Types of Anxiety Sleep Disorder

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for normal health. Sleep deprivation tends to undermine a person’s performance during the day, and if it goes on long enough can cause depression and anxiety which in turn makes sleeping difficult. Sometimes it is anxiety in the first instance that leads to difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep.There is thus the possibility of a vicious circle, where anxiety causes loss of sleep which in turn causes more anxiety.

For those living with anxiety disorders, insomnia can be a real problem as their day time anxieties spill over to night time Many symptoms of anxiety disorders, including general feelings of stress, persistent worry, obsessive thoughts gastrointestinal problems, and nightmares are likely to rob precious sleep.

Most adults sleep between 7 and 8 hours although nobody really knows how much sleep we actually need. Some people manage quite well with only 4 or 5 hours, while others, given the chance, will happily sleep for 10.

In general sleep is helped by two factors – being tired at bedtime and being in tune with your own biological clock. This is why it’s important to do some exercise during the day, and to develop regular habits with regard to the time you retire at night.

Insomnia, the most common sleep complaint, is the feeling that you have not slept well or long enough. Mostly it is because of difficulty in falling asleep, or waking in the night, or waking too early in the morning. Difficulties with sleeping may just be transient and due to an obvious stress such as an important exam coming up, or money worries.

Long lasting sleep problems may simply be due to environment problems such as living near an airport, but, quite often, can be a result of a chronic anxiety disorder that needs to be addressed. Psychological factors such as fears, phobias and compulsions can so occupy the mind that sleep is delayed, disturbed, or shortened.. People who are chronically agitated and hyperactive due to excess stress are sometimes so restless that they expect not to be able to get to sleep when they go to bed.

In depressed people an overwhelming feeling of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt can upset normal sleep patterns. Often a depressed person wakes early and can then not be able to get back to sleep. Yet sometimes the opposite is true, and a person may find escape by sleeping, denying the problems of life. The loss of a sense of purpose in life may be associated with an overwhelming urge to sleep, a constant tiredness, or night-time sleep marked by an irregular sleep/wake pattern.

A fair proportion (up to 50%) of people who suffer day-time panic attacks also suffer them at night. Panic attacks are part of a particular anxiety disorder characterised by sudden, short bouts of extreme panic and fear. These cause a rapid heart rate or palpitations and other symptoms such as pain the chest, difficulty breathing, dizziness, blurred vision and headache. Panic attacks are frightening enough in themselves, but when they occur at night they can be doubly so. In the dark things can seem more disturbing and a night panic attack can cause a person to awake confused and disoriented in addition to the feelings of fear that it engenders.

Sleep disorders often have anxiety as part of their cause and therefore the anxiety itself needs to be addressed as well as the specific night-time problems. A sleeping pill can help you to get to sleep but won’t cure an underlying anxiety. For that you should see a health professional.


Source by Will Mcardle

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