Does sleep help with anxiety

Who does not know this, who has to do with mental problems: You cannot and cannot fall asleep. Too many things go through your head. Work, problems in the partnership and unfinished business are all in your head and keep you awake.

At Anxiety and depression, sleep disorders are in most cases part of the clinical picture. Maybe my following problem solutions will help you further:

Often times one lies awake in bed and just cannot fall asleep. The thought "... I have to sleep", which unconsciously puts you under pressure, is also sleep-consuming. You may find it helpful to remember that you will definitely get the sleep you need. Basically, the need for sleep differs from person to person. If one needs 10 hours of sleep, the other can get by with just 5 hours. It has certainly already happened to you that you have sat in front of the television in the evening and after a while asked yourself, "What is this all about ?!" In these phases, the body already gets its first few minutes of sleep. Times that you miss when you go to bed. If you have problems falling asleep, you should largely avoid the evening program or reduce it to just individual programs. Instead, go for a walk, read a good book, meet up with friends, or find other pursuits that require you to concentrate. The aim is to restore the "natural sleep pressure".

You can also achieve natural sleep pressure with sleep reduction. In sleep laboratories it has been found that sleep deprivation, for example, is also a good remedy for depression. For example, severely depressed people are not allowed to sleep at all for one night. The result is that the body releases so-called endorphins, such as those that athletes have. These hormones are natural and give you short-term feelings of happiness.

It should be pointed out here that the so-called sleep restriction method is contraindicated in people with nighttime panic attacks. We would like to thank Dr. Tilmann Müller, from the Interdisciplinary Sleep Center at the Münster University Hospital. Dr. Müller ( describes that "a sleep restriction is contraindicated in night-time panic attacks, insofar as the probability of triggering a panic attack increases the more abruptly the transition from waking -> sleep or light sleep -> deep sleep takes place the metabolic and physiological changes that take place are likely to trigger the panic. "
Thank you again, Dr. Müller.

How do you proceed so that you achieve natural sleep pressure. Well, make a resolution to sleep, for example, only 5 hours in the next 2 weeks. Set up a fixed time (e.g. from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.) in which to go to sleep. Regardless of whether you fall asleep in the meantime or not, get up at 6:00 a.m.! You will find that the natural sleep pressure will return after a few days. However, go ahead anyway. After the 2 weeks, increase the sleep time by 1/2 hour to 1 hour at a time of 2 weeks. In the vast majority of cases, you have overcome your sleep problem!

Especially with anxious people it often happens that before or after falling asleep they startle again and again and lie in bed in a panic and can no longer rest. It is important in any case: Get up! In the "twilight state" of the brain, you do not have the ability to control your thoughts. Get up, leave the bedroom, and turn on the lights. The background here is that you don't associate your bed with "fear and horror" and that the mere thought of going there deprives yourself of sleep. The bright light causes your brain to suddenly start working again and drive away your terrible thoughts. Give it a try, it works! Do something (please don't watch TV!). Do crossword puzzles or clear any drawer. Do not go back to bed until you think you can sleep. If you still have too many thoughts in your head, get up and do it again until you think you can do it again.
It is interesting to know that the brain produces most of the depressive thoughts from around 6 a.m. in the morning. Perhaps you have already taken a "morning nap" and noticed that you are anything but rested afterwards. Therefore, you shouldn't go to bed after this time. Better make yourself breakfast, maybe get the newspaper, and celebrate the day. The next night will be better!

It also often happens that people always wake up at the same time during the night. This is because the first thing you do is look at the clock. This harbors two dangers: On the one hand, the time is imprinted on your memory. Maybe you have a brightly glowing alarm clock. Have you ever tried to keep a certain time in front of your eyes on the edge of the bed by memorizing your alarm clock with the said time? For many people, that's enough to stop them needing an alarm clock. The internal clock lets you wake up at the set time.
The second problem is that you can ruin your sleep by thinking "... oh God, it's so late, now I can only sleep so long. Hopefully I'll go back to sleep!". It is completely irrelevant to know what time it is. If you have set your alarm clock, it will also ring if you don't look at it and you don't know how many hours, minutes and seconds you could still sleep. Make the habit of looking at your watch at night. Turn the alarm clock over or place a cloth over it. Sleep will thank you!

Here are the most important tips for insomniacs:

  • Only go to bed when you think you can and not because you think you have to
  • If you can't sleep, get up, leave the bedroom, and turn on the lights
  • Turn the alarm clock over or cover it with a cloth
  • Do not take a "nap in between" during the day or in the evening
  • Learn a relaxation technique (I recommend Jacobsen progressive muscle relaxation)!