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How To Deal With Anxiety At Night

Set An Intention Early

Anxiety before bed? How to Calm Anxiety at Night

Many of us go from one activity to the next throughout our day without really considering how we are feeling, let alone how we would like to feel. For example, do you ever come home after a long day of work and think to yourself, I really want to relax and enjoy this evening?

Most likely you are far too busy or preoccupied to stop and ponder how you want your evening to be. However, by setting an intention early, you are more likely to get the results you want.

If you remind yourself each day that you are determined to have a peaceful evening, you are more likely to actually experience it that way.

Remembering to set an intention is easier when you mark a certain point in your day for it. For example, while driving home from work, you may be going over in your mind all the stress that you went through that day.

At a certain point during your drive home, such as when you drive over a certain bridge or pass a particular landmark, you can set the intention to let go of work stress from that point forward and enjoy the rest of your evening. Another option can be to set an alarm that reminds you to set your intention for a nice evening.

Regardless of what type of prompt works for you, get in the habit of setting your personal objective of how you want to feel each evening.

Create A Conducive Environment For Sleep

Image source: Pixabay

Create the right atmosphere for quality sleep, from the bed to your bedrooms lighting, temperature, and sound.

You are likely to drift off to sleep quicker if you sleep in a cool, quiet, and dimly light room. However, some people prefer some level of noise and light to fall asleep.

Do whatever works for you, making sure to create a sleep-friendly environment that will minimize tossing and turning all night.

What Does Nighttime Anxiety Look Like

Anxiety presents the same symptoms during the day and night, but it can feel more intense at nighttime when you are all alone with fearful and worrisome thoughts.

The common physical and mental symptoms of nighttime anxiety include:

  • Nagging headaches
  • Worrying too much about the future
  • Imagining worse outcomes for future events
  • Unsettling emotions

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Limit Caffeine And Alcohol Before Bed

Its common sense, but easily forgotten but drinking too much caffeine or consuming it later in the day can increase anxiety and impede sleep.

Having alcoholic beverages close to bedtime can also increase your heart rate which will keep you up, add the SleepSeeker experts.

Its best to drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay hydrated, however having too much water before bed could also mean increased toilet trips during the night which disturb your sleep too so its important to get this balance right.

But To Avoid Having Those Nights Altogether Treadway Suggests Developing A Sleep Routine That Can Help With The Transition From Day To Night

Pin On Health I Suppose

This might include taking a 15-minute shower every night, using lavender essential oils, journaling, and meditating. That way were more likely to shift into sleep, and to have better quality sleep.

Ill admit, this is an area I could improve. As a self-employed freelance writer, my bedtime routine often includes working until I feel too tired to type another word and then shutting the lights off and leaving myself alone with my broken thoughts.

But after over two decades of dealing with anxiety, I also know shes right.

The harder I work to take care of myself and stick to routines that help me relax, the easier my anxiety even my nighttime anxiety is to manage.

Recommended Reading: How To Not Have A Anxiety Attack

Ask The Right Question

What am I avoiding?

The grumpy cashier, my boss, a date, a family reunion? Ask yourself what you are avoiding and youll start to create the relationship with your anxiety. The information is there in the anxiety itself.

Simply sit and settle yourself and ask what you are afraid of. You can ask the question in different ways. Ways that make more sense to you like, Who scares me?, or What am I uncomfortable with?

You need to ask because most of the time what you are avoiding is unconscious. If it wasnt you wouldnt feel anxiety everyday and not know why.

You may or may not get immediate answers when you do this but do it enough and answers will come. Once you know what you are avoiding then the next step is to confront it.

Tell your boss you need a day off, even if they dont like hearing it. Go return that broken item you bought at Walmart and face that sour employee. Do what you NEED to do. Thats how you confront the anxiety. Youll feel nervous but go forth anyway.

Do this 1000 times over the next few years consistently and youll slowly see your anxiety diminish from the very first attempt. Note this you ARE going to screw up, chicken out and look weak some of the time, or even most of the time.

Thats okay.

As long as you continually move forward you are making progress, no matter how bad you look doing it.

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What Causes Anxiety Disorders

The exact cause of anxiety is unknown. In fact, researchers believe that there is not one single cause but rather an interplay of factors that include a persons genetics, family history, and exposure to negative life events. Some health problems and drugs can also contribute to symptoms of anxiety.

Also Check: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Anxiety

When To See A Doctor

Constant anxiety that makes it difficult to sleep at night can affect your daily quality of life. Your work or school performance may worsen, and you may find it hard to complete your normal daily tasks.

