For most people, nothing is as gratifying as getting into between the sheets and getting some quality shut-eye except for others, the thought of falling asleep is terrifying.
An example of sleep anxiety, also referred to as sleep dread or fear of sleep is when one fears to nod off thanks to nightmares.
You could even have sleep anxiety thanks to sleepwalking. While sleepwalking, you’ll harm yourself or others. So, consciously or unconsciously, you begin fearing to nod off.
Other causes of sleep anxiety include post-traumatic stress, sleep paralysis, the fear of death. You need to seek out how to beat this fear. Otherwise, you’ll suffer the physical and mental effects of sleep deprivation.
There are several ways to beat sleep anxiety. They include:
1. Letting go of your worries
You cannot become fearless overnight. However, it’s essential to prevent worrying. In any case, most of the fears surrounding sleep are perceived – not real. as an example, you’ll be experiencing sleep anxiety due to the fear of death. But modern life is usually safe. you’re during a closed room inside a locked house. Aren’t the chances of dying so small?
That said, letting go of your worries won’t be as simple as changing your perspective. You would possibly need mindfulness strategies like meditation and deep breathing.
By practising mindfulness, you’ll learn to specialise in this and ignore the emotion and judgement related to your fears. Ultimately, you’ll gain more insight into your fears. Are they overly exaggerated or justifiable?
2. Practising distraction techniques
Another way to beat fear is by distracting yourself from it. Visual imagery and muscle relaxation techniques work nearly as good distractions.
Try reading a book until you fall asleep. Obviously, you ought to read something fun and calm; not something within the horror genre. you’ll also watch funny videos. the thought is to distract your brain from worrying and a minimum of long enough for your brain to be too tired to specialise in anything aside from rest.
You nod off quickly when your muscles are relaxed. And, quickly falling asleep means you spend less time awake in bed worrying.
Experts recommend the progressive muscle relaxation technique as this system involves tensing then relaxing one muscle group at a time. you begin by raising your shoulders to the ear level, then slowly letting them fall back. Repeat the tensing and relaxing as you progress right down to other muscle groups like the rear muscles, arm muscles, abdominal muscles, and calf muscles.
3. Practising good sleep hygiene
Good sleep hygiene refers to tactics that promote quantity and quality sleep. As an adult, you’re aiming at 7 to eight hours of sleep. The fundamentals of excellent sleep hygiene include:
a. Going to bed and getting up at an equivalent time a day.
Avoiding naps of quite half-hour during the day. A nap refreshes the body and mind making you more productive. But it doesn’t catch up on your inadequate sleep in the dark.
b. Avoiding taking caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants on the brink of your bedtime.
Forming a bedtime routine. Perform an equivalent activity nightly before you sleep. A bedtime routine for an individual suffering sleep anxiety could include a warm shower, meditation, muscle relaxation, and reading a book. Soon your brain will associate these activities with bedtime.
c. Limiting bed activities to sleeping (and sex). the thought here is to mentally associate your bed with sleeping. Not the other activity that keeps you awake, like watching TV and dealing on your laptop.
Remember, to optimize your bedroom for quality sleep. Consider:
d. Investing in comfortable bedding. The mattress, particularly, should be comfortable. The temperature of your bedroom. It should be between 15 and 19 degrees celsius for uninterrupted sleep.
e. Darkening your bedroom. Darkness induces sleep. So, invest in blackout curtains, blinds, or shades and avoid bright overhead lighting. Remember, lack of sleep can cause mental and physical health complications. So, if the methods outlined above fail, seek medical help.
Therapists use the subsequent three methods when treating sleep anxiety:
Exposure therapy may be a standard method of treatment for anxiety. the thought is to show the patient to the source of hysteria, without causing any harm within the process.
Exposure therapy might involve discussing your fears and relaxation techniques. In an effort to encourage you to beat the fear of sleep, the therapist might ask you to imagine how good it might feel to urge a full night of sleep.
Further exposure might involve showing you pictures of sleeping people that appear to be blissfully resting.
When you appear to be understanding that sleep is more important than the fear, the therapist might encourage you to require short naps with a loved one or friend. the thought is to reassure safety as you sleep and reinforce the very fact that you simply can awaken safely.
Further desensitization technique is completed during a sleeping lab. There you sleep while a doctor stays awake observing you.
CBT is another treatment won’t to overcome anxieties. It’s a sort of talking therapy where the therapist aims at helping you overcome the fear of sleep by trying to vary your thinking and behavior.
Your therapist will assist you challenge the thoughts that cause anxiety around sleeping. Eventually, you’ll learn to reframe these fear-causing thoughts in order that they are doing not cause anxiety or distress.
Sleep therapists often combine CBT with sleep restriction. Practising sleep restriction means getting to sleep and awakening at specific times. Sleep restriction encourages an honest sleeping pattern, which is additionally an honest strategy for handling somniphobia.
No drug treats sleep phobia. However, medicines that address anxiety and fear do exist. a mixture of those medications and therapy are often helpful.
Medications your sleep therapist might prescribe for sleep anxiety include:
Dealing with other sorts of phobias is sort of simple: avoid the thing of fear for an example, within the case of acrophobia (fear of heights), you avoid high places. Unfortunately, avoiding sleep isn’t an option. For this reason, you would like to seek out how to beat sleep anxiety. One or more of the methods outlined above might help.