Realistically speaking, it’s not always easy to switch off from negative thoughts. What makes it even more difficult is that they can come from a number of different sorts of sources. Things such as work deadlines can play on your mind when you’re about to sleep, affecting the quality of sleep you get.
These external variables are hard to avoid. No matter what your age or background is you’re prone to feel anxiety at some point in your life. Anxiety UK shared that 1 in 6 people can acquire the condition at any given time, especially young people. They also relayed the 2012 findings of Murphy and Fonagy, which revealed that 50% of mental health problems start at the age of 14. Additionally, 75% of these cases will have developed once the affected individuals turn 18.
We previously recommended remedies in our post ‘5 Ways to Combat an Anxiety Attack’. However, there is another easy solution for the condition: getting enough sleep. Anxiety.org explained how sleep helps by giving your neurons the chance to reset and repair damaged cells. When this process is compromised, the damage from stress and other detrimental factors builds up. It then leads to mental, emotional and social dysfunction, in addition to the physical effects. In extreme cases, anxiety and/or panic attacks occur.
It’s important to mention as well that there are different recommendations in terms of the amount of sleep you should get each night. But in short, when you reach 18-years-old, you must be getting at least seven hours of shuteye each night. That minimum should apply for the rest of your adult life.
But aside from the amount of sleep, you also have to take into account the state of your mind when you do get to snooze. Leesa recommends making a list of your concerns before going to bed as a good way to get better sleep. Jotting all your issues down can make it easier for you to arrange your thoughts and relax before you doze off. Sleep can assist in battling anxiety, so it’s certainly more helpful if you have a clear mind when you close your eyes. This way, you’re already avoiding two detrimental conditions: anxiety and insomnia.
Likewise, the effect of sleep on anxiety is backed up by a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory. The experiment saw that less sleep allows the brain to act more primitively. This means that you are unable to link your thoughts and emotions to their proper contexts. So to avoid going around thinking like a caveman and acquiring anxiety, it’s better to sleep more!
What’s equally disturbing is that your anxiety may only be a precursor for more serious illnesses. Fewer hours of sleep can lead to an increased risk of dire illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still do not consider anxiety as a basis for alarm. It’s associated with the stigma of having to deal with your mental health. Some shrug it off thinking or pretending it’s easy to overcome, but it’s definitely not! Ignoring it just makes things worse. While sleep is certainly a great way to combat anxiety, getting help and speaking to professionals as well as family should be the best way to alleviate any anxiety problems you’re experiencing.