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Can’t Sleep Due to Anxiety? 4 Natural Remedies for Night-Time Stress Relief

Can’t Sleep Due to Anxiety? 4 Natural Remedies for Night-Time Stress Relief

“Make yourself a hot cocoa”
“Have you tried going to bed earlier?”
You’ve heard it all before. So, let’s explore the less cliched options that are known to promote a restful 7+ hours of sleep.

Posted by Nutravita, 18th April 2021

“Why won’t you just shut up, mind?”

This is the question many sleep-deprived folks ask themselves on a regular (or even nightly!) basis.

A lot of people take sleep for granted. But not you...

You know what it’s like to toss and turn for hours on end. To deal with worries circling round your mind as the clock ticks past midnight.

So, if you’ve ever found that you can’t sleep due to anxiety or stress, we recommend that you give this article a quick read.

 


Here’s the plan for today:

What Is Sleep Anxiety?

Symptoms of Sleep Anxiety to Watch Out For

Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Sleeping Well
➡️The Physiological Sigh
➡️Meditation for Sleep Anxiety
➡️Yoga Nidra
➡️Supplements for Anxiety and Sleep

The Best Stress Relief Supplements?

FAQs

via GIPHY

Ahh, if only sleep was that easy…

What is Sleep Anxiety?

Sleep anxiety — is it really a thing?

Yep! But no two cases of sleep anxiety are the same.

Some folks struggle with night-time worries from time to time, keeping them awake longer than they would like.

Whereas, for other people who can’t sleep due to anxiety, it may progress into a full-blown sleep phobia — otherwise referred to as somniphobia.

You probably have a good sense of where you might be on this scale of sleep disturbance.

It’s important to know that a sleep phobia may require professional intervention, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Yet, those who are dealing with milder cases of sleep disruption may not feel therapy is necessary.

This is where natural remedies for anxiety and stress relief supplements (which we’ll outline later in the article) can promote a more reliable sleeping pattern.


Symptoms of Sleep Anxiety to Watch Out For

Before you consider what’s on the table, in terms of potential solutions, you might be keen to find out if you truly have sleep anxiety.

Here’s what Healthline tells us are a few of the main sleep anxiety symptoms to be aware of:

  • Troubles with getting to sleep (or remaining asleep)
  • Feeling restless or worried
  • Gastrointestinal upset

These are common in less severe forms of insomnia or anticipatory anxiety.

Keep in mind, though, that this list of symptoms can become a) longer, and b) more acute if you’ve got somniphobia.


Did you know?

  • 10-30% of the global population experiences insomnia. The incidence rate is as high as 50-60% in some regions.

  • When a real fear or phobia of sleep takes hold, the sufferer may be diagnosed with a type of anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder.

    Those with a sleep phobia can experience more alarming symptoms if the feeling of panic emerges, including:

  • Chest tightness
  • Feelings of doom or danger
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Shaking or trembling
  • The fear of being out of control

  • Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Sleeping Well

    If you can’t sleep due to anxiety, you may prefer to trial remedies and tools that aren’t likely to interfere too much with daily life.

    Sound like a plan?

    Nice one — we hear ya! Let’s waste no time, then. Here are five natural methods that you can try in the next week:

    The Physiological Sigh

    Maybe you’ve yet to hear of our first entry on the list. And that’s a bit of a shame — because it’s super easy to implement.

    The “physiological sigh” was discussed by Stanford University professor and neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman (Ph.D.), in a recent podcast on anxiety and stress.

    This calming technique was first discovered back in the 1930s.

    But it’s now being investigated at the cellular, neurobiological level in labs at UCLA and Stanford University School of Medicine.

    Whenever you’re feeling stressed, you can action the sigh by doing the following:

  • A short, double inhale through the nostrils, followed by...
  • A longer exhale — ideally, from the mouth

  • Feel free to repeat the sigh two or three times.

    The beauty of this is, you can do it anytime you want (and wherever you are).

