How to Overcome Sleep Anxiety in 5 SIMPLE Steps

Devin Burke, Sleep Science Academy founder, author, and guide to a better night’s sleep, poses five simple steps to overcome sleep anxiety.

Overcoming sleep anxiety is one of the biggest hurdles to solving insomnia and naturally restoring our sleep cycles. In this video, you’ll learn how to overcome sleep anxiety in 5 simple steps.

  1. Recognize and identify the thoughts that create anxious feelings
  2. Get curious to shift out of a state of resistance
  3. Allow
  4. Practice acceptance
  5. Seek support

Step 1 – Recognize and Identify

Before anything happens in our body, it first happens in our mind. Eventually, anxious patterns can initiate in the body and trigger the mind, or these thoughts can happen so fast that you are unaware of them. It can feel as if anxiety comes out of nowhere, but it’s actually fear of the future.

We need to identify the thoughts creating this anxiety about sleep to get back to what is the present. Right now, you may be thinking, “Oh my God, if I don’t sleep, I’m going to lose my job. I’m going to lose my health. How much longer is this going to go on for? Is there something wrong with me?”

These types of anxiety-producing thoughts are prevalent. You will want to take an inventory of what those specific thoughts are.

  • Do you feel something is wrong?
  • Are you afraid you may lose a job or relationship? 

Whatever it is, most often, these thoughts are unproductive and not based in reality, but instead, catastrophized.

Still, we need to identify these thoughts because step one is to recognize we are having those anxiety-inducing thoughts and that they exist.

Step Two – Get Curious

Being curious is crucial to solving sleep anxiety because if you are not curious about these unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, you may be in a state of resistance. If you are not curious, open, and willing, it will be very difficult for you to shift out of anxiety.

Paradoxically, shedding anxiety starts when you accept it and get curious about what you’re experiencing: the physical sensations, the racing mind, the racing heart, and your thoughts creating those sensations.

Step Three – Allow

It sounds counterproductive, paradoxical, and difficult to comprehend, but accepting those anxiety-producing thoughts and beliefs is essential. Our clients at Sleep Science Academy often take a couple of weeks to embody acceptance and not merely cognitively get it.

Step Four – Practice Acceptance

Acceptance is genuinely being okay with what is without any emotional charge around it, but we often resist what is. We oppose the feelings of anxiety, a racing heart, and a racing mind. 

We resist the sweating or uncomfortable feelings that come with anxiety, the physical body sensations. And since we are in a state of resistance, what we resist persists, anchoring that pattern in our body.

You get off this vicious cycle, this anchoring in your body, by accepting it. You allow it to be there. You get curious about it, and all of this takes practice because it does not come naturally. 

Truly accept the moment even if it’s uncomfortable and not what you want rather than wanting it to be different or trying to escape that moment and the painful thoughts or feelings that create resistance.

You may think you get it, but you know you really get it when you feel the anxiety and uncomfortable sensations yet are also at a place of peace.

As I like to say, the feeling of acceptance in the body is similar to how forgiveness feels. If someone wrongs you and you harbor resentment, judgment, hatred, or whatever towards this person, and you can genuinely forgive them, it can feel like shedding a weight off your shoulders.

You may still be uncomfortable and have some harsh feelings towards them, but when you forgive them and truly accept the reality, it can feel like a lightness in the body, even when you’re uncomfortable.

Step Five – Get Support

This concept is a simple one:

  • Identify the thinking.
  • Get curious about those thoughts and feelings.
  • Fully accept whatever it is that’s happening.

While we might think we get it cognitively, only when we embody it can we be present and feel that sense of lightness, of ease. And all of this can be hard to do without support, the kind of support we provide daily at Sleep Science Academy.

This strategy is one of the many we use in our programs to help people overcome years and even decades of chronic insomnia.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety is a significant driver of insomnia, a worry about the future that our mind can blow out of proportion, keeping us from the peaceful sleep that we need. Reducing or eliminating that anxiety is essential for your peace and overall health.

By taking these five simple steps to gain control over your racing thoughts and practicing them faithfully, you can reverse the scourge of insomnia. But, doing this by yourself is often overwhelming and seldom successful.

The Sleep Science Academy Difference is our science-based, uniquely empowering, and successful Dynamic Sleep Recalibration (DSR) program that incorporates numerous science-based methods and techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).

Each client works with their professional certified holistic health/sleep coach, who selects specific tools and techniques to craft an individual treatment plan for their situation.

If falling asleep quickly and sleeping through the night to awaken refreshed and ready to face the world sounds like an impossible dream, contact us today to schedule your complimentary sleep consultation with one of our certified sleep coaches.

Discover how you can leave those sleepless nights in the past for a lifetime of restorative rest and productive, enjoyable days.