Anxiety is on the rise in America. According to a poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (2018), almost 40% of Americans are more anxious this year than they were last year. Americans reported their sources of anxiety were largely due to safety, health, and finance concerns. This is not surprising given the result of the 2016 presidential election. Under the Trump Administration, it is understandable why anxiety might be on the rise. His policies reducing gun control pose threats of increased domestic gun violence and/ mass shootings. His tweeting of insults directed toward other powerful leaders and discussions of nuclear weapons pose a threat to national security. His immigration policies and anti-immigrant rhetoric have caused a surge in hate crimes and pose a threat to the ability for legal and illegal immigrants to continue living in America safely. Further, his efforts to repeal Obamacare, increase concerns regarding affordable healthcare options. During this uncertain time period, it is understandable that people are exhibiting not only anxiety symptoms, but also symptoms of sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders are comorbid with anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders can cause sleep disorders, and new research suggests that chronic sleep disorders, such as chronic insomnia, can also lead to anxiety disorders (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, n.d.).
If you, or a loved one, is an immigrant experiencing sleep problems and/or underlying anxiety it is important to seek help to treat sleep disordered symptoms. Treating sleeping problems can improve quality of life and reduce anxiety symptoms significantly. Working to treat problematic sleeping patterns can help boost energy, work performance, and focus, while decreasing irritability, forgetfulness, aggression, impulsive behaviors, and depression (Phillips, 2015). Additionally, treating problematic sleeping patterns can improve your physical health. Maintaining a proper sleep schedule with little-to-no sleep disruptions throughout the night decreases risk for the following conditions: heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, n.d.). Dr. Joseph Giardino is a bilingual psychologist with advanced experience working with immigrant populations. The cognitive-behavioral techniques he utilizes to help clients improve sleep quality have strong empirical support.