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SpongeJake t1_iu9x5ng wrote

Seems to be a vicious chicken-and-egg circular thing. The more anxious, the less ability to regulate one’s bed time, resulting in less sleep per night. Lack of sleep enhances anxiety and around the merry-go-round we go.

It’s been said - though I don’t have any links to any studies on it - that meditation can help break that cycle. It certainly has for me, and I’ve suffered anxiety and panic attacks. Feels like the anxieties are at bay, but ready to pounce if ever I stop meditating, so it’s a needed daily exercise.


magueuleenstock t1_iuahqi5 wrote

Stopped meditating recently after doing it everyday for 5 years. Anxiety has been slowly creeping back, and my sleep is getting utterly fucked.
I'm pretty sure meditation is the key to 90% of my mental problems at the moment, but one of them is task paralysis, which also includes meditating... Damn that brain...

Edit : people interested should definitely check out the vipassana method of mindfulness meditation. They also offer free 10-day meditation courses, but that's quite extreme, though immensely valuable.


KyleGamma t1_iubw4bx wrote

Why did you stop?


magueuleenstock t1_iucs1y4 wrote

Scheduling conflicts since I was doing it before sleeping, even though I used to do it no matter where I was. It helped me tremendously with a depression I was battling at the time.
Easy to do when I was single, got more lenient when I was not. Missed a session here and there, it obliterated the habit.


BaconComposter t1_iubvd44 wrote

I just run and listen to music so it puts me in the mental space.


Imafish12 t1_iuc1ajo wrote

Running or lifting weights is my mediation. For 60-90 minutes I think about nothing other than my weights, distance, or what song to listen to.


lurkerfromstoneage t1_iuce8ao wrote

I completely agree with all of you that exercise is incredibly helpful but I also believe that we need a couple or multiple “tools” in the box to use for centering/grounding/peace. Because we aren’t always going to have the ability to hit the gym or go for a distance run sometimes (sick, injured, no gym access, poor weather, spending important quality time with loved ones, travel, etc whatever the case may be that’s restrictive)- so instead of being anxious because you can’t do the one anxiety-reducing activity, more skills are developed to select a different mind calming activity that’s helpful. You know? I checked myself on this years back when I began to recognize I felt super out of sorts and emotional when I couldn’t exercise - that’s when I had to reevaluate and pull back so I wasn’t “addicted” because I realized I had “relied” on the gym to be there for me as The Best outlet. I still work out absolutely. But I use the gym plus other movement (like even yard work, dancing, yoga and stretching, going for a walk with a friend, bike rides with my SO, etc) along with mixed meditation, music therapy, +++ and am much happier, less anxious and more involved in life instead of seeking refuge in the gym. (not saying your experiences are mine!!) Just my 2c.


EcoMika101 t1_iuchh7i wrote

I searched YouTube months back when I just could NOT go to sleep. “Sleep guided mediation” or “anxiety sleep meditation” and videos by Jason Stephenson or Lauren Ostrowski Fenton are great. Lauren is English, a very calm and soothing voice. She has body scan meditations we’re you close your eyes and focus on your feet, maybe point and flex your toes, feel the weight of your feet on whatever you’re laying on. Then move up to the knees etc. it’s a good way to connect w the body and what you’re physically feeling, taking deep breaths and being present


Photomancer t1_iubxpu6 wrote

I like wearing my stinky workout shirts because they put me in the mood to exercise!


tarnok t1_iucqyqb wrote

What kinda meditation


magueuleenstock t1_iucssns wrote

I started with just sitting down a pillow, knees confortably below my hips, eyes closed, breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth (though I just used my nose after a while).
Focused on the feeling of my chest calmly moving as I breathed. Every thought that crossed my mind was allowed, however I would not be allowed to develop it. I would just refocus on my breathing.

Some sessions would be only thoughts, some would be alright. Didn't matter, I just had to do it every day. I even started a decoy meditation habit at one point when I was overly stressed : I would start meditating for 30s, then stop, write down every "important" thought I just had to empty my head, and then start the real meditation.


dittofire1 t1_iuabamn wrote

Do you have any recommendations and/or videos for someone like me who suffers from anxiety and sleep issues but has never meditated and doesn't know how?


SpongeJake t1_iuac7pq wrote

I would love to, but perhaps not here, as this isn’t the place for anecdotal stuff (despite my doing so). There’s a simple 15 minute meditation that I use (it’s on YouTube) which I’d be willing to share with you via chat. In my case, I used the video for a month or two, then began doing it on my own without the meditation guidance.


Adventurous-Text-680 t1_iub8exa wrote

I got you. While I am not sure what YouTube video you are using, deep diaphragmatic breathing to reduce stress is a very studied topic. This is a big thing for athletes because stress can also be due to arousal that occurs during hard training.

