Anxiety can take a toll on your ability to sleep well. People who suffer from anxiety often find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night, leading to a constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue during the day. Thankfully, there are several sleep aids available that can help alleviate anxiety symptoms and promote better quality sleep.
Understanding Anxiety and Sleep
Before we dive into the top sleep aids for anxiety, it’s important to understand how anxiety affects our sleep patterns. Anxiety is known to increase levels of cortisol in our bodies, which can make getting restful sleep even more difficult. On average, 40 million US adults have an anxiety disorder affecting their daily lives; many of these individuals also suffer from some form of insomnia. Poorly managed changes in lifestyle habits caused by anxious thoughts, in turn, may not give enough time for adequate nighttime sleeping behaviors, causing a further decline in health.
That being said, not all hope is lost! Understanding specific factors unique to one’s own personal experience with insomnia should be discussed with a professional individual who has experience treating both depression and insomnia together (i.e., a psychiatrist or trained therapist).
Top Sleep Aids for Anxiety
Here are some sleep aids that may help people struggling with anxiety:
- Weighted blankets: These blankets provide gentle pressure on the body, similar to a hug, and can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Studies have shown that weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety and insomnia.
- White noise machines: White noise machines create a consistent, soothing background noise that can help block out external sounds and make it easier to fall asleep. Check out these best mattresses for chronic pain for more information on sleep aids.
- Meditation and relaxation techniques: Practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises before bed can help calm the mind and promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep. Give these expert tips for spinal health a try for more relaxation techniques.
- Aromatherapy: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and valerian have been shown to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Use a diffuser or apply the oils directly to your pillow for the best results.
- Herbal supplements: Natural supplements like valerian root, melatonin, and passionflower can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any supplements, especially if you are taking prescription medications.
Making Your Sleep Environment More Comfortable
In addition to using sleep aids, it’s essential to create a comfortable sleep environment. Invest in a high-quality mattress that provides the right support and comfort for your body type and sleeping position. Additionally, consider using sheets and bedding made from natural, breathable materials like cotton or bamboo to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Anxiety can significantly impact sleep quality, but there are many sleep aids and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate anxiety symptoms and promote better sleep. Discuss your specific situation with a professional and consider trying some of the sleep aids mentioned above. With the right combination of strategies, you can improve your sleep and overall well-being.
Types of Sleep Aids
There are numerous types of sleep aids available ranging from prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, hypnotics & sedatives used mainly for short-term relief; antihistamines that may cause cognitive side effects including potential dependence when overused ; natural supplements made primarily up nutrients found naturally occurring within plants like L-Theanine or Cannabidiol Oil amongst other options focused around relaxation techniques
While each type varies significantly from each other in terms of how they work and their effectiveness , it is important you discuss taking them beforehand with qualified healthcare professionals before incorporating them into your routine.
Prescription medication helps reduce feelings connected behind anxious thought patterns increasing drowsiness & helping individuals get to sleep. Often prescribed for short-term relief in clinical settings such as hospital or urgent care due to the potential of habit-forming qualities within hypnotics especially. Some commonly used medications are:
- Commonly include clonazepam and alprazolam for chronic anxiety disorders.
- Zolpidem, ramelteon etc offer relief or help those who have trouble falling asleep.
Antihistamines often found over the counter; effective at blocking histamine, a neurotransmitter that produces symptoms associated with inflammation caused by allergic reactions. However it is important to note they can cause grogginess , brain fog and may even lead to dependence if relied on for long periods of time.
Natural supplements offerings can be a safe alternative keeping well respected side effect profiles compared to prescriptions and many OTC medicine options.. The natural ingredients relieve anxiety build up via cognitive & physical relaxation effects including:
- L-Theanine (Green Tea Extract)
- Studies cite primarily cognitive benefits related toward relaxation
- Cannabidiol Oil (CBD)
- Folk remedy; given today’s legalization movement cannabis derivatives are becoming more prominent in wellness communities
It should be noted that while there may be research suggesting effectiveness towards reducing certain forms of insomnia through these supplements more data needed before they’re endorsed from healthcare professionals
Relaxation techniques form part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidenced-based approach known specifically for treating individuals with insomnia accompanied those suffering from depression.The use breathing exercises, visualization methods like progressive muscle relaxation amongst numerous others methods tailored to different conditions..
Sleep aids can go a long way in helping alleviate anxiety symptoms and promoting better quality sleep. It is important that you speak with qualified healthcare providers beforehand incorporating anything into your routine & lifestyle.
Often changes in lifestyle habits such as proper sleeping positions, diet & exercise can also enhance the effectiveness of any sleep aid chosen for you.
- Source: National Institute of Mental Health / NIH.gov – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/anxiety-disorders.shtml
Some of the top sleep aids for anxiety include melatonin supplements, chamomile tea, lavender essential oils, and valerian root extract. A healthcare professional might also advise taking prescription medications like benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
It is not recommended to rely on sleep aids for extended periods of time as they can become habit-forming and may lead to dependence. It is important to speak with a doctor before taking any sleep aid regularly.
It is crucial to speak with a healthcare professional before using any natural or over-the-counter remedies while also taking prescribed medication. Some combinations could potentially cause adverse reactions or interactions that could be harmful to your health.