Oddly Calm – Sleep Deprivation, My Old Frenemy

Oddly Calm - Sleep Deprivation, My Old Frenemy

Dear Friends,

Answer me this – does your anxiety ever calm down to pure serene silence simply because..that circuit seems to have flickered off, out of power after a sleepless night? Do you know what causes it, and whether this indicates anything about the nature of your anxiety disorder and most effective treatment? Me and my counselor are stumped; though she said she’d ask around and I thought, I might as well do the same!

We all know that on the long term, sleep deprivation makes our anxiety desperately severe – but so often I’ve fallen into unhealthy sleep patterns in order to experience calm in the short term.

In high school, this meant staying up into the wee hours of the night, when my mind as well as the house were quiet as a mouse, to study and write up homework. The downside to this of course is that I could not make up for all those lost hours sleeping during the day; my mind was calmer but also slower when sleep deprived. My emotional state worsened steadily and I’m sure my mounting sleep debt made matters worse.

Now, I see myself falling into something similar – studying and completing work day-of, just before class, after a mostly unproductive sleepless night, in the calm of a Starbucks armchair, with a steady stream of light roast in my coffee cup.

Sound familiar?

Let me know all about your experience in the comments!
🙂

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1 Comment

  1. You may find the link to a protein that is released the longer you are awake. Cells in your body produce Adenosine, it is a protein that is a neurotransmitter when in the brain. It can be found through out the body and has different effects there. In the brain it promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. Studies found that sleep deprivation can strongly reduce depression. Because it has a calming effect the same can be said with anxiety. The longer you are awake the more that is produced. But as soon as you do sleep the effects vanish.

    Short periods of sleeplessness will increase anxiety as you noticed, but entire nights with no sleep will have the opposite effect. A calming one.

    now, using sleep deprivation to reduce your anxiety is not the best choice.

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