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Sleep anxiety: what is it and what are its symptoms?

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Has it ever happened to you that you are unable to fall asleep and feel restless? The truth is that insomnia due to anxiety is a problem that affects a large part of the population, and it is a number that is growing over time due to the current pace of life. Worry, stress, day-to-day problems, social pressures… make sleeping a complicated task.

Lack of sleep is usually linked to a loss of quality of life and health problems. In this article we will learn more about what anxiety insomnia is, what types exist, what symptoms it manifests and the most effective remedies to prevent it.

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H2: What is anxiety insomnia and what types are there?

Insomnia due to anxiety refers to the inability or difficulty in falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep and is generated as a consequence of the alert and activation responses sent by the brain. To know how to act, it is important to know what type of insomnia we are dealing with, as there are two main types:

  • Insomnia at the onset of sleep. This is caused by difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night. In this case, sufferers often have intrusive thoughts, worries, daily stress, etc. that make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
  • Insomnia in sleep maintenance. This occurs when sleep is not maintained throughout the night, but frequent awakenings occur in which it is difficult to fall asleep again.

H2: Symptoms of anxiety insomnia

Insomnia due to anxiety presents a series of symptoms that can vary from one patient to another. To learn how to diagnose this problem, we are going to discover which are the most frequent:

  • Nervousness. Nerves, stress or anxiety are the enemies of restful sleep.
  • Extreme tiredness during the day. Not sleeping, or not sleeping the recommended hours, causes daytime fatigue that can affect not only work and academic performance, but also mental health in general.
  • Irritability and apathy. Lack of sleep makes people more irritable and emotionally susceptible, an aspect that affects interpersonal relationships, mood and quality of life.
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention. If, as a general rule, stress already complicates the attention span, combined with a lack of sleep, it increases. This leads to difficulties in carrying out everyday activities.
  • Memory loss. Lack of sleep and nervousness directly affect memory, resulting in a greater number of absent-mindedness and forgetfulness.
  • Somatisation. Sometimes our body reacts to certain situations, for example, anxiety or nervousness can cause skin rashes, eczema, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches, among others.

H2: Remedies to prevent insomnia due to anxiety.

Anxiety insomnia can become a major challenge for those who constantly struggle with high levels of worry and stress. It is therefore important to address this problem with a holistic approach that includes remedies and practical strategies to promote and achieve restful sleep.


An effective tool to reduce anxiety and make it easier to fall asleep is to use relaxation techniques, such as meditation or breathing. This helps to reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, and thus prevent insomnia due to anxiety.

Sleep routine

Sleep problems are often caused by a lack of routine. Keeping a regular schedule for getting up and going to bed will teach the body and mind that it is time to rest. And, as far as possible, try to avoid radical changes in sleep schedules, even on weekends or holidays.

Avoiding stimuli before bedtime

Using screens in the hours before bedtime interferes with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Ideally, limit the use of electronic devices at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.

Creates an ideal environment for sleep

In addition to the above, it is also important to take care of the environment, i.e. the bedroom should be dark, pleasantly warm and quiet.

Exercise regularly

Sport helps to reduce anxiety and, therefore, it will be much easier to achieve restful sleep without night-time awakenings.


Sometimes, insomnia due to anxiety has to be treated with medication, always under the supervision of a doctor. However, an alternative is phytotherapy, using natural plant medicines such as valerian, lemon balm, lavender, melatonin, etc., which help to relax and reduce stress. Before starting any alternative treatment, consult a specialist to find out which is best suited to your particular case.

As we explained at the beginning of this article, insomnia due to anxiety is a sleep disorder that can hurt the quality of life of those who suffer from it. For this reason, it is especially important to remedy it as soon as possible and try different techniques and solutions to relieve stress. Remember that restful sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being.

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