The Connection Between Anxiety and Insomnia

October 9, 2012 Natalie Jeanne Champagne

Mental illness is often connected to anxiety and its best bud insomnia. Often, it is believed to be a concurrent illness--connected to the primary diagnosis-- bipolar disorder for example. In my life it is hard to separate anxiety from insomnia. They invade my life together. Sometimes they hang around for a night or two and leave me in peace, and sometimes they signal something bigger. Relapse.

An Example of Insomnia and Anxiety...

I had a heck of a night on Friday. A night that slowly became a morning and effectively knocked me on my ass for a couple of days. First, my life has recently become a little stressful and I don't deal with stress as well as I should--though I try. Very hard.

I fell asleep at 12 a.m. Pretty normal for me. A book resting on my chest, my kitten sleeping beside my face, and my glasses on my nightstand. I woke up at 1:30 a.m. Also normal. I am completely weird in that I have a penchant for eating yogurt at random times when I wake-up. But I could not fall back asleep. Soon it was 4 a.m., 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.

When I cannot sleep I become anxious. The feeling of anxiety, the racing heart and spinning mind and glancing at the unforgiving clock, keeps me awake. And this is how anxiety is connected to insomnia. Without the anxiety I could surely sleep. But I start thinking. I worry. What if this means I will relapse? I am certain people can relate to this fear and it's hard to sleep when you are analyzing your entire life. I hate anxiety.

But sometimes a sleepless night is just a sleepless night...Right?

Monitoring Your Sleep as Part of Self-Care

Yes, often it is. People without a mental illness have sleepless nights. Life can be stressful, no arguments here, but when you live with a mental illness you need to take personal inventory.

Ask yourself:

"Have I been feeling depressed?"

"Has anything changed in my life that would cause me anxiety and insomnia?"

"Has my energy level shifted?"

And so on and so forth. Ask those you spend most time with if you have acting a little off. Often, they notice before you do. Make an appointment with your doctor just to make sure. That's part of self-care and that's important. A night full of anxiety can be just that or it can be more. In my case, that night remained just one night and I am thankful for that, though still a little wary and in need of a nap!

APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2012, October 9). The Connection Between Anxiety and Insomnia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

Jim Gibson
June, 25 2018 at 5:11 am

Life is really stressful so many people experience anxiety. The human brain cannot sustain every impact life brings. A good support system is needed. Medical cannabis can also help.

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