One of the more disheartening aspects of generalized anxiety can be loss of sleep. The lack of quality sleep is not only a strain on our everyday lives, it can also contribute to the anxiety problem as a whole. So, here are some tips that can help you break the insomnia cycle.
For starters, begin each evening without the presumption that you are going to sleep that night. That may seem like you're putting yourself in the wrong head-space before the game, but, in fact, by doing this you are removing the pressure put on yourself to get the sleep that you crave so much. If you go into the situation with the mindset that sleep is a bonus, then you are less likely to be anxious about the idea of not sleeping. After all, if it's been an ongoing problem, another sleepless night will not be anything you're unfamiliar with. You do not want to try to force sleep.
Generally speaking there are two main reasons why people experience loss of sleep at night (other than the loud neighbors or snoring spouses, of course). Basically there is physical discomfort, and worry (or least the inability to stop thinking about … stuff). Our main focus here is the latter. No matter what is going through your mind as you try to sleep, soon the main issue is the frustration and anxiety experienced because of the lack of sleep.
One way to combat the issue of your racing mind is to simply give yourself a good physical workout relatively close to bedtime (I know … the last thing you want to hear). Circumstances permitting, an outdoor workout is even better. Of course, some of us have physical limitations that will hinder our ability to do this, but the more physical activity the better. If you're just plain beat, your body's exhaustion will likely win out over your brain's patience to stay awake.
Something else that is helpful is avoiding things like caffeine, nicotine, and even alcohol several hours before going to bed. I know, caffeine and nicotine maybe, but alcohol? To be sure, alcohol can help you get to sleep, but it often causes sleep issues after a few hours. There's nothing like waking up at 3:30 AM to use the restroom only to get back in bed and watch three more hours pass on the clock as you obsess about your inability to fall back sleep.
Also, do not be afraid to keep a log or at least a notepad by the bed to jot down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas as they go through your head. If your mind is crammed with angry thoughts and worries, it's good to get them out. By writing them down you accomplish a couple things. One, you simply release them from your brain. Two, you put your mind at ease because you know something that you may find pressing or urgent will be remembered the next morning, therefore releasing your brain from the responsibility of focusing on it when you should be sleeping.
Another good one is to try to stay awake. As you do, recall times when you simply had to stay wake and alert. It probably will not take much to bring back those memories and feelings of desperation to sleep. As you recall these times, imagine how fatigued your body felt, how heavy your eyes felt, and how all you could think of was getting into bed. You might even try telling yourself, mentally, that you need to get up right now and exercise or clean the kitchen. This can often do wonders in adjusting one's attitude about how comfy that bed really is.
Now, you might be saying “why not take a sleeping pill?” Well, that might work for you for a while, but at what point do you say “Dang, I can not sleep without these darned pills!” and start looking for permanent solutions?
Overall, the main point in combating insomnia caused by generalized anxiety is to not fight it. The more you struggle against it, the more anxious you become. Turn the tables on your own unruly mind and be free to be free.