Podcast 43: 15 ways to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep Better Even having Insomnia because of Anxiety

Podcast (Audio Only)

Joanne Williams discusses How lack of sleep can affect your health and 15 ways to Improve your sleep and 3 ways to help you sleep better, even with anxiety interferes with you good sleep.

Sleep is a necessity and yet we seem to treat it like not getting enough sleep will come without consequences. The research will challenge you on this, sleep is necessary for good health.

We will share15 ways to make sleep better, and how do deal with ruminating thoughts that go around and around in your head at night, that interfere with good sleep.

Sleep deprivation is when you don’t get the sleep your body and mind needs, and it is It’s estimated to affect around 1/3 of American adults, have a problem that has only worsened in recent years.

Lack of sleep directly affects how we think and feel. While the short-term impacts are more noticeable, chronic sleep deprivation can heighten long-term risks of physical and mental health problems.

10 reasons why you want to figure out how to get better sleep-

  • Sleepiness Causes Accidents. ...
  • Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down. ...
  • Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems. ...
  • Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive. ...
  • Sleepiness can be one symptom of Depression. ...
  • Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin. ...
  • Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful. ...
  • Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight.

The effects of sleep deprivation and sleep deficiency can be serious and far-reaching.

Acute sleep deprivation or short term- raises the risk of unintentional errors and accidents. Drowsy driving, which involves slowed reaction time and the risk of microsleeps, can be life-threatening.

60% of adult drivers reported driving while drowsy in the past year. Survey data from the CDC indicated that one in every 25 adults had fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 drowsy driving led to at least 91,000 crashes, resulting in roughly 50,000 injuries and 800 deaths.

People who are sleep deprived are more likely to struggle in school and work settings or to experience mood changes that may affect personal relationships.

Chronic sleep deprivation- long term, can contribute to a wide range of health problems.

Sleep plays a fundamental role in the effective functioning of nearly all systems of the body, so a persistent lack of sleep creates significant risks to physical and mental health:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Sleep deficiency and cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Diabetes: Insufficient sleep appears to affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
  • Obesity: Research has found that people tend to consume more calories and carbohydrates when they don’t get enough sleep.
  • Immunodeficiency: Sleep deficiency has been shown to lead to worsened immune function, including a poorer response to vaccines.
  • Hormonal abnormalities: Sleep helps the body properly produce and regulate levels of various hormones.
  • Pain: Sleep-deprived people are feeling that their pain is getting worse. Pain may cause further sleep interruptions, creating a negative cycle of worsening pain and sleep.
  • Mental health disorders: Sleep and mental health are closely intertwined, and poor sleep has strong associations with conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Given these diverse and important impacts of sleep deprivation, studies have found insufficient sleep to be tied with a greater overall risk of death as well as a lower quality of life.

On a society-wide level, the impacts of sleep deprivation are enormous. sleep deprivation has been calculated to incur hundreds of billions in added healthcare costs as well as over $400B in productivity losses per year in the United States alone.

Here are 15 Ways to sleep better BY MICHAEL MARTIN SEPTEMBER 3, 2020  You Think Sleep Issues Are Part of Normal Aging

At age 40 or 60, you need the same amount of sleep as you did in college.

1. You're Getting Less Than Seven Hours

According to Gallup, the average American sleeps 6.8 hours nightly, and 40 percent of us sleep less than six hours a night. Adults, need seven to nine hours.

2. Shut Down Screens An Hour Before Bed

"Wind down by reading a (paper) book, writing in a journal, or chatting with your partner."

3. Don’t Drink Late-Night Cocktails

Researchers have found that alcohol shortens deep (REM) sleep, which makes sleep less restorative. Stick to one to two drinks nightly, and don't use booze as a sleep aid.

5. If You're Snoring

It can be the sign of a serious health problem: Namely, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, breathing can stop for as long a minute, before your brain wakes you up to resume breathing. It's also exhausting. talk to your doctor.

