Sleep Hypnosis for Anxiety Reduction & Reversal
How to Sleep with Heavy Nerves
We've all been there - there's a big day ahead and you really need your sleep, but as soon as you close your eyes your mind goes into overdrive and you're wide awake again. Anxiety makes it difficult for many people to sleep, yet for many people sleep loss further worsens the symptoms of anxiety.In many people, fear of losing sleep is actually what triggers the anxiety that keeps them awake.Learning how to calm your anxiety, relax your body, and practice good sleep habits can help you overcome sleeplessness and get back to your regular routine.
Calming the Mind
Practice meditation.Meditation helps ease anxiety, and can also help you relax to promote sleepiness.Meditation is not difficult to begin. Simply breathe in and out slowly and deeply from your diaphragm, focusing on the sensation and pattern of your breath.
- Breathe slowly and deeply. Count to three slowly while you inhale, hold the breath for three seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of three.
- Repeat as many times as necessary to feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Try using a mantra. Some people find that meditating to a particular phrase over and over helps them relax. Some experts recommend a good self-affirming mantra, such as "I feel safe and secure at night" or "I will sleep soundly at night."
Listen to calming music.Listening to music may help lower your blood pressure and help you relax.If you have an album that always helps you unwind, try listening to that before bed. If not, find something that you find soothing.
- Many people find instrumental music like jazz or ambient sounds to be relaxing for bedtime.
Set aside downtime before bed.Some people find that doing something relaxing, like taking a hot bath or shower, reading a book, or working on a craft can help relax the mind before bed. Figure out something that you find relaxing and try to set aside some time each night before bed to indulge in your own pre-bedtime activities.
Avoid stressful activities before bed.It may sound obvious, but engaging in stressful activities shortly before bed can make you more anxious, which in turn may increase the chances of losing sleep.Avoid doing anything work-related or school-related before bed (which includes checking your work email), and resist the urge to look at the clock if you're lying restless in bed. Looking at the clock and counting how much sleep you're going to lose will only stress you out more, making it even more difficult to sleep.
Relaxing the Body
Get plenty of exercise.Exercise can simultaneously tire you out while also reducing stress. Studies have shown that physical exercise can drastically improve both the quality and length of your sleep. Exercising outdoors is ideal, as it allows you to get more fresh air and sunlight (if exercising during the day), but if you can't get outdoors then working out inside is an acceptable alternative.
- Some people get more wakeful if they exercise at night, while others can work out at night and sleep fine. Everyone's body is different in this regard, so it's best to figure out what time of day works for you.
Tense and relax your muscles.Tensing your muscles may not sound like a good way to relax. But studies show that tensing your muscles and then immediately relaxing them can help relieve stress and calm the body from head to toe. Performing these tensing/relaxing exercises as you lie in bed may help alleviate anxiety and prepare your body for sleep.
- Start with your toes. Tense all the muscles in your feet, hold it for 10 seconds, then release all the tension at once. Continue this process and work your way up through every major muscle group in the body.
Cut out stimulants.If you're a smoker or a coffee drinker, either or both of these habits could be contributing towards a poor night's sleep. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants, which make it difficult to both fall asleep and stay asleep.Stimulants also exacerbate anxiety in some individuals.Because of this, stimulants could potentially affect your sleepandcause increased anxiety, further compounding your sleep loss problems.
- Stimulants like caffeine can have lingering physical effects for five to six hours after consumption. If you must drink coffee in the morning or at work, make sure you stop drinking it early enough in the afternoon that you'll be able to sleep at night.
Skip the alcohol.Alcohol can make it difficult to remain asleep through the night by affecting the physical and psychological processes that typically take place while you sleep.But some health experts believe that alcohol use may also promote anxiety and increase the risk of panic attacks.If your sleeplessness is caused by anxiety, drinking any alcohol before bed could contribute to both anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
Avoid big meals before bed.Eating a large meal or a spicy meal before bed can cause indigestion, which in turn can make it difficult to sleep. Try to avoid eating large or spicy meals for two to three hours before going to sleep, if possible.If you really want something to eat, opt for a light snack no closer than 45 minutes before you intend to go to sleep. This will help fill you up without causing indigestion.Some good light snack options include:
- deli slices of turkey
- warm milk
- toast with peanut butter
- crackers and cheese
- cereal or oatmeal
- yogurt and fruit
Developing Good Sleep Habits
Maintain a regular sleep schedule.It may be tempting to stay up late and sleep in on the weekends, but studies show that this can potentially wreck your whole week's sleep schedule.Instead, try to maintain your usual sleep schedule seven nights a week, going to bed around the same time and waking up at the same time every day.
Avoid naps.Napping feels great when you're really drained, and a short "power nap" may help you get through a busy day on little sleep. But even a short nap could reset your internal sleep schedule, causing you to lie awake and restless at night. Instead of napping to catch up on sleep, try going to bed a little earlier that night. You'll sleep more soundly and cut down on the risk of losing even more sleep at night.
