The mechanism of sleep depends on two factors: tiredness from staying awake and mental alertness. The first factor is mostly physical. The more work and activity that is engaged in during the day (or night) the more tired you become. The longer you go without sleep the more tired you get and the easier it is to sleep. The second factor depends largely on your state of mind. The feeling there is something important you are doing or waiting for will keep you awake. When you feel bored, lazy, or free you tend to fall asleep easily. Also, the threat of danger or a promise of excitement can easily keep you awake. This is why kids find it harder to sleep the night before a special occasion or during festive seasons. The anticipation of excitement will keep sleep far away.
The second factor, mental alertness, is also affected by anxiety. Both of them are related to the state of mind, they also share similar neurochemicals. People with anxiety disorders find it hard to sleep because the feeling of anxiety mimics a present danger. It doesn’t matter that the threat may be absent or insignificant. There are a few tips and ‘‘sleep hygiene” techniques that can help you sleep better.