Do This One Thing To: Reduce Anxiety

To Reduce Anxiety: Keep A Regular Sleep Schedule

Our parents have always hammered in that we need to "get a good night's sleep" - but sometimes life gets in the way. If you catch yourself in this situation, fixing your issues with sleep can help you with other facets in life. To understand why this is, you need to understand the relationship between REM/NREM sleep and our circadian rhythm.

What is REM/NREM?

Typically when we sleep, we begin with a phase of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). This is followed by a short period of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This REM sleep is where the bulk of recovery occurs (also thought to be where we dream). This occurs normally when we stick to a sleep routine because our natural body clock, or circadian rhythm, is attuned to our schedule. Our bodies have learned a routine so we go through the right phases and wake up feeling good. The issue is when you sleep at different times, you run the chance of waking up during a period of NREM sleep. This prevents the release of hormones that are naturally released when your circadian rhythm decides it is time to wake up. This increases grogginess, worsens our mood and can add to our anxiety.

Sleep Is For The Weak

No Sleep Makes You Weak

A lot of us with anxiety already have a hard time sleeping. Some things you can do to ensure you sleep at the right time is to exercise regularly, avoid caffeine, and most importantly build a mental association between your bed and sleep through doing things such as work/relaxing in other places. This way, when we get in bed we are already primed to want to go to sleep. So what is one thing you can do to reduce anxiety? Take time to build a healthy sleep pattern, and try your best to stick to it.