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18 Ways to Deal with Anxiety Insomnia

Oct 3, 2017 | Lifestyle, Wellness | 6 comments

How to deal with anxiety related insomnia

A few weeks ago I posted on Instagram about having issues with sleeping related to my anxiety. It seems I’m not alone with my issues and I loved the advice lots of you shared with me so I wanted to pass on the love incase you find this helpful too. (I won’t share with you the comments from two of my ‘friends’ making fun of me…who needs enemies, hey!)

I really enjoyed reading these, and although I hate that so many of you struggle to sleep or suffer with anxiety too, it did make me feel better to know that I’m not alone.

I’ve partnered with Sealy, the biggest bed brand in the world, to share some of the best tips;

1. Repeat a mantra – lots of you talked about having something you repeated to yourself to make yourself feel better. Usually these were along the lines of ‘nothing I can do right now will help, I’ll be better off dealing with this tomorrow morning’ to avoid stressing out at bedtime.

2. Listen to music to relax

3. Switch your brain off by listening to a podcast or audiobook. Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter seemed to be a fave!

4. Get naked/cool off – lowering our body temperature can help your body shut down and go into sleep mode.

How to deal with anxiety related insomnia

5. A comfortable bed – the right mattress firmness for you and good pillows. We have created the most incredible sleeping space that makes me feel so safe. I was sent the Select Response pillow from Sealy that’s designed to respond to your body temperature and honestly the combination of the new pillows with our ErgoFlex mattress has been life changing. My headaches are better, I’m less restless once I’m asleep and don’t wake up with any aches/pains from sleeping weirdly.

The bedding in my parents house is seriously old, and we’d been using hand-me-down mattresses, pillows, duvets etc for so long that I didn’t realise what a difference it makes. Did you know that you should replace your pillows every 1-3 years? I had no idea!

6.. Pillow spray – so many of you recommended a scented pillow spray such as Neals Yard lavender Good Night Pillow Spray or the This Works pillow spray.

7.. Reading a book – getting off your phone, winding down and expanding/switching off your mind with a good book.

How to deal with anxiety related insomnia

8. ZMA supplements (zinc, magnesium and B6) or melatonin supplements

9.Meditation – a lot of people recommended the Headspace app, or The Relaxation Response book.

10. Essential oils and Neals Yard Remedies night time roller balls.

11. A bath to relax and increase then lower your body temperature.

12. Watching TV – this works for Tom every time sadly it doesn’t work for me. A couple of people said they watched David Attenborough for his dulcet tones.

13. Clean bed sheets.

How to deal with anxiety related insomnia
14. Deep breathing – focusing on your breath, practicing that weird yoga breathing that everyone hates, regulating your breath and heart rate. A couple of people recommended the 4-7-8 method.

15. My psychiatrist Dr friend recommended the sleep hiegene sleeping checklist which she refers a lot of her patients too.

16. Drink a pre-bed herbal tea.

17. A pre-bedtime yoga routine. I used to love my Yoga Nidra on a Sunday evening, it really helped with the Sunday blues! Try this one from Yoga with Adriene.

18. Utilise a wake up light to help ease you into sleep (and awake) – I love my Lumi light so much. Read more about my love for mine here.


This blog is written in collaboration with Sealy


  1. DDtop

    Having Fibromyalgia sleep is a real issue with me as getting to sleep and staying a sleep as we have get hot while a sleep as have our thermostat not working right! plus you can wake so many times during the night that you wonder whats going on! but also you can be falling over/off your perch yet go to bed and wide awake along with reastless limbs! If really bad next day feel like been run over!
    But best thing ive found is proper decent quality cotton bed wear ive some hotel qualitity ones so decent thickness so make the bed from fresh so all pulled out/tucked in with pillow shook up etc and once into bed you will be wow so comfortable!
    Avoid poly cotton like the plague the non cotton part will make you hot&irritated why many don’t sleep so well.
    Also heating off long time before bed and open windows as heating dries the air and fresh air makes you sleep far better

    My pillow cases are the oxford type so can get 2 pillows into them so decent size as 2 singles for me don’t work as i fight with the bed turn over often so everything ends up anywhere! so minimum amount of parts is best!

  2. Jenny| Running On Life

    I’ve struggled with this the last couple of months and I have found that reminding myself the I can’t control what’s happening by I can control how I react to it helps me calm down. Also the breathing thing and finding things that I can feel and can explain like I can feel my sheets, they feel soft and warm and light… makes you kind of feel safe.

  3. Liv's Larder

    Yes to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter! This is what gets me through my marathon training long runs too. Great post with lots of new ideas to try out.

  4. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    I’ve had the worst trouble sleeping lately! I’ve been doing yoga at night and I think it helps. I am also one of the new Women’s Running bloggers so I thought I would reach out and say hi!

    • charlotte

      Hi – thanks for stopping by! So sorry you’ve been struggling with sleep – it’s such a nightmare. Glad yoga helps!

  5. Pervinder

    Hi Charlie,
    Another useful technique to deal with anxiety is ‘Progressive Muscular Relaxation’, especially if anxiety is associated with a lot muscular tension.
    This technique, which is well described on the internet, really helps to ease tense muscles and reduce anxiety.
    I found at University that a simple glass of Horlicks or warm milk prior to going to sleep helped with insomnia related to exam anxiety.


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