It is perfectly normal for you to be anxious in certain situations. But if it becomes your constant companion, then you need to consult a doctor.
It may be anxiety disorder. This can cause unnecessary worry and fear and it may interfere with your normal activities. This can lead to overwhelming emotions that can hamper normal life. There are many causes that can trigger an anxiety disorder. Stress, environmental and genetic factors as well as changes in the brain may lead to this condition.
According to new study from the University of California, Berkeley, while a full night of slumber stabilises emotions, a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30 per cent rise in anxiety levels.
Deep sleep can decrease anxiety: Study
Researchers have identified the type of sleep that can best calm and reset an anxious brain. According to them, it is ‘non-rapid eye movement (NREM) slow-wave sleep, a state in which neural oscillations become highly synchronised, and heart rates and blood pressure drop’. They say that this kind of deep sleep decreases anxiety overnight by reorganising connections in the brain. They added that ‘deep sleep seems to be a natural anxiolytic (anxiety inhibitor), so long as we get it each and every night’.
Researchers are hopeful that this could be a natural, non-pharmaceutical remedy for anxiety disorders. They say that this study ‘suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, deep sleep helps reduce such stress. The findings of this study are published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
Symptoms of anxiety disorder
There are many symptoms of an anxiety disorder. The most common are panic, fear and a general feeling of uneasiness. You may experience sleep related problems. It becomes extremely difficult to stay calm. Your palms and soles feel cold and sweaty and you may get tingling feeling too. Other symptoms include a shortness of breath, palpitations, dryness of mouth, a feeling of nausea and dizziness. Your muscles also tend to become tense.
If you have any symptoms, you must consult a doctor immediately. He may recommend anti-depressants, which are known to help in such cases. He may also ask you to go in for psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
What you can do to manage your anxiety disorder
It is not that difficult to manage a anxiety disorder. Though it can severely restrict a person’s normal activities, you can easily manage your symptoms. If you have this condition, stay away from stimulants like tea, coffee, carbonated beverages, energy drinks and even chocolates. Choose healthy food options and eat a lot of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Make sure you exercise regularly.
Go for a walk or a jog around the block. Walk small distances instead of taking the car. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. All this will stimulate the production of chemicals in the brain that lower stress and improve mood. Make sure you sleep well. Sleepless nights will make your condition worse. If nothing works, consult a doctor.