Getting to Sleep and Panic Attacks at Night
As most doctors will tell you, there are two things that disturb sleep: physical pain and worry.
It’s therefore understandable that many people with anxiety report frequent sleep disturbance as a major problem.
Not being able to sleep can actually be quite traumatic for many people.
The first thing you need to understand about sleep is this: it’s not the amount of sleep you get that’s important, but rather the quality of the sleep.
Quality over quantity.
I am going to give you some quick tips to help tackle any problems you are having with sleep. Firstly, to break the insomnia cycle, begin by not presuming you will sleep! That seems like the wrong attitude, but if you approach each night as just a possible opportunity to sleep, this helps remove the pressure you are placing yourself under.
In a way, some people have performance anxiety when they think about sleeping:
“Will I be able to make myself sleep tonight?”
The answer is maybe yes, maybe no. If you’re going through a period of sleeplessness, a good night’s sleep isn’t guaranteed, for whatever reason, so you have to accept that for the moment. If you get one or two hours’ sleep, that’s well and good, and if you get nothing, then accept it and move on. Each night, as you retire, say to yourself:
“I’m preparing for bed, but I won’t try to force sleep. If it comes, it comes. If not, I won’t beat myself up over it. This is a period I’m going through, but I’ll soon return to normal sleep patterns.” [Read more…]