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Healthy habits to help ease and overcome sleep anxiety

This post was written by hypnotherapist and anxiety expert, Chloe Brotheridge. Visit Chloe's website for more information.

Sinking your head into a fluffy pillow and immersing yourself in fresh bed sheets after a long day on your feet is supposed to be bliss. The feeling of the tension in your shoulders gradually dispersing as you drift off into a peaceful sleep… perfect.

Reality is, for one in three of us, sleep anxiety prevents that from being the case. No matter how early you get to rest, how unreachable your mobile phone or how many lavender candles you light. Some of us just. Can’t. Sleep.

Sleep anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease associated with normal anxiety, except it occurs right before or during, sleep.

The most common cause of sleep anxiety is mental stress, recognised by many as racing thoughts – when your to-do list, your finances, or what you should (or should not have) said to your new boss, all come at rocketing speed into your thoughts as soon as your head hits the pillow.

More physical reasons to explain why anxiety causes sleep problems include symptoms such as a racing heart – commonly associated with anxiety. When your body is under such tension and stress, it is difficult for it to reach a level of relaxation allowing you to slowly drift into the land of nod.

The Calm Clinic explains that: ‘each individual symptom of anxiety may affect your ability to sleep. A rapid heartbeat may cause concerns over your health. Weak limbs may make you feel less comfortable. Each symptom may contribute to the way you experience anxiety.’

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the quality of sleep is hugely impacted as a result. And for many of us, tiredness and fatigue only worsen the effec