Keep a dark, cool room.Your bedroom should be a room that makes it easy to relax and fall asleep. Bright lights upset your body's circadian rhythm, which is why it's important to sleep in as dark a room as possible.That may require thicker curtains or blinds to block out any outside light, and leaving a fan or air conditioner on (or a window open) to keep it cool.
- Optimal sleep temperatures range between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 19.4 degrees Celsius). That's because your body temperature lowers slightly when you sleep, and being in a cool room may help initiate the process.
- Use curtains or blinds to block outside light, and turn off all artificial lighting in your room.If it's still to bright (say, if you work at night and sleep during the day), consider buying a sleep mask. They're fairly cheap and can be found online or at many retail stores.
- Try to block out as much outside sound as possible. If need be, you may have to sleep with some type of white noise, like a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs can also help, if you live in a particularly noisy neighborhood.
Avoid electronic devices.It may be tempting to respond to texts while you're lying in bed, or to surf the internet from your mobile phone or tablet in bed. But studies show that the glow from electronic screens can reduce your ability to fall asleep. Using electronics can also cause additional stress. For example, checking a work email or reading about upsetting news events may make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Turn off or set aside all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed. This will help you avoid stimulation and get ready to sleep.
Try keeping a sleep log.Some days you may be unaware of your evening habits and how they could be contributing to sleeplessness. Try keeping a detailed log of all your evening habits, including anything you had to eat or drink, any activities you engaged in, and the precise time you did any of those things. This may help you realize that certain habits are interfering with your ability to sleep, or if nothing else it may make it easier for your doctor to diagnose what may be causing your sleep problems.
QuestionI'm super nervous because I have a new teacher tomorrow. I can't stop thinking about it, and I'm not sleeping. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWrite down the worst possible things that go wrong with her/him. Just expressing your concerns (and the worst-case scenarios) will help you to identify what exactly you're afraid of. Simply doing that may bring relief. Then, pray and give these concerns up to God.Thanks!
QuestionIt's midnight and I have a dance recital in the morning. How can I calm my nerves and sleep?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLay in bed with all the lights off and as little noise as possible. Use ear plugs if you need to. Close your eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I am worried about a new school?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust smile and act natural. Thinking about it will make it even worse, but look on the bright side: you will get to meet new people and make new friends.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does it say avoid electronic devices when you're going to use one to search the thing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBy electronic devices, they mean that you should refrain from using social media sites and stuff. That's because once you get started with merely scrolling through your twitter feed, hours are going to pass by, feeling a couple of minutes. It is also considered that you'd be reading this article as a result of your daytime research but if you did go online to check, you could always print it off and read it in bed with the phone, tablet or computer turned off!Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay to have a tablet switched on close by if I don't look at the screen? I have it playing some sounds while I go to sleep.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is completely fine as long as the sounds aren't too loud and the screen is facing down.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I am nervous about what part I will get in a play?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAssuming you've already tried out, remember that there's nothing you can do about the outcome now. If you don't get the part you wanted, there's always the next play, and you'll be getting valuable acting experience no matter what.Thanks!
QuestionWhat about relationship problems, how can I get to sleep fast when nervous about that?Top AnswererA good piece of advice is never to go to bed angry. Always talk it through before you go to sleep. If problems are bigger than what can be solved in one conversation, then you should be able to find peace in the fact that you can't solve it right here and now anyway, and might as well get a good night's sleep to be ready to continue solving those problems tomorrow.Thanks!
QuestionI'm worried about a test that I feel like I am not prepared for. What can I do to feel more sure?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's still important to get a good night's sleep, even if you feel like you should study. Get up early in the morning to make time to study before school.Thanks!
School starts soon and right now I am going to bed at three and I am still in that sleeping habit what can I do to go to sleep Instantly
I just showered and my hair is drying and I feel dirty. What can I do?
My room is very warm and I have no AC or fans. How do I fall asleep?
I have my driving test tomorrow and its midnight, I can't sleep cause I'm so nervous but I need too because if I'm tired I'm more likely to fail?
I have a popping noise in my ear and I am scared of what it could be. What should I do?
- Try not to obsess about how little sleep you are going to get. Otherwise this will in itself become a source of anxiety, which may further disrupt your ability to sleep.
- Learn to avoid being angry or frustrated with the reasons you're unable to sleep. Don't try to force yourself to sleep, as it will only make things worse. Simply relax, breathe slowly, and put your mind on things other than your worries or thoughts about tomorrow.
- Avoid caffeine and tobacco. Caffeine is a well known stimulant - but remember that it is present in cocoa products too. Tobacco also contains stimulants like nicotine, which can also disrupt sleep.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol might help you to get to sleep, but you are likely to wake up again in the middle of the night.
- Sometimes saying to yourself 'I will not go to sleep' can actually make you sleepier. Also, putting your legs against the wall and your back parallel to the ground/floor can make you sleepier. This works best if you're relaxed. Drinking warm milk with honey and cinnamon can make you feel more relaxed, or you could drink it hot too, just be careful not to burn yourself!
- Some people will resort to sleeping tablets. These can be habit forming and should only be taken if prescribed for you by your doctor. Never take another person's medication.
- Never resort to street drugs. They are illegal, unpredictable, and can do you untold harm.
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