6. If You're Using Sleeping Pills- think again.

You shouldn't need to rely on meds to get to sleep, even over-the-counter drugs. Some studies have linked the use of hypnotic (sleep-inducing) drugs to an increased risk of cancer and death.  Instead figure out a new way to relax and slow your mind.

I did a survey of my clients and the #2 Challenge with having anxiety was getting good sleep because of difficulty of shutting off your brain.

3 Ways to Shut off your Anxious mind:

Learn ways to Let Go of the worry thoughts that are not processed in the day, that are affecting your sleep if you are a chronic worrier.

For instance, If you're still hashing over a conflict or a meeting at work that you didn't say what you felt you should have said.

Learning letting go skills of the What if’s, what if I would have said this or that or the ruminations of the thoughts that are going around and around. Instead refocusing these thoughts on peaceful calming thoughts to instill that feeling in your body to relax. 

Learn progressive tense and release of different muscle groups starting at your toes to your head that has been shown to not only reduce your physical muscle tension and stress, but it also refocuses your thoughts on your body.

Add a breathing technique of counting your breathes in through your nose as you count to 4 and exhale to the count of 8 and patterns of a set of 4. This is a profound relaxer because it stimulates the Vagus nerve to excrete a relaxing chemical acetylcholine.

Create a nightly practice of a meditation. You could put on a headset, listen to some music

This building new habits of releasing the worry that you can actually build ways you can use to shift these rumination to a more peaceful place.

7. Make your Afternoon Nap earlier or not at all

Just don't doze too long — anything over 25 minutes or so will put you into a deeper sleep and make it harder to wake up. Snooze too late in the day — say, anytime after 5 pm — and it may be harder for you to hit the hay later. Or try not to nap during the day at all.

8. Don’t  Sleep On A Full Stomach

Eating a full meal too close to bedtime increases your risk of acid reflex and indigestion, which can lead to snoring or insomnia. Eat dinner at least three hours before bed. If you need a late-night snack, stick to something light.

9. Change Your Pillow

Your pillow should be washed every six months and replaced every year or two. The reason to wash: Dust mites. These microscopic critters (and their waste) can worsen allergies and asthma, impairing breathing and therefore your sleep.

10. Wash Your Sheets More Often

Experts recommend washing your sheets at least every two weeks, weekly if you suffer from allergies, asthma or eczema. To prevent dust mites from inhabiting your mattress, use a protective cover. Wash it every two months.

11. No Sleeping With A Pet

Man's Best Friend is causing your worst nightmares. 53 percent of people who sleep with their pets have disturbed rest and abnormal sleep patterns, because of their four-legged friend's restless behavior (or the real estate they take up).

12. Get Enough Exercise

Getting as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to lead to better shut-eye, warding off sleep-inhibiting conditions like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome

13. If You Toss And Turn

Experts recommend that if you're having trouble getting to sleep, get out of bed after 20 minutes.  Do a calm activity, like reading a (paper) book or listening to music until you feel sleepy. Avoid screens.

14. Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach

Many stomach sleepers experience pain because that position twists the body out of alignment. You have to sleep with your head turned to the side, which makes it hard to breathe and puts strain on your back and spine, raising your risk for neck problems or a herniated disk.

15. You're Sleeping Too Much

Sleep is vital for health as we age, but there can be too much of a good thing. Oversleeping has been correlated with an increased risk of dementia. Stick to nine hours, max, and wake up at the same time every day.

I hope this helps to relax to sleep better and will your health and lower your anxiety.

This is by no means a replacement for therapy of any medical attention if you need it.  Always reach out and take care of yourself or if you are feeling like you want to hurt yourself, there is always someone standing by at 1800-273-8255 or call 911. Remember to Share the Love.

Or check out more at AnxietySimplified.net

Or go to https://esapros.com for an emotional support animal or a Psychiatric Service Dog to go with you everywhere to give you the support to lower your anxiety.

Join us for Our next podcast: What Happens in Vagus, stays in Vagus, when you learn how to use the Vagus nerve to calm you.

See other podcasts at AnxietySimplified.net