- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Daylight helps set sleep patterns, so try to be outdoors while it's light out for 30 minutes a day.
- Exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime). An afternoon workout is ideal.
- Keep naps short -- less than an hour -- and forgo napping after 3 p.m.
- Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, many teas, chocolate, and cola), which can take up to eight hours to wear off. You may need to avoid caffeine entirely if you have panic attacks; many people who experience panic attacks are extra sensitive to caffeine.
- Review medications with a doctor to see if you are taking any stimulants. Sometimes it's possible to switch medicines.
- Avoid alcohol, large meals, foods that induce heartburn, and drinking much fluid for several hours before bedtime.
- Tobacco is a stimulant. Quit smoking (or at least do not smoke for an hour or two before turning in for the night).
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, without distractions like TV or a computer. If your mattress is uncomfortable, replace it.
- Relax before bed with a hot bath, deep breathing or another relaxation technique, or reading or listening to music. If you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes of turning in (or if you wake up and can't fall back to sleep in 20 minutes), get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.
A Answers (2)
Michael Mufson, MD, Psychiatry, answeredSleep usually improves when an anxiety disorder is treated. Practicing good "sleep hygiene" helps, too. Here are some steps to take:
Tamar Chansky, Psychology, answered
Anxiety often gets in the way of a good night's sleep. In this video, psychologist Dr. Tamar Chansky, who specializes in anxiety, offers some surprising ways to leave stress outside of the bedroom so that you can catch some restorative Zzz's.