Many of us look forward to that time of the day when we will retire in bed after a long day of working or moving up and down. This is the time when we rest our bodies in readiness for the next day. Question is, how long does it take before we get to sleep?
At times, one gets in bed and it takes more than five hours before they can fall asleep, is this okay? Is it healthy? All this time one may be busy thinking things out, their job, finances, health, family among other things. Perhaps some problem with your kids has your mind spinning on its late-night hamster wheel of worry.
Whatever the issue may be, one cannot get it out of their heads and so they try to get solutions at that very moment. Before they know it, another hour has passed. Now they start worrying about the fact that they cannot get to sleep.
Anxiety exists on a spectrum and we all experience it at some level. We would not be human if we didn’t. Anxiety is a very normal response from a strong, healthy brain that thinks there might be trouble about, and instantly responds by making us stronger, faster, more powerful, more alert versions of ourselves.
Like any good thing though, too much is too much. When the brain is oversensitive to a threat, it puts us on high alert even when there is no need to be. This is when anxiety becomes intrusive and hard to live with. It turns from the gentle security guard who shows up when needed, to the crasher who steals the joy, tells stories about nameless dangerous things, and cozies up beside you so close it’s hard to breathe, think and be.
Here are ways that can help one deal with anxiety:
It sounds simple, but changing what you ingest daily can have a huge impact on your anxiety levels. If you notice yourself feeling anxious, panicky, or stressed every day, plan to implement at least one of these dietary changes. Rethink your consumption of the following common anxiety provokers:
Keeping yourself healthy with a balanced diet can go a long way toward stabilizing your mood. If you’re getting the right nutrients, your body will be better able to ward off anxiety during stressful situations. To avoid the negative mental-health effects of coffee, alcohol, and sugar, try replacing these foods with fruits and vegetables.
Studies have shown that regular exercise relieves symptoms of everyday anxiety and also helps to treat anxiety disorders. It improves feelings of well-being both while you’re exercising and for hours afterward. Cardiovascular exercises such as running or biking as well as weight training and other muscle-building exercises all serve the purpose of reducing anxiety.
Breathing deeply and slowly will immediately decrease your stress level. Most people practice shallow chest breathing, drawing breath into their lungs and exhaling at a rapid rate. When we’re feeling stressed, we tend to breathe even more quickly, which stresses us out even more. Instead, focus on breathing from your diaphragm or belly. Your stomach should balloon up.
Often, anxiety builds up when you don’t get a chance to detox from life’s problems. Take at least ten minutes during your day to practice a hobby or pastime which brings you peace. This may be reading, playing sports, playing music, or making art. Giving yourself an outlet will help to remove the anxiety from your mind both immediately and in the long run.
If you keep a busy schedule, bring work back with you from the office, and stress about perfecting your school papers, you’re likely often overwhelming yourself and creating more anxiety than is necessary. Keep a schedule of your necessary activities and cut everything else out for a bit. Giving yourself alone time to deal with your anxiety will help you to overcome it.
A lack of sleep can leave anyone feeling haggard and worn out, and it’s worse for individuals who suffer from anxiety. Insufficient sleep can cause your anxious, worried thoughts to worsen. Make sure that you’re getting 7–9 hours of sleep every night. Try going to bed and waking up at the same times every day. This will help to regulate your sleep cycle, which will help you to get better nights of sleep.