Nervous restlessness and sleep disorders – Lexicon for medicine and health

Nervous restlessness and sleep disturbances

When nervous restlessness disturbs your night’s sleep – what you can do about it

Everyone has probably felt it at one time or another – the inner restlessness that leads to a considerable loss of concentration, a significant increase in nervousness and many a sleepless night. The affected person could also go nuts over every little thing, they are so irritated. But how does this inner unrest arise?

What is nervous & inner restlessness?

Inner restlessness is not a disease in itself and often it can have very simple, passing explanations. Fear of an exam , a job interview or another important appointment can lead to inner unrest in advance.

After this date at the latest, however, it will be over again. In some cases, however, the inner restlessness is difficult to combat and has deeper causes. Stress at work or in private life, whereby the inner unrest is then conceivable as a sign of possible depression or a burnout syndrome . Excessive caffeine consumption can also be the simple explanation for this nervousness and lack of concentration .

While there are simple explanations for nervous restlessness, it should not be taken lightly when it is prolonged and not related to a specific situation. Then the following diseases must be considered and a doctor must be consulted:

Alcohol , drugs and medication or the withdrawal of medication can also be the causes of nervous restlessness.

Regardless of what the cause is, inner restlessness is rarely the sole symptom. It is often accompanied by palpitations and tachycardia , tremors , sweating and fatigue . Despite tiredness, however, insomnia also occurs .

A vicious circle that urgently needs to be broken, because if you haven’t had enough sleep and can’t give your body the rest it needs, it’s difficult to return to a healthy state. Due to the tension during the day, however, it is difficult to get some rest at night. The resulting tiredness makes the following day a torment again.

10 tips to fight inner turmoil

So that the night does not have to be turned into day and so that trivialities are not reacted to aggressively and annoyed, the person concerned can use a few tricks to combat the nervous restlessness at least to the point that regular sleep at night can be considered again.

Investigate the causes

Basically, the inner restlessness is a sign that something is wrong with the body or the psyche . The first way to combat this is to find the reason for the unrest. Especially in the area of ​​mental stress, excessive demands on oneself are often the reason for stress symptoms such as restlessness and insomnia. Here it is then a matter of taking the pressure off yourself and accepting that some goals cannot be achieved in the way the person concerned intended. You really drive yourself “crazy”, especially when you have deadline pressure or a self-imposed workload.

Here it is now necessary to deal with the corresponding situation and to set new limits and goals in order to be able to take the burden off yourself. Even if there is deadline pressure, the person concerned must allow themselves time to calm down and sort their own thoughts – because only then will they be fully operational again and able to perform their usual work.

This also applies to inner restlessness due to exam anxiety or stage fright : if you put yourself under too much pressure, you will usually always be disappointed in yourself. It is better to approach a situation calmly and serenely in order to then surprise yourself.

Relaxation exercises

To calm down again – especially before going to bed – relaxation exercises are ideal. A simple and straightforward exercise is as follows: sit on a soft cushion on the floor, relax your arms and legs, close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Under no circumstances should you think about problems, but about something nice like a holiday on the beach, the hearty laughter of your own child, the unalloyed joy when the dog gets a pat or the memories of a past, nice trip with friends or family. At this moment, everyday worries should be completely forgotten for a short time.

Conscious breathing exercises are also good ways to return to inner peace. Here, for example, the hand is placed on the lower abdomen and inhaling and exhaling deeply, with one’s own hand moving through the breath – this usually has a very calming effect after repeated repetition.

If small exercises don’t help, a corresponding course could be a good compensation. Autogenic training is particularly good for combating nervous restlessness and for grounding yourself in general. Jacobson progressive muscle relaxation can also be considered. Here, for example, all the muscles in the body are tensed for a short time, so that there is a pull, but not a cramp . Afterwards, you can consciously enjoy the relaxation .


Exercise helps many people to calm down. This can take place in a sports club or gym, while possibly finding a new hobby and new friends at the same time. Jogging, walking and cycling are particularly good and can easily be done outdoors.

In addition to the required exercise, the affected person can get some fresh air and enjoy nature. People who are less sporty and who do not enjoy strenuous physical activity can simply go for a walk and thus also get the exercise they need. Furthermore, swimming is a sporty and calming activity that creates a good balance and can thus nip inner unrest in the bud.


As simple as it sounds, many people find music to be the perfect way to relax – just lie on the bed, listen to your favorite tune and forget about the rest of the world for a while. Classical music or music specially designed for relaxation exercises is recommended at this point, but sometimes loud, fast music works wonders. Which music is used in individual cases is therefore a matter of taste.

Calming tea

It has already been mentioned that caffeinated drinks should be avoided if you are feeling restless. Accordingly, black tea is also not recommended. Calming teas, on the other hand, can actually be effective before bed and help you fall asleep.

A mixture of passion flower herb, valerian root and peppermint leaves two to three times a day is conceivable, and black nettle and chamomile tea also have a calming effect. However, if you do not like the pure tea taste, you should definitely avoid sweetening with sugar. Because sugar has a stimulating effect and is therefore going in the completely wrong direction.

It is better to sweeten the tea with honey syrup. Incidentally, many calming teas are easy to make yourself – has the right instructions for this .

Pay attention to the diet

Caffeine and sugar – especially in large quantities – are taboo when someone is suffering from inner turmoil. But fat, nicotine and alcohol should also be avoided if possible, since these substances encourage nervous restlessness and insomnia rather than prevent them. A large glass of buttermilk, on the other hand, can work wonders.

Acupressure: Stimulating the “heart 7” pressure point

Acupressure not only helps with various pains , but also with anxiety. The corresponding point in this case is the pressure point “heart 7”. To do this, the wrist is bent slightly towards the forearm. The corresponding acupressure point is directly on the crease on the inside of the wrist, the treatment is carried out by gently pressing and circling for about one minute. This method works particularly well when anxiety and restlessness are acute and can therefore also be used shortly before going to sleep.

Relaxing bath before going to bed

Anyone who owns a bathtub at home knows that a full bath can be pure relaxation – also in the fight against inner restlessness. However, bathing should not be too hot. A water temperature of 38° Celsius with a room temperature of up to 21°C is ideal for a relaxing bath. Valerian, hops, lavender or hay flowers are recommended as bath additives.

However, it should not be exaggerated: the bath should last no more than 20 minutes, in order to then be able to rest in bed, wrapped up warm. Accordingly, something should also be actively done in the bedroom to help you relax. The following guide offers tips on this . For example, the choice of blanket, pillow and mattress can have a major impact on how well you get a good night’s sleep.

Homeopathic Treatment

Not everyone wants to turn to the pharmaceutical industry right away for insomnia or anxiety. It doesn’t have to be, there are various homeopathic remedies that promise improvement.

Examples include: Aconitum D12 for restlessness, insomnia, anxiety and palpitations. Gelsemium D30 for stage fright, fear of flying and inner cramps. Coffea D30 for nervousness, insomnia and cardiac restlessness.

Chamomilla D30 for nervousness, mental fatigue, moodiness and hypersensitivity. Cocculus D6 for nervousness due to lack of sleep. Although these remedies are fairly risk-free, they should not be taken without first consulting a professional.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for inner unrest

Consult a doctor

However, if all this does not help, the restlessness and insomnia persist and a real cause cannot be determined, you should not be afraid to go to the doctor. This will subject the affected person to a physical examination, measure blood pressure , take a blood sample and possibly carry out other tests such as computer tomography to get to the bottom of the cause of the symptoms and to rule out certain clinical pictures.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.