Anxiety

Is Anxiety Related to Insomnia?

You’re tense, agitated, have low energy, suffer from rampant moodiness, and have trouble getting restful sleep. What’s going on? Any number of conditions could be affecting your quality of life, but a logical explanation could be the nexus of anxiety and insomnia – two illnesses that can lead to the other.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. It can help you to cope.” A temporary energy boost improves focus, but the fear lingers and can be devastating.

Common Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders – which begin as a single moment of anxiety but grow from there for different reasons – involve more than short-term worry or fear. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you know the anxiety doesn’t subside on its own and can worsen over time. The most common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. But symptoms from most of these can be treated with options like ketamine.

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of anxiety and more severe anxiety disorders may include:

  • Constant feelings of restlessness and being on-edge
  • Being easily tired
  • Having problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Perspiration
  • Body shakes
  • Having shortness of breath or feeling like you’re smothering or choking
  • Excessive worry about encountering something or someone you’d rather avoid
  • Taking definitive actions to evade something you fear

Don’t be afraid to seek out treatment if any of these symptoms interfere with daily living.

What are Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders are illnesses that harm your sleep or keep you from getting relaxing sleep and, because of this, can lead to daytime sleepiness, slowed responses, and other symptoms. All of us can have sleep problems occasionally. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can disturb all facets of your life, including your relationships, safety, how well you perform in school and work, cognition, mental health, weight, and the risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. 

Is Anxiety Related to Insomnia?

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, “More than 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million report sleeping problems occasionally, according to the National Institutes of Health.” And a good amount of those people also experience anxiety.

Anxiety and anxiety disorders are related to insomnia, but the reverse is also true. Not only that, but research indicates one can result in the other. 

After evaluating a study from Norway, Experts from Duke Health called insomnia, anxiety, and depression a “vicious cycle.” The research they noted indicates “that insomnia may predispose people to anxiety and depression, just as anxiety and depression may predispose people to insomnia. As the authors note, insomnia may be an early or even the first symptom of depression and anxiety. Clinicians and their patients should take note.”

What Causes Anxiety?

There is no known single cause for anxiety. Like other mental health conditions, its origin is based on many influencers, including:

  • Certain personality traits
  • Early childhood trauma
  • Family history of anxiety or other mental illness
  • Certain physical health conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, respiratory disorders, and drug and alcohol misuse or withdrawal

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia affects up to 35 percent of adults and has numerous causes:

  • Stress
  • An irregular sleep cycle
  • Bad sleeping habits
  • Mental health issues like anxiety and depression
  • Physical ailments and pain
  • Medicine
  • Neurological problem
  • Certain sleep disorders

Many symptoms of anxiety disorders and sleep disorders can be treated, often concurrently.

Diagnosis & Treatment

To diagnose anxiety, you may undergo a medical exam to look for an underlying condition that causes your symptoms. If that fails, you could be referred to a mental health professional for a psychiatric evaluation which focuses on thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as triggers for anxiety symptoms. You’ll also be asked about your personal and family history of mental illness, with symptoms being compared to criteria in the DSM-5.

If you have insomnia, you may undergo a diagnostic procedure like a polysomnogram or an at-home apnea test. For either condition, treatment may involve psychotherapy, antidepressants, or medicine like ketamine.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who experiences anxiety or insomnia knows it’s a vicious circle of low energy, moodiness, and constant sleep problems. But treatment options are available. If you suffer from either, help is out there to manage the symptoms and regain control of your life. Contact us today to learn more about treatment options.

Anxiety

Anxiety and Breathing

You had a spirited disagreement with a co-worker and noticed your heartbeat was racing afterward. The following day, you woke up exhausted because you couldn’t sleep. These can be chalked up to everyday anxiety, or they could be symptomatic of something worse – an anxiety disorder slowly taking over your life.

What is Anxiety?

“Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal stress reaction. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. It can help you to cope.” But if anxiety doesn’t go away, it could indicate a much bigger problem.

Kinds of Anxiety Disorders

If you have anxiety, watch out for symptoms that last for months and inhibit daily life. If this happens, you may be at risk of a more severe anxiety disorder, but that’s not an automatic certainty.

  • Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder where you fear and avoid things that might make you panic and feel trapped or embarrassed.
  • A medical condition-induced anxiety disorder that includes extreme anxiety or panic symptoms is linked to a physical health crisis.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder features persistent and extreme anxiety and concern about common activities or events. The worry exceeds the actual situation, is hard to control, and affects how you feel physically. It happens with depression or other anxiety disorders.
  • There are repeated bouts of sudden reactions of severe anxiety and panic with a panic disorder that peaks within minutes. You could have feelings of imminent doom, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or a quick, fluttering heartbeat – often leading to more worry and avoidance.
  • Separation anxiety disorder in children presents with anxiety that’s extreme for the child’s developmental age and linked to separation from parents or those in parental roles.
  • Social anxiety disorder is when you experience high levels of anxiety, dread, and avoidance of social settings out of fear of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and worry about being judged negatively.
  • Specific phobias.
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder.