All you need is something to help you learn the breathing pace and then you are good to go. Some sports watches and smart watches can even use biofeedback to help guide you.

The basic concept is 6 breaths per minute with 5 second inhale and 5 second exhale. This should be continuous breathing with no pause holding your breath or pausing on exhale. You should be using your diaphragm. Some studies change up the number of breaths per minute, but overall it's pretty similar.

Some research to read: While this is a research white paper and designed to be related to sports performance, they have plenty of cited studies and information on how deep breathing exercises help reduce stress.

Below are a few more.

Article examining bunch of studies to show deep breathing can help insomnia

Study showing reduced anxiety and better sleep for nurses who were dealing with COVID outbreaks. This study had limitations with no control group and being somewhat self reported.

Study about deep breathing helping reduce stress

Each of the linked articles and studies have even more cited studies to review about the effect of deep breathing on stress and the asymptomatic nervous system. So plenty to read and explore.


rosetacks t1_iuafzkv wrote

Hey dude can you forward me that YouTube video as well? I struggle with this too :(


SpongeJake t1_iubxv01 wrote

I’d love to, but I can’t seem to find a way to contact you on chat to do so. When I try, Reddit tells me I can’t send messages to you. So….if you perhaps can message me I can reply back with the info. Cheers!


whAteverbr0 t1_iuajox5 wrote

Does it matter at what time you meditate? Can you do it during the day for the positive effects on sleep later that night or do you have to meditate just before bedtime?


BenevolentVagitator t1_iuat64e wrote

Not the person you asked but meditating in the morning is pretty standard and I think it has still helped me at night because it just generally keeps the anxiety level down overall. Also, being practiced at it means you are more likely to be able to do it to go to sleep if it would help on the spot.


Blaze7zx t1_iuay8er wrote

Would highly recommend the Medito app, it’s free and you can start small with 2-5 minutes guided meditations and build up from there!


nahtorreyous t1_iub66uh wrote

Try writing everything down that's bothering you like an hour before your bed time.


dittofire1 t1_iubozwc wrote

Oh yes I've been told to do this by friends before but never really gave it a shot. I will start to try this tonight!


RadiatorHeatKnob t1_iuajd7o wrote

If you use an Android, I'd recommend the 'Simple Habit' app, I found their 'On The Go' section really useful whenever I need to meditate.

When I last checked their Apple version had a different layout and wasn't as useful, but that may have changed!


Pretty_Answer8921 t1_iubb5du wrote

Headspace, a meditation app, has a ton of tutorials and guided meditations. They even have some to assist in falling asleep. I find it extremely helpful for my anxiety and difficulty falling asleep.


Ignighttheday t1_iuaks3d wrote

I do nightly affirmations by kissandra on YouTube. Quick 5 mins of saying nice things and breathing. Creates a ritual and separation between wakefulness and sleepiness.


angrathias t1_iuc450w wrote

Do this quick and dirty one. Deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth. 10 seconds breathe in, 10 seconds hold, 10 seconds breathe out. Repeat 5-10 times. Only concentrate on your breathing/lungs, your heart beat and the counting.

Do that in the morning, afternoon and night, every day when you have a spare few minutes. Enjoy less tension.

I also do it for a shorter period of time when something specifically is triggering me and I need to chill and release some tension from the jaw/neck.


GiganticTuba t1_iuc7byq wrote

There’s lots of great apps out there. I did the Headspace intro meditations. It’s 10 guided meditations that gradually introduce you to it. Most of their stuff you have to pay for, but I believe the first 10 intro videos are free.


jl55378008 t1_iua9j3s wrote

I had major anxiety the year before COVID. Started attending meditation groups hosted by a local Buddhist sangha. I was going 2-3 times a week. It helped so much it's hard to even explain.

The groups started doing meetings on Zoom during COVID. I just can't get into the headspace at home, especially during a zoom meeting. So I fell out of practice and my anxiety came back.

I keep telling myself I need to get back into the habit, but it's hard to find the time. Hence, the anxiety.


bunnyguts t1_iucckwm wrote

I’ve never been medicated for anxiety but I do have sleep issues that result in nighttime rumination (or vice versa, who knows). When sleep issues are untreated I’m generally much more stressed and anxious. So I treated sleep, and it means I’m also much less anxious as my mind isn’t locked into an anxious loop for hours an evening. I found an over the counter treatment that works for me (doxylamine). You shouldn’t take it chronically but my GP and sleep doctor approve it in my case and it’s probably got less side effects that a lot of mood stabilisers or sedatives.


V_es t1_iucioag wrote

Neurological problems come first. My wife had issues with nerves in her arms and spent 2 weeks in a hospital with anxiety over her arms feeling numb, lost sleep. Doctors said many times that sleep comes when everything else is healed and you don’t need to treat sleep issues first.