According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety is the number one mental health condition plaguing Americans today. It affects some 18% of adults, which equates to about 40 million Americans. That number may even be higher due to people either not knowing that they have the condition or not seeking treatment.
Anxiety can make getting to sleep and staying asleep difficult. This problem can be circular, with the lack of sleep worsening the anxiety in return.
Thankfully, there are some ways to help you lower your anxiety levels so that you can quiet your mind and get the sleep that you need.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
For someone with anxiety, good sleep hygiene is crucial. An erratic bedtime schedule can exacerbate anxiety. Ideally, you’ll want to go to bed at wake up at a regular time, but this can be hard at first. Get one of them under control and it will be much easier to pull the other one along.
See a Doctor
Assessing whether your anxiety might have a medical cause is important. Once you determine whether it’s physical or psychological, it’s easier to choose a treatment protocol. Often, simply having a counseling session about cognitive behavioral therapy and practicing those techniques can help reduce anxiety levels. However, if there is a brain chemical imbalance a doctor can also prescribe anti-anxiety meds if needed.
Limit Screen Time
Our screen time excites the mind. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, or TV can actually keep you up at night because it mimics daylight. Another downside to late night screen time is that checking social media, email, or doing work before bed can trigger anxious thoughts. Far from clearing your mind before bed, it can make the problem worse.
Hot Bath Before Bed
Naturally, when you’re ready for bed, your body’s temperature begins falling and this can feel uncomfortable if you’re temperature-sensitive. You can help counteract this by taking a hot bath or shower as part of your nighttime ritual. You could also get a heated blanket instead if you prefer to shower in the morning.
Get Out of Bed
While this may sound counterproductive, if you can’t fall asleep, don’t stay in bed. Your bed needs to be associated with sleep and sex. If you’re unable to fall asleep within 20 or 30 minutes, get out of bed and go to another room to do something mundane, like reading a book or meditating, until you feel tired again. Don’t try to fight it.
If cannabis is legal in your area, it can work wonders for anxiety, but it can also have a biphasic effect. Too little and it doesn’t calm your anxiety. Too much and it can worsen your anxiety. You’ll need to experiment.
The method of consumption also affects the efficacy of cannabis. An edible will take longer to kick in but might keep you asleep longer. Trying a cannabis concentrate with a vape pen or a dry herb vaporizer can deliver potent results. If you prefer dry herb, you might want to try a strain like Grandaddy Purple, which helps to ease stress and lull you to a relaxed state primed for sleep. Another good strain for anxiety-driven insomnia is 9lb Hammer.
Bedtime should be a time for sleep, but often, our brains begin rushing now that the stress of the day is over. These are tried and true solutions for quieting your mind so that you can get your beauty sleep. Let us know which ones work for you!
Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points