People who struggle with anxiety and depression tend to also struggle with getting high-quality sleep. As sleep deprivation can also impact mood regulation, it often becomes a vicious cycle that culminates in feelings of perpetual exhaustion and unrest.
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to help offset your anxiety and get better sleep with a few small habit changes. Here are some of the smartest ways to deal with anxiety, so you can get the sleep you need.
Unplug from social media
Researchers have recently discovered that those who use social media regularly are more likely to experience anxiety. When combined with the impact of blue light waves on natural circadian rhythms, scrolling online can cause serious issues for those with anxiety — especially before bed.
Limit your social media use by adding screen time blockers to reduce mindless scrolling. Incorporate unplugging from social platforms into your evening routine by turning on airplane mode and Wi-Fi one hour before bedtime. This will block internet signals and notifications while offering you a gentle reminder if you mindlessly open a social app.
Use a Wearable
Wearable technology has been an innovative tool in the world of health and wellness in recent years. While many wearables — the Fitbit, for example — touch on sleep hygiene and offer some tracking components, other wearables focus solely on rest and relaxation.
According to this article by Hapbee, sleep-oriented wearables can help people relax, quiet their minds, and signal the body that it’s time to sleep. These features can help people override their feelings of anxiety to help them get to sleep and stay asleep.
Create a Sleep Routine
Human beings thrive on structure and routine; that’s why so many parents use consistent bedtime routines with their children. However, most people grow up, find their freedom, and let their effective sleep routines fall by the wayside.
Get back to your inner child and create a functional sleep routine that helps you reduce stress and anxiety and prepare your body for rest. Incorporate preparations for the next day, set limits to prevent distractions, and create a consistent timeline to send signals to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Mindfulness is an integral component of both dealing with anxiety and creating a healthy sleep routine. Mindfulness goes beyond meditation and speaks to a deeper connection with the present moment. It allows you to be in your body rather than getting caught up in the trappings of your mind. It also helps you take a more active role in your mental health.
While mindfulness practice might sound new age and spiritual, there is scientific evidence that using mindfulness can help treat anxiety. Whether your mindfulness practice includes meditation, journaling, listening to loud music or taking quiet walks through nature, the idea is to disconnect from harmful thought patterns and become more self-aware.
Prioritize Stress Management
Stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand like toxic roommates whose fighting keeps you up all night. Making time for stress management and self-care every day is a must for getting healthy sleep and diminishing feelings of anxiety.
Find activities that help you relax and unwind in a healthy way. Exercise, setting boundaries with work, and reading a book while sipping tea are all examples of simple and effective stress management practices you can incorporate into your daily life.
Cut back on stimulants
When consumed in minimal quantities, stimulants can help people wake up and face the day or help them unwind to face the night. If you’re struggling with both anxiety and poor sleep, stimulants should be the first thing to go.
If you’re a coffee or caffeinated tea drinker, limit your consumption to before lunchtime. With alcohol, monitor your intake and set a limit to one or two drinks per day as a maximum. While you may not feel these substances are impacting your anxiety levels, they can have an insidious, detrimental impact over time. Not to mention they can interfere with your body’s natural rhythm.
Use these effective tips to break the cycle of high anxiety and low-quality sleep, so your mind and body can get the rest you deserve.