#41 Stop Insomnia! Operation Sleep: (Part 2) Anxiety & Excessive Worry Impacting Your Sleep

Stop Insomnia! Operation Sleep: (Part 2) Anxiety & Excessive Worry Impacting Your Sleep

In this second part of Stop Insomnia! Operation Sleep, Dr. Drew speaks about 3 main reasons how excessive worry and anxiety are impacting your sleep and sixteen recommendations of how to help end chronic stress and worry to get better sleep.

1:20 – Dr. Drew explains what Limbic Kindling is and how it affects your brain and sleep. Excessive worry and anxiety, if not taken care of, essentially wears out the emotional part of the brain. High anxiety creates inflammation. This kicks in limbic kindling which then blocks adenosine, a chemical found in the brain which is referred to as sleep drive, and also offsets circadian rhythm.

Chronic sympathetic overdrive impacts the sympathetic nervous system which means it will not allow the body to shut down. Therefore, sleep does not occur.

Because of limbic kindling, adrenal and mitochondria functioning is inhibited. This also leads to poor oxygen and fuel to muscles causing the feeling of restlessness.

5:05 – The second reason is that excessive worry causes the endocannabinoid system to wear down. This system is used to regulate stress, to feel safe, and to reduce fear. We need to increase CB2 to help aide this system.

6:35 – Excessive worry and anxiety impedes our brains to process narrative memories. This is the 3rd part Dr. Drew discusses. We continue looping memories when this happens. We are stuck in our emotional memories, thus preventing sleep.

7:50 – List of Recommendations:

  1. Eliminate stimulants – wean off caffeine slowly.
  2. Omega 3’s to increase CB2 and brain function.
  3. Any green foods to also increase CB2.
  4. Foods that are rich in pterostilbene. For example red grapes, almonds, blueberries and mulberries. Also to help increase CB2
  5. Check Thyroid – get labs done to check for any hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.
  6. Movement – recharge and use mitochondria (battery cells).
  7. Spice it up – use turmeric, black pepper and saffron to spice up your foods.
  8. Sunlight helps with circadian rhythm and regulates the nervous system.
  9. CBD – helps strengthen endocannabinoid system
  10. Limit alcohol.
  11. Free Associative Writing – part of your bedtime routine, write down whatever comes to mind until mind calms down. Rip it up and throw it away if you want.
  12. Plan for stressors
  13. DMN time – Default Mode Network – kick it in! Helps to get rid of external stimuli
  14. Bilateral Stimulation Music (look for the link in the notes below video)
  15. Pen exercise – “eye push ups” – hits vasal vagal nerve to help body calm down.
  16. Butterfly hug – bilateral stimulation – gets brain shifted out of emotional memory.

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