Anxious woman with hands over face before anxiety counseling with Birmingham Alabama

Anxiety and sleep issues. Sleep issues and anxiety. One issue often comes with the other. 

The worry that comes with anxiety can make it difficult to go to sleep and to stay asleep. When you don’t sleep well at night, your anxiety can increase during the day, creating a vicious cycle. 

In turn, not getting enough good sleep can contribute to other physical health issues.

How do you know if you are suffering from anxiety and sleep issues?

Everyone worries or has anxiety at times in their life. Anxiety disorders occur when the worry or fear becomes excessive or is disproportionate to the situation. 

Oftentimes, anxiety creates avoidance. You want to avoid what causes you worry or fear so you stop doing anything that brings up such emotions. However, avoidance does not help the anxious thoughts and feelings go away. And at least 50% of the time this avoidance leads to depression.

There are several types of anxiety disorders that are common among adults and teens in our country. 

Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all various types of anxiety.

Anxiety and Sleep

Serious sleep disturbances and insomnia have been linked to anxiety. Anxiety not only makes it difficult to fall asleep but it can also make it difficult to stay asleep. Anxiety affects REM sleep and may provoke nightmares, compounding problems getting to sleep. Empower Counseling uses Acceptance Commitment Therapy for all types of anxiety. ACT is proven effective for the treatment of anxiety. Empower Counseling can help you with your sleep issues and anxiety.

How to Sleep Better

Build healthy sleep habits by creating a routine before bed. Turn off screens an hour or two before you turn in. Take a warm bath or shower to help you relax. Bring a book to bed. All of these changes can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

However, if these healthy habits are not enough to help you get the sleep you need, Acceptance Commitment therapy with Empower Counseling can help you loosen the grip of anxiety so you can get to sleep.

Kathryn, with Empower Counseling, is Advanced trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for anxiety. Acceptance Commitment Therapy is a high level cognitive behavioral therapy. This means that we not only address your thoughts and ways of thinking that are causing your anxiety, we also address behaviors that are contributing to it as well. 

Behaviors not only keep you stuck in the cycle of anxiety, but once you adopt unhealthy behaviors or habits, they begin to build on each other making it easy to develop more unhealthy habits.

For example, when you can not go to sleep at night because of worry or fear, it is difficult to get up in the morning and to stay awake during the day. So you might drink more caffeine to get things done. More caffeine, in turn, makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Therefore, one unhealthy behavior creates more behaviors that are not helpful to moving away from anxiety. 

Empower counseling uses ACT for anxiety counseling to help you move away from anxiety and unhelpful habits and toward healthier ways of thinking and behaving. 

Here are some suggestions for better sleep from EMPOWER COUNSELING IN BIRMINGHAM, Alabama:

  1. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time each day. It is difficult to sleep well when is you are going to bed at different times every night and waking up at various times each day.
  2. Exercise more. You must move your body and exert physical energy during the day to help you rest at night. 
  3. Get outside, especially in the morning. Being outside in the sunlight, will help you restore your natural clock or circadian rhythm. 
  4. Don’t work in the same room in where you sleep if you can help it. 
  5. Limit how much caffeine and alcohol you drink. Make it a rule of thumb that you stop drinking alcohol at least 3 hours before bed and you will sleep better.

If you are struggling with anxiety and sleep issues reach out to Empower Counseling today. Kathryn will help you move away from anxiety and create healthy sleep habits.

Anxiety and sleep issues are not the only areas of treatment offered by Empower Counseling, a counseling clinic in the Birmingham area. Empower counseling offers anxiety and depression counseling for professionals, young adults, college students and teens in Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Hoover and Homewood, as well as other surrounding areas.

Empower Counseling also offers online counseling to clients anywhere in the state of Alabama- including college students at Auburn University and the University of Alabama.

Call Empower Counseling today at 205-730-6570 and let Kathryn help you get you where you want to be.

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