Anxious and Sleepless But Not Powerless

Anxiety and sleep problems can have a twisted, rather enmeshed relationship with each other. They each have a similar goal: to make us miserable. They are evil little accomplices on a mission to rule our world. It’s bad enough when just one of them is working its sinister plan within us, but when they join forces and attack us simultaneously, it’s downright miserable.

Anxiety and Sleep Problems

Anxiety and lack of sleep feed off of each other, each making the other worse. As a result, we're exhausted, anxious, and miserable. But we can overcome both.It doesn't always matter which one of the malicious mates starts the attack. Sometimes it’s sleep, or, more accurately, the lack thereof. Sleepless nights spent tossing and turning or watching bad television wreak havoc on our whole being; aspects of physical and mental health are compromised. It’s not uncommon for anxiety disorders to surface when sleep is poor.

Sometimes anxiety is the instigator of the fight to control us. Anxious worries and fearful concerns race through our minds day and night. All day and all night -- all through the long night. No matter what we do, our worries won’t wane. The thoughts just won’t stop even when we scream at them to be quiet. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to sleep. With barely any restorative sleep to energize us, the next day is a struggle, problems seem insurmountable, and anxiety skyrockets even higher.

Anxiety and sleep deprivation leave us exhausted and fatigued. We’re beaten down, but each of these beasts gain strength and power. Lack of sleep contributes to anxiety, making it stronger. Anxiety contributes to lack of sleep, making insomnia tougher. Where, then, do “we” – ourselves, our beings – fit? We might sometimes feel defenseless, but we aren't. Tune in to this brief audio for some pointers for taming anxiety and sleep problems.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2014, July 9). Anxious and Sleepless But Not Powerless, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of numerous anxiety self-help books, including The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal, The Mindful Path Through Anxiety, 101 Ways to Help Stop Anxiety, The 5-Minute Anxiety Relief Journal, The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, and Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps. She has also written five critically acclaimed, award-winning novels about life with mental health challenges. She delivers workshops for all ages and provides online and in-person mental health education for youth. She has shared information about creating a quality life on podcasts, summits, print and online interviews and articles, and at speaking events. Tanya is a Diplomate of the American Institution of Stress helping to educate others about stress and provide useful tools for handling it well in order to live a healthy and vibrant life. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

December, 10 2014 at 1:38 am

ahhh well that IS too bad. Thanks for the quick response! :)

December, 9 2014 at 1:48 am

I'm sorry but I can't figure out how to listen. Where is the link?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 9 2014 at 9:33 pm

Hi Courtney,
Thank you so much for trying to listen. I have bad news, and I apologize. The service HealthyPlace used for the audio recordings doesn't exist anymore, so none of the HealtyPlace audio links exist anymore. It's too bad, because the write-ups that went with them seem incomplete without the recording. I do appreciate your reading and trying to listen.

Amy Maricle
July, 22 2014 at 7:59 am

HI Tanya:
Thanks so much for this post. I liked some of your suggestions about aromatherapy in the evening. I work with my clients on sleep hygiene a lot. My own sleep can still be a challenge though!
So glad that this has helped you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 22 2014 at 1:03 pm

Hello Amy,
I appreciate your comment! I'm glad that you found some of my suggestions to be helpful. It's ironic, isn't it, that sometimes we can help others with things like sleep hygiene yet still have troubles ourselves. I wonder if it's because we know something works, we believe in it sincerely, people report benefits, so we know we "should" be able to follow the suggestions, too. For me, this "should" can get in my head and cause more anxiety. :) That's when I back up and relax, trusting the principles behind the techniques. I'll pick one or two things to practice in the moment, and it is usually helpful. Anxiety and techniques to help are part of the human experience! :)

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