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how to reduce anxiety
bedtime ritual
bedtime routine
confidence booster
generalized anxiety
sleep disturbance
sleep patterns
lack of sleep
doors and windows
days of the week
mind and body
How To Reduce Anxiety Naturally - It Starts With A Positive Sleep Experience
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I am certainly not going to suggest that a good’s night sleep is all it’s going to take going to cure your anxiety. If only it were that simple! But from personal experience I will tell you that sleep disturbance is one of the hardest things to deal with when you suffer from generalized anxiety.

Most of us live in a world where our patience and ability to stay calm and centered is pretty much hanging on a trigger hair anyway. Add lack of sleep to the equation and your anxiety is going to be much harder to manage. So getting a good night’s sleep is especially important as a foundation to managing your anxiety.

Follow these simple tips to maximize your chances if getting a great night’s sleep.

Keep A Sleep Journal First, track your sleep patterns for a few weeks. See if there are any trends such as certain days of the week you sleep better or worse than others. What time do you go to bed? How long are you up when you wake up? What do you do when you wake up? You will need this information if you end up tip 8, seeking professional help.

Many people actually find that when they track their sleep it’s simply not true that they “never” get a good nights sleep. It just feels that way! Realizing that you are capable of getting a good night’s sleep can be a powerful confidence booster.

Develop A Sacred Bedtime Ritual Developing a set bedtime routine can really help get your mind and body in the mood for sleep. Try and go to bed at the same time and follow the same routine for the half an hour or so before you settle down. Maybe have a bath or listen to calming quiet music as you clean your face and brush your teeth. If some of your anxiety revolves around Obsessive Compulsive behaviors such as making sure doors and windows are locked, start your “lock up” routine at the same time every night with plenty of time to relax once you get into your room.

Unplug Your Electronics Take the television out of your room. Do not take your cell phone or laptop to bed with you. Seriously, you may think that playing “Words with Friends” or “Angry Birds” relaxes you, but it engages your mind in a frenetic way. Other than soothing music, cut yourself off from electronics for at least 45 minutes to an hour before you go to bed.

Simple Stretching Just like unwinding your mind, try and unwind your body before you go to bed. Just some simple yoga or tai chi stretches and breathing can make a huge difference to your ability to fall and stay asleep. Make it part of a sacred bedtime ritual.

Don’t Go To Bed Hungry I know there is a lot of diet advice out there that says you shouldn’t eat after 7 or 8pm at night. I’m sure that’s great advice for lots of people. If there is any chance that you are going to wake up due to hunger, have a little warm milk and a snack before you go to bed. If you suffer from anxiety waking up in the middle of the night for any reason (hunger) can cause a spiraling problem. Don’t drink too much though, as you don’t want to wake up to use the bathroom. And this should be obvious, but no one should be consuming anything with caffeine after 3PM or 4 PM.

Watch Your Mental Diet Just like your physical diet, you need to watch your mental diet before you go to bed. I have no idea who can go to sleep after watching the late night news, but I’m sure they don’t suffer from anxiety. Likewise for drama and crime shows.

What can you do for the half an hour before sleep if you unplug all your electronics? Go old school. Read a book (something uplifting) or, even better, write in a journal. Focus on “happy thoughts” for the day. List at least 3 things that brought you joy in the day. Focus on things that you were anxious about during the day but managed to be successful at anyway.

If you are spiritual praying or meditating is an excellent soothing way to end the day. If you are not, thinking of 3 people throughout the day for whom you feel gratitude is a powerful meditation in itself. But focus on the positive and the results you want. Set and proclaim your firm intention to sleep well and wake rested and replenished.

Short Term Support To Get Back In The “Sleep Groove” Sometimes your body has just got into a really bad routine that is hard to break. I personally spent the hours from 2AM to 5 AM restless, frustrated, anxious and tossing turning for about 3 years. Introducing the tips above one by one over the course of a year I was able to turn this around. But lack of sleep and anxiety around falling and staying asleep can seriously damage your health and your ability to function. Don’t be too proud seek professional help on the short term. Even taking a non addictive sleep aid for a just couple of nights could be all it takes to get your body and mind out of the bad sleep disturbance rut you have gotten into.

So to recap, anxiety symptoms are going to be significantly amplified if you are unable to get a good night’s sleep. There are many ways to reduce anxiety naturally, but developing a good night time and sleep routine can be a simple and effective way to greatly help with all of your symptoms of anxiety. Make getting a good night sleep your new priority by adopting some of these strategies.


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