Difficult Sleeping Due to Anxiety, read this!
UPDATE: Colleen contributed to the article Why Can Anxiety Increase at Night? written by Holly Rizzuto Palker for PSYCOM.net
When a person feels worried, nervous, or uneasy about something, they may be experiencing anxiety. It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, but if you feel this way on an ongoing basis, it can cause havoc in your life. Anxiety can often increase at night due to changes in hormone levels. The fluctuation of hormones such as cortisol (a stress hormone), adrenaline, and noradrenaline (the body’s “fight or flight” response) can lead to increased feelings of anxiety. These hormones are released during the day and reduced overnight. They are responsible for regulating blood pressure and heart rate. When stressed, your bodies release more of these hormones than usual, so it may be harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can sleep deprivation cause anxiety?
Sleep deprivation can cause anxiety because it makes you tired and worn out. You also tend to have less energy and focus, which can affect how you deal with everyday situations. It is a vicious cycle in that lack of sleep leads to more anxiety and even less sleep.
Sleep deprivation can also cause you to become irritable and agitated. If you don’t get enough quality sleep, your brain will not function properly, resulting in higher anxiety levels. Your mind and body need restful sleep to perform optimally.
Can anxiety wake you up at night?
If you are asleep, anxiety can wake you up at night because your body releases adrenaline into your bloodstream when you’re anxious. Adrenaline causes your heart rate to rise and your breathing to quicken. As a result, you might wake up suddenly and feel like you’ve had a panic attack.
Some people experience insomnia caused by anxiety. Insomnia occurs when you worry too much about sleeping and think about everything you should be doing instead. Insomnia causes your brain to work overtime to solve problems and thus keeps you awake.
What causes panic attacks at night? What are the symptoms of anxiety at night? Causes? Impact?
Panic attacks cause sudden surges of adrenaline triggered by thoughts, memories, and other stimuli associated with fear. These include but are not limited to stress, poor sleep habits, a change in routine, an illness or injury, medication side effects, and alcohol and substance use.
The main symptom of anxiety at night is difficulty falling asleep. People who suffer from anxiety at night may toss and turn throughout the night. They may also wake up frequently and feel restless. In addition, they may feel tense and fearful. Because of the lack of sleep, many people with anxiety at night report having trouble concentrating and remembering things. Anxiety can lead to depression and other mental health issues if not addressed.
Medical treatment of anxiety includes benzodiazepines, antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, beta-blockers, antihistamines, and others. However, each type of medication has its risks and benefits. It is essential to discuss the pros and cons of each option with your doctor before making a decision.
Alternative treatments? Underlying conditions that can cause anxiety at night?
There are several ways, besides medication, to help cope with experiencing anxiety at night. The following gives you some suggestions you can do:
Exercise regularly. Exercise can reduce anxiety, so you’ll be able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. When you exercise, you release endorphins, chemicals that make you happy and relax your muscles.
Try relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can calm your nerves and relax your muscles. Try taking slow, deep breaths while lying down. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process until you feel relaxed.
Meditate. Meditation helps you clear your mind, calms the nervous system and relaxes the body. Meditation puts your body in a state of restfulness.
Eat healthy foods. Eating well-balanced meals can aid in reducing anxiety at night as eating healthy alters the brain’s neurotransmitters. Foods high in tryptophan, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease anxiety.
Avoid alcohol and other substances. Alcohol and drugs can make you anxious and increase your heart rate. At night your body needs more oxygen than during the day. Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with sleep patterns and disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
Talk it out. Talking about what worries you and causes you anxiety with someone else can make you feel better. Find someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member, and open up to them, being honest to find relief.
If none of these methods work for you, talk to your doctor or therapist about getting professional help. Don’t let anxiety at night disrupt your quality of sleep, thus causing problems with concentration, memory, and moods throughout your daily life.
Get Support From A New Heights Mental Health Professional
The staff at New Heights Counseling wants you to know that help is available if you are experiencing anxiety. Call us at (850) 757-1552 to set up an individual counseling session with one of our professional counselors. Check out our staff bios on our website at meet our team. Our therapists will walk you through the process of examining your life and helping you find a solution to your problems. We offer free, confidential, non-judgmental therapy sessions in a safe environment.
Other Mental Health Services Offered At New Heights Counseling
The staff at New Heights Counseling provides counseling for a wide variety of concerns, such as couples and family problems, parenting skills, anger management, anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, addiction, abuse, trauma, PTSD, self-esteem, confidence, body image, eating disorders, and many more. We want to help you succeed and live healthier, more productive lives.
Our services are for children, adolescents, and adults, and we offer in-person sessions at our Fort Walton Beach, FL location and online therapy for the state of Florida. We’re located on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions on Google Maps or visit our office location page. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. Evenings/Weekends by appointment. Call (850)757-1552.
Appointment Schedule (Last appointment – 4 PM)
Monday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Evenings/Weekends by Appointment
- How to Ease Anxiety at Night, by Eleesha Lockett, MS writer for Healthline.com
- Overwhelmed With Anxiety, What Can I Do? by Shareen Ancog, Registered MHC Intern New Heights Counseling
- Can’t Escape Anxiety! by Colleen Wenner, Founder & Director of New Heights Counseling
Colleen Wenner is the founder and clinical director of New Heights Counseling, where she provides counseling services for individuals struggling with mental health issues. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master Certified Addiction Professional. Colleen is a certified supervisor in Florida and an EMDR trauma-certified practitioner and consultant in training. Colleen is committed to providing excellent client care and services the Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities.
Colleen has consistently advocated for mental health wellness and has dedicated her entire life to promoting awareness among the public. She has been featured on various podcasts such as Practice of the Practice (The #1 Podcast for counselors in private practice), Shrink Think Podcast, and The Salty Christan Podcast, to name a few. She has also contributed to several articles for Yahoo Best Life, Unfinished Man, and UpJourney. Colleen uses compassionate and authentic communication to help clients understand themselves better and feel more confident about their ability to improve their lives.