Is Your Insomnia Caused by Anxiety?
Is your insomnia caused by anxiety?
Did you know that if you were suffering from insomnia that it could be caused from anxiety? It could also be caused by other things. Insomnia can be caused by mental health issues, physical conditions, and substances. You could be doing things that affect your sleep without even knowing it!
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep or the inability of the brain to go into the sleep cycle. There are a variety of different causes including, psychological, physical, certain lifestyle habits, and substances which may contribute to an increase in insomnia. Want to know if it's anxiety that's causing your insomnia? Take our quiz here.
Some of the most known medical conditions associated with insomnia are allergies, gastrointestinal problems, endocrine problems, arthritis, asthma, neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, and low back pain. The reasons why some of these conditions may cause insomnia are related to either the pain or the medications associated with them. Some medications have Sudafed in them which is known to increase the heart rate.
Some neurological conditions which cause involuntary muscle spasms (such as restless leg syndrome) may also contribute to insomnia. Sleep apnea is another one that can cause an individual to wake up frequently during the night or even cause the individual to avoid sleeping due to the condition.
Insomnia has been related to various trauma (such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), depression, and anxiety. Symptoms of depression include low energy, loss of interest, feelings of hopelessness, and insomnia. If someone suffers from depression as well as insomnia, the insomnia may worsen the other symptoms related to depression.
Insomnia and anxiety have an interesting relationship. Often times, the symptoms related to anxiety can cause insomnia, such as tension in the body, thought rumination (those pesky negative thoughts that won't go away), excessive worrying, feeling overwhelmed, and being overstimulated.
Insomnia can happen in two different ways when related to anxiety. Anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep, but it can wake you up in the middle of the night as well. Just like with depression, insomnia can make the other symptoms of anxiety worse.
Other Random Causes
Certain lifestyles may cause insomnia including working at home (especially in the evenings) because you aren't able to unwind and leave your work behind. Taking naps in the afternoon may disrupt your sleep cycle and cause you not to be able to fall asleep at night. If you work non-traditional hours, your sleep cycle may be thrown off balance.
Certain lifestyle habits and substances may be to blame when you are suffering from insomnia. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can compound your sleep problem (especially when taking certain medications) and may cause you to wake up earlier than anticipated. Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine can disrupt your sleep cycle as well and can cause you trouble either falling asleep or not staying asleep. Nicotine is another stimulant which can disrupt your sleep cycle. Eating heavy meals right before bed can cause your body to wake up earlier than anticipated as well.
Breaking the Cycle
After going through a couple of sleepless nights, you may start having those negative or fearful thoughts related to lack of sleep. Your brain may start telling you that you are never going to sleep. Instead of letting it become a habit, which reinforces the cycle, you can implement some behavioral changes that can help. Check out 6 Ways to Fall Asleep Fast with Anxiety for more information on how to do this.
Still Need Something Extra?
Even with implementing all the amazing stuff, you are still having trouble. Do you know what to do next? I have SO many things that I can do to help you. If your anxiety is still going strong, you probably need something just as strong to help. Identifying things to implement is only half the battle. You need to be able to figure out the stuff going on underneath as well. If this rings true for you, we have Mindset Matters: 90 Days to Kick Anxiety that can help.