Skip to main content

8 Tips to Break the Anxiety Insomnia Cycle

Anxiety and insomnia often go hand-in-hand, creating a cycle that can be difficult to break out of. If you're struggling with anxiety and insomnia, you're not alone. Find in this article 8 tips to help you break the anxiety-insomnia cycle.

How to Break Anxiety-Insomnia Cycle

The Cycle of Anxiety and Insomnia

Anxiety and insomnia frequently go hand in hand. Each problem can be caused by the other, eventually leading to a never ending cycle that seems impossible to break through. Research has shown that chronic insomnia increases your chances of suffering from an anxiety disorder.

There are a few different ways that anxiety and insomnia can interact. Anxiety can cause difficulty sleeping, which can in turn lead to more anxiety. When someone is anxious, their mind is often racing, which can make it difficult to fall asleep.

Additionally, anxiety can lead to restless sleep, which can leave someone feeling tired and anxious the next day.

Insomnia can also cause anxiety and stress. When someone isn't getting enough sleep, they can start to feel anxious and stressed. They may also become irritable and have difficulty thinking clearly.

According to UC Berkeley, lack of sleep can ramp up brain regions that trigger excessive worry, which provokes further anxiety and makes sleep even more elusive. [Find here the UC Berkeley news article]

Chronic insomnia can also lead to health problems, such as heart problems, obesity, and depression, which can cause further anxiety.

Breaking The Anxiety Insomnia Cycle

Treating insomnia is a good approach to dealing with your anxious feelings. However, many of the strategies for getting sleeplessness under control are also recommended for managing anxiety, so it’s a good idea to follow these steps and get a handle on both your problems.

Although most people suffer from occasional insomnia, chronic insomnia involves at least a month of difficulty in falling asleep, waking up too soon in the morning, or just generally poor quality of sleep. Ten percent of adults are affected by chronic insomnia.

8 Tips to Break Anxiety-Insomnia Cycle

1. Before you do anything, check with your healthcare provider to make sure there are no underlying medical problems to blame. This could include diseases and conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, menopause, or pregnancy.

A number of medications can also have a negative impact on your ability to sleep normally.

2. An effective way to manage both anxiety and insomnia is to practice stress-relieving techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), yoga or meditation. This can help you to relax and unwind, making it easier to fall asleep.

You can start practicing Yoga with Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, an easy pose suitable for beginners. Read here in details → Yoga for Anxiety for Beginners.

And, here's a short video for you to get started with meditation in a simple way:

3. Another way to beat anxiety-insomnia cycle is by engaging in exercise on a regular basis. A 20 minute walk each day (or even three to four times a week) can work wonders.

Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins and reduces levels of adrenaline and cortisol (body's stress hormones), which can help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety symptoms, which in turn promotes better sleep. [Ref. Exercising to relax by Harvard Health Publishing]

Don’t exercise just before going to bed because it will stimulate your system too much.

4. Reduce your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. It's also a good idea to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as they can interfere with sleep.

Caffeine significantly hinders your ability to fall asleep because it’s a stimulant. Obviously you will want to avoid coffee because of its high caffeine content, but you should also refrain from tea, certain soft drinks, and chocolate (yes, including hot cocoa!).

Alcohol might help you fall asleep more easily at night, but you will have a disrupted sleep that won’t leave you rested. Calcium, B vitamins and magnesium improve sleep. So replace your coffee and alcohol with some hot milk and a vitamin supplement and you might see significant results.

Smoking is another habit you’ll want to kick when you want to break anxiety insomnia cycle. The high doses of nicotine contained in cigarettes elevate blood pressure, accelerate your heart rate and stimulate your brain. This is exactly the opposite of what you need if you want to enjoy a restful sleep.

5. Try to establish a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This can help to train your body to sleep better. Additionally, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool, and avoid using electronic devices in bed.

6. Set up your bedroom for optimal sleeping conditions. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and comfortably warm.

Light, particularly flashing or blinking lights and flickering lights from a TV, will disturb your sleep patterns.

Try wearing a sleep mask to block out light if you find it comfortable. A white noise machine, or even a fan, is another great way to mask most noises.

Also, keep the room at a comfortable temperature so you won’t wake up sweating or shivering.

7. If you still can’t fall sleep, keep calm. Worrying about it will just make the situation worse and escalate both your anxiety and insomnia conditions. Read a book, listen to calming music, or take a bath, and then go back to bed once you feel like you might be able to sleep.

8. If despite all your efforts, you are struggling with anxiety-insomnia cycle, it's important to seek treatment from a doctor or therapist (or counselor) who can help you address both conditions.


Breaking the anxiety-insomnia cycle is important, as getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. When you're well-rested, you're more alert and able to think clearly, making it easier to manage your anxiety. Getting adequate sleep can help improve your mood and reduce stress levels. Getting a good night's sleep can help improve your overall quality of life.

By following the tips in this article, you can finally get the good night's sleep you deserve. Anxiety and insomnia can be a vicious cycle, but with some effort, you can break free and finally get the rest you need.


Other Posts

How to Deal With the Depression: Basics and Beyond

How to Deal With the Depression It is common to feel sad or blue when dealing with a specific stress, trauma, or a challenging situation, but depression is a much deeper issue. Even when symptoms are minor, this condition is serious. Unfortunately, many people have committed suicide or even homicide because of not getting the care needed. In this article we tried to provide all the required information so you can learn about the truths of mental depression and discover how to deal with the depression . Of all mental health conditions that people face, depression is among those suffered the most, affecting the lives of millions of people all over the world. In fact, globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. ( ref.: WHO Fact sheets on Depression ). And, since the pandemic, percentage of people experiencing depression (and anxiety) symptoms had a manifold rise. Depression affects not only the mind and behaviors, but also physical health, performance, and

Panic Attack and Panic Disorder

Panic Attack and Panic Disorder Panic Attack A panic attack is a sudden or intense anxiety or fear. Panic attacks usually come with the following symptoms: dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, light headedness. Panic attacks are unpredictable and happen in a range of situations.     See also: Anxiety Attack Some people have only one or two in their lifetime, others will have a group of them which center around increasing stress in their life and for others it could be a daily event in which case it is caused a panic disorder. People who suffer on going panic attacks will generally develop a fear of having panic attacks and go on to avoid situations in which escape would be difficult. Some people who have social anxiety disorder often have panic attacks as part of their symptoms. These attacks are also called anxiety attacks and are usually resolved by removing the problem or trigger situation. What does panic attack feel like If you do have panic attacks y

Some Commonly Experienced Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders In this page we will discuss some of the anxiety disorder symptoms which are commonly experienced in generalized anxiety , post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic attacks . It is important to note, however, that anxiety is capable of creating hundreds of different anxiety disorder symptoms, so this is by no means an exclusive list. Shortness of breath / Shallow Breath, and Smothering Sensations : This is one of the most common anxiety disorder symptoms - it may feel as though you aren’t getting enough air into your lungs or as though someone is pressing up against your chest cavity and restricting your air intake. This is just a harmless sensation! Don’t worry about it or be concerned that you aren’t breathing properly because you are! If you weren’t breathing properly you would be unconscious. As with all anxiety disorder symptoms, don’t give these sensations any credit, they will go away. FAQ :