3 ways to beat anxiety-induced insomnia

With the current high levels of anxiety, it is no surprise that more and more people are having problems with sleeping. (Rawpixel pic)

Most would agree that the Covid-19 crisis has been stressful for everyone. Healthcare professionals working on the front lines and treating patients, parents suddenly thrust into the role of teacher as they homeschool their children, and social workers having to deal with an increased work flow.

Not to forget the millions of people who have lost their jobs or have had their hours greatly reduced, and those who have been ill or lost loved ones.

This high level of stress can lead to anxiety, and researchers have determined that there is a link between anxiety and insomnia.

So, it is no stretch of the imagination to conclude that Covid-19 has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from sleeplessness. In fact, studies have shown that 70% of those working from home have seen a disruption of their normal sleep cycle.

Researchers have determined that treatments that alleviate anxiety can also be effective against insomnia and vice versa.

So, it may be beneficial for those suffering from anxiety to use these suggestions for fighting insomnia and safeguarding sleep.

1. Schedule regular ‘do not disturb’ hours

To achieve the ideal sleep duration of eight hours, create a routine that involves sleeping and waking at predictable times at night and in the morning.

Set a time for shutting off phone notifications and, since bad news can trigger feelings of anxiety, avoid reading news feeds just before going to bed for the night.

There is no point in dwelling on the latest coronavirus statistics or unemployment rates when trying to relax and prepare for sleep.

Bedding should be as comfortable as possible – add a blanket if it’s cold or use a lightweight bedsheet if it’s too hot. (Rawpixel pic)

2. Create a restful environment

In a surprising number of cases, an uncomfortable sleeping environment is a leading factor that contributes to insomnia. To avoid this, keep the bedroom cool, especially when it is hot outside, because excessive heat can affect the quality of sleep

If it is not possible to cool the environment to an agreeable temperature, use the appropriate bedding to get as comfortable as possible – add a blanket if it is cold and use a lightweight bedsheet in the heat.

A support mattress, such as the memory foam models by Ecosa, can also make it easier to get comfy and fall asleep.

3. Diffuse relaxing fragrances into the environment

Science has confirmed that certain aromatherapy fragrances help one to relax and reduce anxiety, such as jasmine and lavender.

According to clinical research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the fragrance of jasmine is a valid substitute for valium, sleeping pills or similar sedatives.

Similar research on lavender was published in the journal “Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience”. Lavender was determined to have a pronounced calming effect, which the researchers suggested could be useful for easing anxiety disorders.

Aromatherapy helps to relieve anxiety, so using jasmine or lavender essential oils could make it easier to get to sleep.

Conclusion

These are not the only ways to beat anxiety and insomnia, there are many more. But if the anxiety and insomnia persist, discuss it with a GP, primary care physician or therapist to help resolve any issues you may have.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg and host of The DRH Show. You can connect with him on Twitter @drelojo_howell