When it comes to anxiety and insomnia it can be a bit of a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” scenario. Studies show that nearly all psychiatric disorders include some degree of sleep disruption, and lack of sleep can greatly exacerbate any existing issues. Anxiety keeps you up at night, which in turn makes you more susceptible to anxiety.
Some Anxiety Blobs like myself experience racing or troublesome thoughts, particularly at bedtime. It’s difficult (or impossible, sometimes) to banish them or fight them off with logic. Which makes it hard to fall asleep – you know, that fun thing where you keep checking the time and doing mental calculations about how much sleep you really need to function the next day. I mean, two hours is probably fine, right?
It doesn’t matter what kind of day I had or how tired I might be.
It’s like these dumb, obsessive thoughts lie in wait, ready to pounce as soon as I am settling down for the night. My head is a litany of every past, present, and future screw-up.
Often, the anxiety is over a trivial or insignificant thing. BUT I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. Sometimes, if I have managed to fall asleep, I will be jolted awake, heart racing, by a sickening feeling of dread.
For me, managing insomnia is part of living with anxiety. I find that it helps to exercise regularly and eat well (although of course we all know this isn’t always possible when you’re in the grips of it, but when you can, it’s a good idea). I take meds to stabilize my moods. And most importantly, I remind myself that this is just a thing that happens to me. On the plus side, during these bouts, I get a lot of reading done.