compulsions, or mental images (obsessions), uncontrollable and disturbing. There are those that can cause serious passion. . Concern for the patient. This can cause the sufferer to repeat certain behaviors or actions (compulsions) to combat the thoughts or mental images. This may include not being able to leave the house before turning off all the dials and double-checking all the locks, or feeling compelled to take a certain route to avoid potential (but not actual) danger.
Although many people may feel obsessive or double-check certain things, people with OCD often spend more than an hour a day looking at images or thoughts in their head, and many of their condition. Reasons experience significant problems in his life. Some people may suffer from OCD as well as other anxiety disorders.
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Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is the result of experiencing sudden and recurrent panic attacks without warning or due to a specific trigger. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that 6 million adults in the United States have panic disorder. These attacks are moments of intense fear that can peak within minutes of initial onset. During this time, the body may flood with adrenaline, and a person experiencing panic may have a racing heart, heavy sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, a sense of impending doom, and a sense of loss of control. People who suffer from these attacks may go out of their way to avoid certain places, people, or situations that may trigger a panic attack, and in doing so, may cause serious problems in their lives. . Some more severe cases of panic attacks may include agoraphobia, or the fear of leaving the house.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is the development of anxiety or fear due to a shocking, frightening, or life-threatening event. PTSD is characterized by recurring fear or dread despite the fact that the patient is no longer in close proximity to the event or in a life-threatening situation. Some of the most common forms of PTSD develop from being involved in combat or being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, but even minor events, such as the sudden death of a loved one, can trigger the development of PTSD symptoms in some people. can do . The National Institute of Mental Health reports that approximately 7.7 million adults in the United States suffer from PTSD. PTSD can usually be caused by:
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Social phobia is an intense fear or anxiety related to social or performance situations that, according to the ADAA, affects approximately 15 million Americans. One of the most common symptoms is the fear of embarrassment or being judged negatively by others. Most often, it arises in connection with school, work or public places. The most intense form of social phobia is agoraphobia or the fear of leaving the house or being in public.
From a medical perspective, there are several levels to measure the severity of insomnia, as well as different types of insomnia.
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The severity of insomnia can be divided into five categories, which was highlighted in a study published in 2019 by The Lancet Psychiatry, which interviewed nearly 4,000 people who struggled to sleep over a five-year period. At the beginning, end and over the course of five years, participants were asked to rate their insomnia based on severity. A large part of the population interviewed did not change their answers during this period. Because of this, it is believed that the types of insomnia can remain relatively constant throughout a person’s life.
Sleep is an essential function that the body needs to heal, repair and maintain energy. If you’re struggling to sleep because of anxiety, insomnia, or a combination of the two, it can have some unfortunate side effects on your body if left untreated long-term.
Additionally, prolonged insomnia can significantly reduce the sufferer’s life expectancy. As noted by a collection of sleep studies, sleep deprivation can increase a person’s risk of dying by 12% compared to those who typically get 8 hours of sleep.
A study found that lack of sleep can affect the brain’s ability to process negative emotions or experiences, which in turn can increase the chances of developing mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Primarily, sleep deprivation can affect processes in the amygdala, which is located in the main part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory.
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In addition, lack of sleep during the day can lead to increased risk of accidents due to insomnia or other problems related to work and school. It can also affect your sex drive, memory and judgment.
Sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of anxiety, but anxiety can also cause sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, the two can be quite intertwined, with one making the other worse.
Anxiety can have a negative effect on your body’s ability to sleep, because your brain is in “fight or flight” mode, thinking about all the possible consequences of whatever is causing the anxiety. Additionally, anticipatory anxiety and specific anxiety about sleep can lead to sleep disturbances and insomnia, which then creates a feedback loop that can worsen both conditions. Insomnia can also make you more irritable and anxious because your brain isn’t getting enough sleep to function at a normal level.
However, this is not the case
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