What causes sleep anxiety?

What causes sleep anxiety?

Dr. Robin Barnett

One of the greatest cures for whatever ails you can be as simple as a good night’s rest. Rest is a necessary part of recharging our “batteries”, allowing the mind and body to relax, and an important attribute of healing. If you can’t sleep, chances are your daily functioning will suffer. There are a few types of sleep anxiety. One is the fear of going to sleep, the other is anxiety while you sleep. Both are equally as significant.

Fear of going to sleep is usually caused by nightmares, or fear of the future.  What will happen while the world is “out of your control”? Realistically, we don’t have much control over anything other than ourselves, but still we adhere to the belief that if we are present to handle a situation, it will be better off. This type of anxiety is usually a cause and effect style stress. It can be looked at as anticipating an event, and the anxiety results not allowing your body to relax enough to sleep.

Anxiety while you are sleeping is the result of an anxiety related condition.  These attacks can cause a resting person to be suddenly awaken in a panic for no apparent reason, or to have anxiety if woken during the night for outside reasons.

Without restorative sleep, odds are that the anxiety will continue. This will result in fatigue of both the mind and the body. Sleep anxiety is a condition that should be addressed sooner, rather than later as it can have a progressive nature. At the very least, you are uncomfortable and not functioning at your best. Consider your nightly routine, and amping that up a bit to include relaxation exercises. Relaxation exercises can also help if you wake in the middle of the night. Avoid caffeine and stimulating activity within 2 hours of bedtime. Try to add a winding down activity such as reading before you close your eyes. Tell yourself to stop thinking for the day, that “now is the time to rest” as a mantra as you attempt to sleep. If you need more help, reach out to a therapist who can work with you to find the route cause and correct it.

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