Lack of sleep leads to heightened anxiety

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Sleep.  Most of us struggle to get enough of it.  For years, scientists have been studying the purpose of sleep and its lack has been linked to poorer physical health outcomes such as heart disease, strokes, obesity and inflammation.  The functions of sleep are still not fully understood but it’s becoming clear that good sleep is absolutely vital to our well-being.

Did you know that a sleepless night can also increase anxiety by up to 30%?  A study published earlier this year by UC Berkeley researchers has found that non-REM sleep helps decrease anxiety by reorganising neural connections in the brain. Even subtle changes in sleep were linked to changes in anxiety levels exhibited by participants in the study.

This study is of interest as anxiety levels globally continue to rise.  The researchers suggest that there is a causal relationship between the erosion of sleep and the ‘marked escalation in anxiety disorders’.

According to the Sleep Council the average Brit only gets 6.5 hours sleep a night. The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) recognises that insomnia has long been thought of as a symptom of anxiety and recommends a holistic approach be taken when treating anxiety disorders.

Working with a hypnotherapist you can receive a personalised treatment that helps you become aware of your sleeping patterns and teaches you self-management techniques which can improve both the length and the quality of your sleep. By uncovering and addressing the areas of stress and tension in your life you remove the causes of the insomnia or trouble sleeping.  When you work with a hypnotherapist they may teach you self-hypnosis or meditation techniques to use before going to bed, or while in bed.

An often cited fact by Dr Michael Moseley is that an increase in income of around £50,000 would have less of an impact on a person’s overall well-being and happiness than them gaining an extra hour of sleep every night.

Want to improve your overall well-being and get more sleep? Find a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH’s directory.