(Rozalyn Frazier/ Real Simple) — For something that seems like such a natural part of life, getting adequate sleep isn’t always as easy as laying your head on your pillow, closing your eyes, and drifting off to dreamland. And there are nearly 70 million Americans who suffer from sleep disorders to prove it. Many of whom struggle specifically with sleep anxiety.
“[Sleep anxiety] is a lay term that most closely fits a diagnosis referred to as psychophysiological insomnia,” says Virginia Runko, PhD, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist and psychologist in Washington, D.C.
“It’s characterized by physical and cognitive manifestations of anxiety that are caused by and can cause trouble sleeping.” In other words, it’s characterized by common anxiety symptoms that interfere with you getting sleep, including racing thoughts, worrying specifically about sleep, and dreading going to bed, fearing it will be an unpleasant experience. (…)