Increasing Sound Sleep while Reducing Anxiety

Posted on 07/19/2022

Some kids battle with anxiety more than others, and insomnia is one of the many side effects which anxiety can have on a person. Lack of sleep, particularly in youngsters, may or may not be brought on by stressful thinking or worrying; instead, it could be caused by a drop in melatonin levels.

While a variety of events might reduce melatonin production, serotonin and other "feel-good chemicals" as well as adrenaline and other stress hormones are frequently to blame. Medicine can be used to alleviate those issues, but doing so requires some trial and error, because each person reacts differently.

In order to prevent problems from arising, it is important to identify relevant variables or triggers and develop better coping methods, because drugs often may have unwanted side effects.

Recording Triggers

What types of circumstances or "what if" scenarios worry your kids? Social events, academic difficulties, performances and competitions, or family conflict are examples of common causes. Many kids' overly demanding schedules or the peer pressure they daily face can overshadow the advantages of extracurricular activities. Even if the youngster is not particularly apprehensive or afraid of the events or activities that leave him or her "keyed up," a packed schedule that doesn't allow for "down time" might encourage a constant stream of stress hormones.

You will start to notice patterns as you track your child's hyperactivity, tantrums, and other anxiety symptoms throughout the day. You will be able to react to triggers in appropriate ways as you learn to recognize them.

Getting Rid of Extras

As you identify and address your child’s usual anxiety triggers, you’ll be able to create a plan to reduce certain opportunities for anxiety. This will help with assisting your child in navigating critical aspects of life in a healthy way that doesn't cause the fight-or-flight reaction to work against him.

If your child generally experiences both social and performance anxiety, the school day and dancing, acting or speech class would inevitably be ideal settings for stress hormones to soar. Perhaps you could enroll your child in a Saturday dancing class instead of arranging dance lessons right after school, or schedule the activity for the summer when stress from school is removed.

If dance or another extracurricular activity is your child's true passion, you might want to even consider alternate educational options like homeschooling or a different school with smaller class sizes.

Overcoming Fears

It's time to begin working through some of these fears once you've identified the specific worries or typical anxiety triggers and removed any extraneous items. Helping your child build and start climbing a "fear ladder" during the day will eventually help them feel less anxious.

However, intentionally beginning to work on conquering these fears can spike stress levels in the near term! It's crucial to sandwich difficult circumstances between comfortable, tranquil hobbies as a result. The best time to schedule situations that may lead to stress is early in the day, when there is still plenty of time for recuperation before bedtime. And we'll go into more detail in Part 2 regarding that bedtime.

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