Many people who suffer from anxiety disorders struggle to fall or stay asleep, and it can become difficult to determine whether the inability to fall or stay asleep is causing the anxiety or whether the anxiety is causing the inability to fall or stay asleep. It’s possible that the answer is both.
It’s a known fact that stress and anxiety can either initiate sleep issues or exacerbate those that are already present. A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your mood, contributing to irritation and even despair in some people. During the various stages of sleep, your brain performs critical operations that help you learn new things and form new memories. These functions also leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
What is stress?
Everyone, at some point or another, will experience the normal human reaction known as stress. In fact, the human body is intended to be put under stress and to respond to that stress. Your body will go through both physical and mental changes in reaction to the changes and challenges (stressors) that you put it through. This is a form of stress.
The ways in which your body reacts to stress help it adapt to new circumstances. The ability to remain vigilant, motivated, and prepared to avert danger is a beneficial side effect of stress. For instance, if you have a crucial test coming up, chronic stress may encourage your body to work harder and keep you awake for a longer period of time. However, stress can become problematic when the factors that cause it persists without being alleviated or replaced with times of rest.
The rate of your heartbeat, your breathing, and even the changes in your vision are all under the direction of your body’s autonomic nervous system. The “fight or flight” response is the body’s built-in stress response, and it assists the body in dealing with stressful conditions.
When a person is under stress for an extended period of time, this is referred to as chronic stress, and it causes the body to experience the continued activity of the stress response, which leads to wear and tear. The patient begins to exhibit physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.
What is quality sleep?
A person’s level of self-satisfaction with the entirety of their sleeping experience is the defining characteristic of their sleep quality. The four components that make up the quality of one’s sleep are as follows: sleep efficiency; sleep latency; sleep duration; and waking up soon after falling asleep.
Antecedents include physiological factors (such as age, circadian rhythm, BMI, NREM, and REM sleep), psychological ones (such as stress, anxiety, and depression), and environmental factors (such as room temperature, television/device use), in addition to family and social commitments.
Feeling rested, having normal reflexes, and having healthy relationships are all benefits of getting sufficient amounts of high-quality sleep. The implications of having poor sleep quality include increased levels of weariness, irritability, daytime dysfunction, slower responses, and consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
How to get quality sleep during stress?
Let’s have a conversation about the steps you can take throughout the day and in the hours leading up to bedtime in order to decrease the possibility that stress will keep you awake at night.
Your quality of sleep and your stress levels are intertwined. Ultimately, finding strategies to better control one can help you get relief from the other.
If you’ve tried all of these techniques and you’re still having trouble falling or staying asleep, you might want to talk to your primary care physician or to a specialist who specializes in sleep disorders. There is a wide range of potential treatments for conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder and sleep disorders.