    It works by regulating the phrenic nerve, which connects the diaphragm to the nervous system.

    Want to check out the podcast for yourself?

    You can watch the video below — the section on the physiological sigh starts at 29:45.

    Tools for Managing Stress & Anxiety | Huberman Lab Podcast
    Source: YouTube

    Meditation for Sleep Anxiety

    Meditation can be a tricky business, particularly for those who haven’t been practising for years.

    People who try to meditate solo sometimes report feeling more frustrated than relaxed, due to how much “noise” their mind is making. It can feel like a mental merry-go-round!

    The solution?

    Guided sleep meditation audios, like the kind that Headspace and Calm provide.

    If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re two of the most well-regarded apps in the meditation space.

    But the difference here is that they help you stay “in the zone” with easy-to-follow, guided tracks for beginners.

    As Headspace explains, meditation is known to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is referred to as the “rest and digest'' mode for the body.

    When this mode is switched on, you may notice your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows to a calmer rhythm.

    And when your body’s systems relax, the mind often follows — giving you a better chance of getting that much-needed shuteye.

    Yoga Nidra

    Most of us are familiar with yoga, whether we’ve had the chance to try it before or have heard about it through others. But Yoga Nidra?

    Hmm, perhaps not...

    Now, don’t worry if you’re thinking:

    “Hey, I’m not flexible enough to do yoga...”

    This type of yoga is designed to be accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

    Yoga Nidra actually stands for “yogic sleep.” All you need to do is lie somewhere comfortable and listen to the soothing instructions, like those provided in this gentle recording:

    Yoga Nidra - Guided Meditation to Relax
    Source: YouTube


    You’ll be guided to focus on different areas of the body, relaxing them one by one and releasing any tension.

    Touchwood, you’ll soon drift off into a deep, restful slumber!

    Supplements for Anxiety and Sleep

    Last up, we’re going to list a few supplements that science suggests can help with anxiety, stress, and sleep — through different mechanisms in the body.

    (Please note: More details on where to buy these supplements are found in the following section)

  • Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha features a sleep-promoting plant compound called triethylene glycol.

    In a study of the safety and effectiveness of ashwagandha, the scientists concluded:

    “Ashwagandha root extract is a natural compound with sleep-inducing potential, well tolerated and improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with insomnia at a dose of 300 mg extract twice daily.”

    The researchers also went on to say:

    “It could be of potential use to improve sleep parameters in patients with insomnia and anxiety.”

    • Iron


    Low iron is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the UK.

    A lack of iron could impact your sleep in a couple of ways.

    Fatigue is a frequent symptom of low iron levels.

    So, if you find yourself nodding off too much during the day, this may affect your circadian rhythms, causing sleep disruption at night.

    Also, iron serves as an important oxygen supply.

    If your cells don’t have enough oxygen, this can be a stressor on the body, which may turn on the “fight or flight” response.

    • L-Theanine

    L-Theanine can reduce the stress response — both psychological and physiological.


    But how?

    The natural amino acid (found in tea leaves) regulates how L-glutamic acid binds to certain brain receptors.

    Pretty complex, right?

    You can find out more about how L-Theanine reduces anxiety in the “Best Stress Relief Supplements” section below.

    • Magnesium


    Research
    shows that a shortage of this mineral can cause insomnia and general sleep disruption.

    Plus, supplementation with magnesium has been found to aid anxiety symptoms.

    It’s known as the “mighty mineral” due to its role in supporting the nervous system, as well as its function in synthesising protein and metabolism.


    The Best Stress Relief Supplements?

    The team at Nutravita is committed to offering the best stress relief supplements, which are all GMO-free and Vegan.

    So if you find you’re having nights where you can’t sleep due to anxiety, you might want to browse the options below.

    Simply take a look through our bespoke range of supplements for Mood, Relaxation, Anxiety, and Sleep.


    “But which ones should I go for?” you may be pondering...

    Good question!