Anxiety and Breathing

According to recent research, how we breathe can directly influence anxiety and the physical reactions that go with it. The problem is that we take it for granted that we know how to breathe, and the act is as ubiquitous as oxygen itself – both of which are probably false. The good news is that breathing techniques and other kinds of exercise can help reduce anxiety. While some people gravitate toward medicine like ketamine or other therapy, there are also strategies you can try at home.

Breathing and Other Ways to Manage Anxiety

  • “Square breathing helps regulate the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bodies, which can often be out of balance when anxiety is at play. Square breathing involves breathing in, holding the breath, exhaling, and holding it again — all for four counts apiece.”
  • Mindfulness exercises speak to the ability to live in the moment by engaging all five of your senses. It’s the fundamental human ability to be present, aware of your surroundings and what you’re doing, and not overreacting or becoming overwhelmed by what’s happening around you.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation has the goal of helping your brain understand the sensation of your muscles being in a relaxed, tension-free state.
    Breathing exercises for anxiety offer many benefits, such as stress management, improved heart rate, blood pressure, and many others.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you think you have anxiety or are experiencing a more severe anxiety disorder, your doctor will inquire about your symptoms and personal and family medical history. This may lead to a physical exam and lab tests to look for a different health problem that may not be triggering your symptoms. If there isn’t another health issue, your doctor may recommend a psychiatric evaluation by a mental health professional. During a mental health assessment, your symptoms may be compared to criteria in the DSM-5 to confirm a diagnosis.

Ongoing care could involve psychotherapy, medicine, or newer therapy, including ketamine infusion therapy.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety is a part of everyday life and often disappears on its own. But if you have long-term symptoms which interfere with daily life, you’re one of more than 40 million U.S. adults fighting a battle involving anxiety disorders. The most common symptoms often go away on their own or can be managed with self-help techniques like breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, or mindfulness. Contact us today to learn more about how ketamine infusions for anxiety can help you.

Anxiety

How To Stop Anxiety

Momentary anxiety is not just normal – it is an important evolutionary tool. It is our body’s way of letting us know that we may be in danger. Some people have feelings of anxiety and stress that go far above normal levels – these are anxiety disorders.

Most people feel anxiety regularly, and up to 40 million adults in the United States deal with an anxiety disorder each year.

Though anxiety disorders can make you feel hopeless, the right treatment options and lifestyle changes can help anyone find relief. No one treatment will “fix” everyone, but anyone can find a treatment that works for them.

How To Stop Anxiety

Sleep Hygiene

Everyone should get somewhere around 8 hours of sleep a night. If this is difficult for you, there are ways to work around this. Try getting off electronics an hour before you go to bed, or develop a consistent sleep schedule.

Exercise

Physical health and mental health are very closely linked. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three to five times throughout the week.

Avoid Harmful Substances

Although it’s easy to fall back on junk food or alcohol during difficult times, these substances actually do more harm than good in the long run.

Treatment

There are lots of treatment options your doctor or provider may suggest, ranging from psychotherapy to antidepressants. New treatments like ketamine infusions may signal a new era for the treatment of anxiety.

Ketamine Treatment for Anxiety

Research indicates that ketamine treats anxiety disorders by binding to receptors in the brain, increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter glutamate being released. This sets off a chain reaction in the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.

This means, in layman’s terms language, that the brain reacts to ketamine infusions in a way that triggers hormones that help the brain create more positive emotions. Unlike other treatments, ketamine can provide this relief within hours or days of the first infusion, although it is most successful as a series of infusions.

The Kinds of Anxiety Disorder

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Selective Mutism
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders vary from person to person, but typically the symptoms include most of the following:

  • Feeling nervous
  • Feeling restless
  • A sense of impending doom or danger
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing/hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Avoidance of things you associate with your anxiety

Causes of Anxiety

Developing an anxiety disorder is not quite as simple as getting the Flu, for instance. The Flu can be traced back to a definite cause, whereas anxiety disorders are the result of several factors like inherited traits or traumatic events.

In some cases, anxiety disorders can be an indicator of an underlying health issue. Other conditions or medical problems sometimes linked to anxiety include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism)
  • Respiratory conditions like COPD or Asthma
  • Drug abuse or drug withdrawal
  • Chronic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Contact us today if you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, and would like to learn more about this innovative new treatment.

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