Friday, November 25, 2011

Chronic Anxiety and Insomnia - Symptoms, Causes, Effects and Treatment Options by Paul Stevens

Chronic anxiety and insomnia, when experienced together, can be a frustrating condition. Stress and worries are both the cause and result of insomnia. If you are stressed and have some sort of worries or fears, you will have great difficulty in getting sound sleep during the night, and if you have sleepless nights, it will only lead to further anxiety. The actual symptoms and the intensity of this problem may vary from one patient to another, but the basic characteristics usually remain the same, including the treatment options. Following is a brief rundown on the various aspects associated with the condition.


There is a wide array of psychological and medical factors that can lead to chronic anxiety and insomnia. Psychological causes may include obsessive thoughts, nightmares, a recent traumatic experience, panic attacks, excess stress, depression and worries. On the other hand, gastrointestinal upsets, restless leg syndrome, pain conditions, narcolepsy and sleep apnea are some possible medical causes.


Some common symptoms that indicate that you are suffering from anxiety-related sleep disorders include hyperventilation, breathlessness, throat pressure, headache, tingling, dizziness, panic, nausea, stomachache, trembling and shaking, and accelerated heart rate. A thorough diagnosis of the actual causes however is very important because these symptoms may also indicate the possibility of a severe disease, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or even Alzheimer's disease.


If the condition of chronic anxiety and insomnia is left untreated for a long time, it may lead to an array of serious problems, such as a significantly reduced quality of life, poor judgment, poor cognitive function, reduced alertness, low concentration, memory loss, fatigue and pain syndromes, and an increased level of anxiety and depression.

Preventive Care and Treatment Options

The good news is that this condition, even if it is in a chronic stage, is completely curable if you use the right treatment option with the right approach. You can start with self-care, such as engaging in some kind of physical activity (that you enjoy) for a couple of hours before you go to bed; not engaging in stressful activities just before bedtime; sleeping in a dark, cool and quiet environment; and following a set schedule for sleeping.

These self-care tips have been very effective in treating chronic anxiety and insomnia. But, if these measures do not work, you may go ahead and try some natural therapies as well, such as lifestyle changes, switching to a more balanced diet, relaxation, aromatherapy and biofeedback. There are some psychological therapies also available out there, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. You can get this therapy in either an individual or a group setting, according to your preferences. The last option is to consult a doctor and try medication. Antidepressants, beta-blockers and anti-anxiety drugs are some commonly prescribed medications in this regard.

However, there are a few things that you must consider carefully before you choose a specific therapy or start taking certain medications. First of all, you must undergo a thorough diagnosis because the treatment must be based on the actual source that is causing the chronic anxiety and insomnia. So, you may want to consult your doctor first. But yes, there is nothing wrong in trying the self-care tips as explained above - they do not have any side effects.