A Holistic Approach to Sleep, Pain, and Anxiety

Sleep. It’s a wonderful remedy for so many ailments and an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle. There are numerous studies and seemingly endless research into the benefits of proper sleep, and all tend to point toward a similar conclusion – it’s good for you in ways few if any other things can match.

Unfortunately, not all of us are always able to get quality sleep or enough of it. A busy, stressful lifestyle is a common culprit that can disrupt sleeping habits on a daily basis. Other issues, such as anxiety and pain are exacerbated because they can also negatively impact your sleep. Examining the connection between these two common afflictions and their relationship with your sleep can help anyone struggling with them improve symptoms – and some shut-eye along the way.

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A Holistic Approach is Key

A holistic approach to improving sleep, anxiety, and even pain is essential for sustained improvement and continued relief. The solution is not the same for every individual, and while some products and treatments may help, there is no single answer to these issues. A healthy diet, steady exercise, and positive lifestyle choices are important to treat anxiety alongside other mental health disorders and play a role in quality sleep and pain management as well.

Lifestyle changes such as identifying your triggers for worry or panic can help you on a path towards improvement. Stress is another major culprit of anxiety and working to keep stress levels at a manageable level is also critical to help with anxious feelings. Taking a few breaths when you feel overwhelmed and making sure to spend a little quiet time in nature are simple steps that can really pay off.

Chronic pain demands the attention of qualified medical professionals. But mild forms of pain can also be addressed at the holistic level. Pain caused by inflammation can be improved with a healthier diet. Non-habit-forming pain relief such as CBD and herbs can decrease the risk of dependency and lead to eventual healing rather than a potent pain-killing coverup.

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A little mindfulness goes a long way to help with all of these conditions as well. By reflecting inward and taking time every day to focus on your breathing, you can promote relaxation and healing while limiting stress and anxiety. Meditation is something everyone can attempt while talking to a professional is of great benefit for anyone with more serious afflictions.

Anxiety and Sleep

Anxiety is a common affliction that has many causes in our modern world. Most of us have experienced anxiety at least on a mild level, and even a small dose of the spinning thoughts and worry it causes can upset sleep. Others experience anxiety on a much more severe level, with around 20% of Americans suffering from a diagnosed anxiety disorder. These disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias, and PTSD, among others.

Insomnia is a common symptom of people suffering from these anxiety disorders. As many of these disorders are directly associated with mental health, the same symptoms of worry, panic, and obsession can directly impact sleep. One study indicates that hyper-arousal, basically overactive and uncontrolled thinking, is the biggest contributing factor to modern insomnia. Some forms of anxiety seem to have a worse impact than others on sleep, but the connection between the two is evident.

Anxiety can not only prevent you from falling asleep, in can affect the quality of sleep you do get. Your sleep cycles can be disrupted, preventing you from feeling rested and refreshed, even if you are asleep for hours. What’s worse is that a lack of sleep, in general, can lead to anxiety – especially for those who are already susceptible to it. This creates an endless loop of poor sleep and anxiety that can be extremely difficult to escape.

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Pain and Sleep

Pain is another common affliction that directly impacts sleep. If you’ve ever suffered even a minor injury, rolling the wrong way in bed can suddenly awake you. If you suffer from chronic pain, the struggle to get quality sleep can be an everyday affair. Pain statistics are similar to anxiety – just over 20% of Americans deal with chronic pain. A good number of these people also have a sleeping disorder as a result.

It’s not difficult to understand how pain, whether chronic or mild, can impact sleep. People with more mild pain can struggle to fall asleep and may wake up a few times throughout the night as a result. Chronic pain sufferers can be plagued by poor sleep as a result of their condition. One study looking at sleep and pain showed that consistent waking throughout the night was the most frequent complaint of individuals dealing with chronic pain. The steady discomfort caused by pain results in limited stretches of deep sleep which affects the sleep cycles and disrupts how rested you feel.

Sleep is an essential part of how the human body repairs and restores itself. When dealing with chronic pain or injury-related pain, a lack of sleep can slow down the healing process and create another cycle of problems.

How CBD Can Help

Ongoing research and more mainstream use of CBD reveals that the cannabinoid may help with both anxiety and pain. Studies have indicated that CBD can help with sleep itself and assist those who have insomnia. This combination of benefits reveals CBD’s potential for anyone dealing with anxiety, pain, and sleeping problems. More research and a better understanding are essential for definitive proof, but things are off to a good start.

CBD shows the ability to reduce the severity of people suffering from both anxiety and trouble sleeping, according to this 2019 study. Participants in the study saw both their levels of anxiety and difficulty falling asleep fall while taking a 25 mg dose of CBD. Interest in CBD for anxiety treatment has been gaining steady traction, with some surveys indicating that 41% of cannabis users who suffer from anxiety stating that CBD was more effective in treating the conditions than other medications.

CBD also shows some promise in helping treat and manage pain. While its effects on chronic and severe pain seem to be limited, CBD does have a few properties that stand out in other types of pain. CBD can increase a pain regulating compound in the body called anandamide while also possessing anti-inflammatory properties.

When looking at the science and anecdotal evidence combined, it’s easy to see the potential beneficial impact CBD can have on anxiety, pain, and sleep. All of this, alongside little chance of side-effects, makes CBD a treatment worth exploring for a growing number of people.

Understanding the connection between sleep, pain and anxiety, is very important. Equally as important is adopting a wide-arching approach that aims to improve afflictions associated with these factors.