The Relationship Between Social Anxiety And Insomnia


Sometimes your anxieties can gnaw at you like a pebble in your shoe. Then the next thing you know they are keeping you awake at night. — Joseph Cardillo Ph.D.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is sometimes correlated with social anxiety disorder. In layman’s term, insomnia is the condition wherein a person either has a hard time going to sleep or not having that enough sleep.

For people with chronic insomnia, they experience sleeping problems most of the times. However, there are those that encounter insomnia as a result of a current mental disorder. Because of this, it is sometimes hard to define if you have insomnia or your sleepless nights is due to the current mental health disorder, such as social anxiety disorder, you have. It is hard to diagnose that medical professionals would have a hard time sorting through it. But whichever of the two, still, the result end is the same, and that is putting the affected person in lousy shape. And that changed how he functioned at school or work.

Social anxiety disorder and insomnia, up until this moment, has no cure and a great number of the people affected by the two conditions remained untreated.


Indicators That You Have Insomnia

As it is universally known, insomnia is the condition wherein people are experiencing difficulty in falling to sleep. And that leaves the person sleepless and feeling tired the whole day. Not getting that much-needed sleep result to the following:

  • Having difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up now and then
  • Waking up in unexpected times and not returning to sleep

If these symptoms are present in your current dilemma, then, there is a huge probability that you are suffering from social anxiety disorder as well. And that difficulty in sleeping has to do with your anxiety with the people around you.

How To Assess If It Is Insomnia

Insomnia can be assessed through a self-rating questionnaire that has something to do with your sleeping habits. This questionnaire will ask about the quality of your sleep, the problems and the length of time that you have been suffering from it.

Another tool that can be used is called the sleep log. This is a compilation of your sleeping behavior for a certain of time. This diary-like log is filled in by the patient for some time, and the doctor will analyze the entry to detect the sleep patterns and even the possible cause of the sleeping dilemma.

Getting good sleep can be a challenge for many, yet sleep is truly a vital component to life. — Megan MacCutcheon, LPC

Insomnia Treatment

Insomnia is treated through therapy and medication. It can be either of the two or both.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-1) – This kind of therapy is said to be very useful especially for short-term chronic insomnia. However, this kind of treatment is not always available. The patient under this kind of therapy undergo the following:

  • Regular weekly session (usually five days in a week)
  • Cognitive restructuring, stimulus control, sleep restriction therapy and psychoeducation.
  • Sleep parameters were imposed
  • Gains maintained at several months right after the treatment
  • Dysfunctional beliefs and sleep anxiety
  • CBT results are incorporated into people with SAD

Below is the common medication for insomnia:

  • Melatonin agonist
  • Nonbenzodiazepines
  • Tricyclic antidepressant
  • Benzodiazepines

Other patients resort to acupuncture, yoga and bright light as treatment for the said condition but none of these has a direct claim to be the cause of insomnia recovery.

The blue-green wavelength of the light spectrum is the most important wave to depress melatonin, the sleep hormone that is released upon exposure to dark. This is why watching television, reading late, or working on the computer, (all of which streams the blue-green light directly to the brain via the eyes) is stimulating and contributes to insomnia. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP


Is There A Link?

A study revealed that people suffering symptoms of two kinds of mental health disorder, anxiety and another, has a significant chance of suffering from insomnia.

People with a social anxiety disorder were found to be dissatisfied in terms of their sleep and experience impairment and were distressed because of sleep problems.

However, underneath all these, it was found out that depression has something to do with the said conditions.

Other Factors That Can Cause Insomnia

Insomnia was found to not only caused by anxiety, but there are other factors that can cause the said condition.

  • Restless Legs condition
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cardiovascular ailments
  • Thyroid
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Neurological disorders
  • Medications
  • Bronchodilators
  • Psychostimulants

How To Cope With Insomnia

Since there is no exact cure for insomnia, medical professionals could only suggest tips on how to cope or lessen the said problem.

  • Do not have long daytime naps
  • Lessen night meals
  • Do not get into rigid exercise before going to bed
  • Lessen your screen time
  • Lessen the brightness in your room
  • Make your room as quiet as possible
  • Have a regular and disciplined time in going to sleep
  • Have a waking up the schedule every morning
  • Have a strict bedtime routine
  • Have a sleeping habit that enables you to relax completely
  • Don’t allow yourself to be in bed awake for more than 10 minutes. If you are still not sleepy do something else than be in a stationary position and thinking in bed, and not sleeping
  • Lessen caffeine intake
  • Have a relaxing room temperature
  • Make sure your mattress is comfortable
  • Make sure that the clock is out of sight

If you are having problems with your sleeping patterns, then it is best that you consult a physician and tell him everything so that he can come up with the right recommendations.