The link between anxiety and sleep can be vicious cycle. When I’m experiencing a bad bout of anxiety, my sleep pattern is usually one of the first aspects of my life to be impacted.
We’ve all been there at one point or another. Lying awake, staring at the ceiling and worrying yourself sick about something, big or small. Then the later it gets and the more tired you get, the worrying snowballs and all of a sudden it’s huge. Your heart races, your stomach tightens…
Repeat until 7am when you realise that you haven’t slept all night…and then you start to worry about that!
Here are some hacks to help you to keep anxiety at bay and get a good night’s sleep.
Drink Herbal Tea
I’ve talked about drinking peppermint tea to help anxiety so many times on this blog, but it’s because it really works! Menthol is a muscle-relaxant, and when your body starts to relax, your mind will too.
Another great herbal tea to help you sleep is valerian tea. I’m not keen on the taste of it, but trust me, it really works. I usually buy it from Holland and Barrett. One cup just before bed is plenty but you must not drink alcohol or operate machinery after you’ve taken valerian in any capacity as it causes drowsiness!
If you’re not a tea-drinker, I guess you could have a coffee as long as it’s decaf. Avoid caffeine at all costs if you’re struggling to sleep as it will keep your mind and body wide awake.
Watch a TV Show or Listen to Music
They say that looking at screens before bed will stop you from sleeping – but if anxiety is already keeping you up – this could work for you. Watch something that doesn’t require a huge amount of concentration. One of my favourites to watch when I’m feeling anxious is Friends. Not only is it funny, but you can dip in and out of episodes and still be able to follow the storyline.
If music is more your thing, find a chill-out playlist. I would recommend something acoustic or instrumental.
‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union topped a scientific list of the most relaxing pieces of music of all time. Research by MindLab suggests that it can slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and decrease cortisone levels.
Now I can’t speak for the scientific stuff but it certainly made me feel sleepy, especially when I listed with earphones. Let me know if it works for you – I’d love to know!
Full Body Scan
I found a brilliant meditation technique called the “Full Body Scan” and it’s absolutely first-class. The focus of the Full Body Scan is to be aware of the different parts of your body, allow yourself to connect with how each part feels, without trying to change anything.
The one I use is from the Calm app and it’s about 10 minutes long but there are other longer ones online if you feel you need longer than that. I usually find that by the end of the scan, my attention has been drawn away from my feelings of anxiety and I can start to settle and try to sleep.
Write It All Down
Grab a notebook and pen and physically write down everything that’s making you feel anxious, the good old-fashioned way. Look at it as removing your worries and anxieties from your mind and putting them somewhere else. I find that writing things down helps me to put things in perspective too. When I read over what I’ve written down I find myself thinking “ok that’s not REALLY a big deal” and it lifts a huge weight off my mind.
Kalms Lavender – Herbal Remedy
I have used Kalms products for a number of years to relieve my anxiety symptoms so I was really thrilled when they asked me to be part of their #LiveLifeReady campaign.
The #LiveLifeReady campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of spotting the signs of anxiety and are encouraging those with anxiety to talk about how they #livelifeready, by sharing their top tips to get through those anxious moments.
The new Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules are a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy.
The Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules are available in Boots and Asda, and also online at www.kalmsrange.com.
How do you combat anxiety? Let me know in the comments below!