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The relationship between anxiety and your sleep

Anxiety is an emotion that is universal, there is no one in the world that has not encountered it at least once in their lifetime. It is an important part of the response to a stressor, ie a threat be it physical or psychologically.

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If you experience ongoing levels of high stress in your life, you may notice that your sleep gets affected. It can be either falling asleep or getting up at odd hours of the night as the anxiety keeps the brain active instead of allowing you relax into restorative sleep. 

This can create a vicious cycle and impact other areas of your life. Lack of sleep lowers your emotional resilience and increases the stress hormones like cortisol which continues the cycle of sleep deprivation and anxiety. 

Anxiety can impact your rapid eye movement sleep (REM) which can lead to vivid dreaming and nightmares, this makes anxiety levels even higher within sleep and increases that fear.  

Here are some tips to follow to get a restful night’s sleep 

🆒 Keep you room cool – Did you know that the optimal temperature in a room is 18.3 degrees celsius (65F) Your body cools itself naturally while you sleep but having a cool room can allow you to fall asleep more easily 

🛁 Have a bath or shower before bed – the ritual of cleansing can soothe both the mind and body. It can also help to warm you up or cool you down and contribute to you relaxing. 

🎧Reduce the amount of noise – your brain is still tuning into noises even when you are asleep so try and minimise these outside noises. Blackout heavy curtains or blinds can help slightly or if you do live in a very noisy area or house then getting some earplug may be what you need. 

🪟 Reduce the amount of light – light exposure can throw off your sleep especially your circadian rhythm. Eye masks or blackout heavy curtains are the answer to help you with uninterrupted sleep. 

🛌 Set a regular sleep/wake schedule – Consistency helps to get your body into a sleep rhythm. Pick realistic sleep and wake up times and try and stick to them over weekends.  


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