When Anxiety and Insomina Become Bedfellows

Last updated: August 2022

There is no reason to beat around the bush. I have anxiety. Lately, it’s been almost to the point of crippling me. Worry has colored my days for a while now, and it has completely overtaken my nights. I know very well that my mental health is important, but I am at a real loss with this. The insomnia just serves to magnify every worry and anxious thought I have bouncing around in my head. Sleepless nights are wearing me down, and it is happening at a rapid pace.

Anxiety with insomnia

I have always worried, but this is in an entirely different ballpark. When I lie down at night, the thoughts I tried all day to shove aside get bigger, louder, and meaner. I can feel my pulse quicken, my chest tighten, and my body tells me I need to take a deep breath or 2 in order to stop this runaway train. I can’t say that I have ever had a panic attack, but I am beyond positive that this is how they begin.

What helps anxiety with insomnia?

Deep breathing

Deep breaths help – a little. It’s a temporary fix, but it brings me back to center if only for a few moments. I wish I could say I had the answer to getting from this point to a deep, relaxing, take-me-away-from-it-all sleep. I don’t.

It is a struggle every single night. The thoughts are fast and come in a jumble, and none of them are helpful or conducive to calming down. I spend hours trying to clear my head and breathe in a pattern that continues in a circle – a vicious, horrible loop of thoughts that tell me everything will, indeed, not be okay.

I have had insomnia for a long time now, but these anxiety-ridden nights are new and frightening. As badly as I hate to say it, I would take my normal tossing and turning over this living nightmare.

Do medications work?

Taking medication is something from which I have always tried to steer clear, but I have to admit that Benadryl and melatonin have been on my mind a lot lately. Benadryl doesn’t do much, and shouldn’t be taken for this purpose, but I have had some truly desperate nights.

Melatonin helped me in the past, but when I take them several nights in a row, seriously odd things happen in my head. My thoughts are already racing due to the anxiety, but I start to have the most random and sometimes startling mini-dreams. They are brief and totally disconnected. It’s as if my brain is flipping through the channels at a frantic pace. Not being able to control this feeling, as you can guess, only ramps up my anxiety.


I typically try my best to offer hope in my articles. Techniques, routines, and even bed arrangements all top my list of things I have tried in the past to deal with insomnia. This time, friends, I am coming up empty.

How to cope?

What do you do for your anxiety? How in the world do you cope when it’s time to sleep and worry has been your norm all day long? I would love to hear your thoughts. They have to be better than mine.

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