5 Ways to Limit Sleep Anxiety


For as long as I can remember, I’ve dealt with sleep anxiety. Whether it was stressing about being the last to fall asleep at childhood sleepovers, living in noisy apartments, or dealing with people who snore, I’ve had overarching anxiety about not getting enough sleep each night. As I’ve seen therapists, tried prescription drugs, and just about everything, I’ve severely lessened the amount of anxiety I have each day when it comes to sleep. Here’s what worked:

Limit booze

Hangovers are known for intensifying most kinds of anxiety, and sleep anxiety is no different. Instead of feeling crappy all day then not being able to sleep—or relying on a pill, I simply do not drink to the point of hangovers anymore—unless it’s totally worth it to me. 2 drinks max seems to be my happy place.

Create a routine

If you deal with sleep issues in general, a routine is crucial. Your body cannot and will not sleep as well, or as quickly, if you’re forcing it to turn down instantly, so don’t. An hour before bed, turn off technology and begin the routine. For me, that involves skincare, diffusing lavender oil, and a nonfiction book (without a storyline to keep me going).

Do what’s best for you

Whenever I tell people this, they instantly feel bad or worry about our relationship, but the truth is, my fiance and I sleep in separate rooms Monday-Thursday. He snores and it keeps me up, which was leading to resentment and everyone being tired. We started sleeping in separate rooms about 6 months ago and it’s helped SO much. Of course I miss cuddling in the middle of the night, but we make up for it before bed and on weekends.

Use a sleep machine

A friend of mine who also struggles with sleep bought me a sound machine when I first moved to noisy San Francisco, and to this day it’s one of my favorite gifts ever. It’s portable so I bring it with me when I’m traveling, so no matter where I am, I have the comfort of my white noise machine.

Prep for it

Now that I’m living in a quieter home and sleeping alone most nights, my sleep has never been better—except when group sleep settings arise. Sharing a house with friends gives me anxiety because I’m not always sure what the sleeping situation will be like. Because of this, I’m honest with whoever I’m staying with. My friends now know to put me in a quiet room (and that I’ll be using my sleep machine!), or sometimes I pay extra for my own. I make up for being a sleep diva by getting to events early and setting up, or staying late to clean.

What works for you?

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15 comments

  1. It is hereditary.I start getting ready for sleep 2 hours before.I quit technology at 9 and am asleep by 1015 durning the week most nights.xo

  2. I really appreciate honest and helpful tips like this. I deal with sleep anxiety often because of my messed up sleeping schedule. I will try to set a routine before sleep to see how it can helps. Thanks for sharing!

    Jolie
    Joliecious.com

  3. My husband and I also sleep in separate bedrooms most nights. We started it after I read a book about the importance of sleep. He snores and likes to stay up late reading in bed; I am an early bird. It has not had a bad effect on our relationship at all, and we still have sex regularly. If anything, it has made us both happier. Sleep is too important not to miss!

  4. I never struggled with this until very recently. I don’t go to bed until past 2am most nights – it’s pretty bad. Instead of being mad at myself, I just accept it, and try to make the most of the situation. I’m hopeful my normal sleeping ability will return soon enough!

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

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