    In order to track their effectiveness more easily, we’d recommend starting with a smaller bundle in your first order.

    After that, you can make repeat orders or combine a couple of other supplements in the range. It’s up to you!

    For sleep, specifically, a popular supplement is L-Theanine.

    The great advantage of this tea leaf-based amino acid is how it promotes sleep through healthy brain changes, which include:

      • Calming brain neurotransmitters that are linked to emotional arousal and alertness
      • Reducing “excitatory chemicals” associated with anxiety and stress
      • Triggering alpha brain waves to help with relaxation

    Each capsule of L-Theanine contains:

    350mg of L-Theanine (GMO-Free)
    AMAZON REVIEWS: 365+ Reviews
    2-MONTH SUPPLY: £11.99

    If you want a more comprehensive blend, we also have a Natural Night Complex available, which brings together:

  • L-Theanine
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon balm
  • Magnesium
  • Theanine
  • Vitamin B12
  • 5-HTP


  • Natural Night Complex — with Lemon Balm, Chamomile, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, Magnesium, and Vitamin B12

    120 Vegan Capsules
    AMAZON REVIEWS: 640+ Reviews
    2-MONTH SUPPLY: £15.99

    To give you a sense of what people are saying about the Natural Night Complex, here’s feedback from a customer who used it for sleep and relaxation:


    Feeling more hopeful about sleep?

    No doubt, if you can’t sleep due to anxiety or stress, finding ways to relax in the evening is essential to drift off faster.

    We hope this article has given you clarity on which options you can turn to for stress support.

    Guided meditations, physiological techniques, and science-backed supplements are all known for their relaxing effects.

    Got any questions about supplements for stress relief?

    Feel free to contact the friendly Nutravita team here.

    To healthier days (and nights!)

    P.S. Please share this article with anyone else you know who may be keen to improve their sleep. Many thanks!

    OPTIONAL READING:
    National Relaxation Day - written by our very own in-house Yoga expert Sophie. 


    FAQs

    How to Relieve Stress Quickly?

    A period of experimentation is often worthwhile to see which methods work best for you.

    According to science, one of the quickest ways to relieve stress is the “physiological sigh,” which is being explored in labs at Stanford and UCLA. Tenured professor, Andrew Hubermann PhD., outlines how this sigh involves two short inhales through the nose, followed by a longer exhale through the mouth.

    Additional techniques for prompt stress relief include guided meditations, visualisations, and short walks to get some fresh air.

    What Time Should You Go to Sleep?

    Sleep takes place in 90-minute cycles. The average adult needs 5-6 of these cycles per night. Dr. Matthew Walker — neuroscientist and author of the bestselling book “Why We Sleep” advises that:

    “When it comes to bedtime, there's a window of several hours - roughly between 8pm and 12am - during which your brain and body have the opportunity to get all the non-REM and REM shuteye they need to function optimally."

    How to Relieve Stress Headaches?

    Stress or “tension headaches” are most typical in the afternoons. They can produce a level of pain that ranges from mild to a significant, distracting sensation of head pressure or fullness.

    Harvard Health outlines these as four methods to soothe tension headaches:

    1. Relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery and heated pads to release tension in the neck and shoulders
    2. Biofeedback, with the help of a trained therapist
    3. Eating and sleeping well
    4. Medical treatments, such as local anesthetic injections and medications


    Co-written by Declan Davey


    Declan is a Health Copywriter with a professional background as an NHS therapist. His previous roles include work within mental health services and disability charities in London, UK.


    **Disclaimer: Nutravita’s blog content is for informational purposes only. It should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical advice or guidance. If you are worried about your health, we recommend that you contact your doctor. Please do not ignore your doctor’s advice because of any information on https://www.nutravita.co.uk/. 

    All prices correct at time of publishing, these may change without notice. Please visit our website for up to date pricing. 

    Image attributions:

    Illustration by Freepik Storyset

    Illustration by Freepik Storyset

     

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