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The Sleep-Anxiety Conundrum Report


Literally everyone is experiencing anxiety and sleep disturbances in this fast-paced modern life. Nearly 4% of the world population suffer from anxiety at different levels. That’s approximately 320 million people. BUT. Does anxiety cause sleeplessness? Or does lack of sleep cause anxiety?

The relation between sleep and anxiety is a bidirectional one. Meaning anxiety can cause sleeplessness and lack of sleep can cause anxiety. But how do we know that? We explored several studies to understand this complicated relation. And we found out some exciting facts related to the relation between sleep and anxiety.

Alora presents: The Sleep-Anxiety Conundrum Report

In this Sleep-Anxiety Conundrum report, we have analysed various studies which were conducted to understand the relation between anxiety and sleep. It turns out, even sleep deprivation can cause you to feel anxious.

Our objective is to present those findings in a cohesive manner so we can better understand how we can tackle sleep and anxiety issues. Plus, there is a helpful way mentioned in the end which can help you sleep even if you have anxiety or sleep disorders!

Upon learning about these facts and data related to the complex relation between sleep and anxiety, we are determined more than ever to help you get a good night’s sleep!

Isn’t this a worrisome trend?



What do the numbers on anxiety look like in the U.S.?

Being one of the fastest developing countries, the number of adults affected by anxiety does not look good in the U.S. Young adults are seen to be more affected than older adults.

  • 19.1% of the U.S. population suffers from anxiety disorders..
  • About 32.3% of the adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety and depression symptoms.
  • And about 49.9% of these adults are aged between 18 and 24.
  • Nearly 31.1% of adults in the U.S. have experienced anxiety at least once in their lives.
  • And what about sleep disorder in the U.S.?

    Sleep disorders in the U.S. are a prevalent health concern, affecting a substantial portion of the population. Among these, insomnia, sleep apnea and narcolepsy are some of the most common ones. However, it’s not always so severe. Sleep deprivation occurs temporarily as well.

  • One third of the U.S. adults do not get the required amount of sleep.
  • About 14.5% of adults have trouble falling asleep every day. 
  • 54% of adults have reported that stress and anxiety are the most common problems affecting sleep.
  • Top 3 Sleep-Anxiety trends explored

    After looking at studies conducted to understand the complex relation between sleep and anxiety, we have found 3 common trends.

    Sleep-Anxiety Trend #1: Sleep disorders are more likely to occur in people with anxiety


    Many studies have found that anxiety does affect sleep and people with anxiety disorders are at a high risk of sleep disorders like insomnia. Meaning people with anxiety have a higher chance of experiencing sleep disorders. Here are some of the studies that have supported the fact that anxiety causes you to lose sleep.

    Key Findings:

  • People with a high risk of insomnia have reported anxiety.  
  • 21.7% of the total participants at high risk of insomnia are found to have anxiety. The subjects are all adults aged between 18 and 69.
  • People who were more satisfied with their sleep quality generally showed lower levels of both state and trait anxiety. The subjects of this 2021 study, The Relationship Between Anxiety Levels, Sleep, and Physical Activity During COVID-19 Lockdown, were adults aged between 18 and 55 years.
  • 50% of adults with anxiety are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances like insomnia. Also, lack of sufficient sleep can worsen this condition. This 2022 study, Sleep and Anxiety: From Mechanisms to Interventions, also claims that sleep disturbance is one of the core features of anxiety disorders.
  • A study in Psychiatry Research has found that people with anxiety are 5 times more likely to suffer from sleep disorders.
  • Do you think you would remember these stats the next time you are anxious?



    Sleep-Anxiety Trend #2: Poor sleep can worsen anxiety


    Inadequate or disrupted sleep can intensify feelings of restlessness, nervousness and worry. In short, cause you to be more anxious. If you already suffer from anxiety then getting poor sleep can further worsen your condition. However, it does not mean that lack of sleep will always cause anxiety. But are more likely to worsen your condition. Here are some of the studies which have unearthed what poor sleep can do to your anxiety.

    Key Findings:

  • In this 2013 study,Tired and Apprehensive: Anxiety Amplifies the Impact of Sleep Loss on Aversive Brain Anticipation, lack of sleep has increased reactions in some parts of the brain which are responsible for causing anxiety disorders.
  • In this 2020 study, Insomnia symptoms and short sleep predict anxiety and worry in response to stress exposure, poor sleepers are more likely to be affected by Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) during times of stress.
  • Another study by the American Psychiatric Association has also proved that poor sleep can increase chances of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
  • Getting just one hour less than the optimum amount of sleep is associated with 60-80% higher odds of mental health issues like anxiety.
  • In this 2012 study, Evaluation of the relation between quality of sleep and anxiety among university students, was conducted to measure sleep quality and anxiety levels among employees found that a decrease in sleep quality was associated with increase in anxiety levels.
  • One of the major reasons for high prevalence of anxiety among this young adult population is poor sleep.
  • Sleep-Anxiety Trend #3: Sleep and Anxiety share a reciprocal relationship


    As we had mentioned before, sleep and anxiety share a reciprocal relationship. And one can cause the other. We already know that poor sleep can affect our mental health. And these two share a close association with each other. Here are some of the studies which have tried to understand this reciprocal relation between sleep and anxiety.

    Key Findings:

  • In a study conducted in Sweden, A bidirectional relationship between anxiety and depression, and insomnia?, sleep and anxiety share a bidirectional relationship where insomnia can cause anxiety in the future and anxiety can cause insomnia in the future.
  • Poor sleep in adolescents can alleviate anxiety and anxiety can be controlled by having a proper good night’s sleep.
  • Insomnia and sleep quality were bidirectionally related to anxiety or depression. Childhood sleep problems can highly increase chances of anxiety and depression in adulthood.
  • There’s one thing we’re sure of and that is, getting a good night’s sleep can prevent most kinds of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

    Haven’t we normalised being anxious?

    One thing is for sure, anxiety has become a part of our lives and we use the term “anxiety” quite casually each time we’re describing our mental health. It’s like we’ve accepted and normalised anxiety. Being anxious has become the new norm. Now, most of the time we can’t help being anxious. We’ll always face certain situations that’ll make us feel anxious. Yes you can tone it down with yoga, meditation and other lifestyle changes. But sometimes we can’t really control it.

    Anxiety just creeps into our lives like an unwelcome guest. The next thing we know, we’re losing our precious sleep because of anxiety. It’s mental health we’re dealing with. And the sad thing is we lose sleep and we don’t even realise why. But the good news is, sleep technology is here to help you get a better sleep.

    Can’t Sleep? Here’s a solution accepted by a million+ people

    You might not be able to always control feeling anxious. BUT. You can always control your sleep! Whether you’re facing any mental health issue like anxiety or not, it is important to get a good night’s sleep. And you can always have one!

    Remember when we were young and our loved ones would read our favourite stories to help us fall asleep? And within a few minutes, we’re snoring! Well, you can do it as an adult too! Alora app acts as your loved one to tell bedtime stories and a great number of people around the world have benefitted from these.

    At Alora, we have bedtime stories specially created to help you fall asleep faster and get a good night’s sleep. And wake up the next morning feeling fresh and well rested!



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