If anxiety and lack of sleep are affecting your life in this way, its important to reach out to a doctor or mental health specialist for help.

For some people, nighttime anxiety can lead to insomnia. Insomnia is defined as persistent trouble falling or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia can have negative health effects, including an increased risk of:

  • health conditions, such as high blood pressure and a weakened immune system
  • mental health conditions, such as depression
  • accidents

Whether your doctor makes a diagnosis of anxiety, insomnia, or both, reaching out is the first step in the treatment process.

Why Is Anxiety Worse At Night

Anxiety, Insomnia, & Night Sweats: How to Deal

Image source: Pixabay

It is normal to be anxious and worry a little the night before a big event, such as an important business presentation, meeting your future in-laws for the first time, or a job interview.

However, for someone with anxiety, the nighttime often comes with uncontrollable thoughts and worries about mundane things that most people wont consider a big deal.

But why is the unpleasant experience worse at night? Why does it seem that your mind tends to race more uncontrollably at night than during the day?

There are a few different reasons for this, including:

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Why Does It Happen At Night

Anxiety is a normal human emotion characterized by feelings of nervousness and worry. You may find yourself experiencing anxiety during stressful situations, such as a first date or job interview.

Sometimes, though, anxiety may linger around for longer than usual. When this happens, it can interfere with your daily and nightly life.

One of the most common times when people experience anxiety is at night. Many clinical trials have found that sleep deprivation can be a trigger for anxiety. Historically, research also suggests anxiety disorders are associated with reduced sleep quality.

Treating your nighttime anxiety and addressing your sleep issues are important steps in improving your quality of life.

There are many symptoms of anxiety. Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Symptoms can happen anytime of the day, morning, or night. Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • feelings of nervousness, restlessness, or worry
  • trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • gastrointestinal problems

Another symptom a person with anxiety may also experience is a panic attack. A panic attack is an episode of extreme and intense fear, often accompanied by physical manifestations. The common symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • a sense of impending doom
  • increased heart rate and chest pains
  • shortness of breath and throat tightness
  • sweating, chills, and hot flashes
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • a feeling of detachment, or like nothing is real

What Is A Night

People suffering from night-time anxiety attacks tend to get an anxious rush just as they are dropping off to sleep, or wake with a jolt in the middle of the night.

Anxiety attacks are frightening at the best of times but, when they occur unexpectedly in the silence and darkness of night time, they can be particularly hard to endure.

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Tips For Calming Anxiety And Sleeping Better

Fortunately, there are plenty of available techniques to help with anxiety and sleep loss. The American Psychological Association reports that anxiety disorders are very treatable, with individuals often reducing or eliminating effects of these conditions after several months of treatment. When managing chronic sleep disorders and anxiety, its critical to work with a health care professional who can take a complete view of your symptoms to make an accurate, specific diagnosis and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.

Some of the following tips can help you manage sleep issues and anxiety. For medical intervention and therapy, make sure to reach out to your doctor.

Tips For Beating Anxiety To Get A Better Nights Sleep

How to Deal With Anxiety At Night

Many people with anxiety disorders have trouble sleeping. That’s a problem. Too little sleep affects mood, contributing to irritability and sometimes depression. Vital functions occur during different stages of sleep that leave you feeling rested and energized or help you learn and forge memories. Sleep usually improves when an anxiety disorder is treated. Practicing good “sleep hygiene” helps, too. Here are some steps to take:

For additional tips and strategies for living with anxiety, buy Coping with Anxiety and Stress Disorders, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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How To Calm Anxiety Attack At Night

The bottom line

There are many reasons why your anxiety may be worse at night. Daily stressors, poor sleep habits, and other health conditions can lead to increased anxiety and panic attacks at night. However, there are many treatments available that can help ease your anxiety and improve your quality of sleep.

Using Relaxation Techniques To Overcome Anxiety At Night

  • 1Use mindfulness. A lot of anxiety comes from dwelling on the future or the past. Mindfulness keeps you focused on the present. This technique helps you relax by helping you let go of your worries. During mindfulness, you dont ignore or try to push away your anxieties. Instead, you identify them so you can be released from them.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • Get into a comfortable position in a quiet room. Close your eyes. Start by identifying your anxieties. Dont try to judge them, fight them, or even react to them. Instead, just think about them. Pretend you an outsider just looking at your anxieties.
  • Let the thoughts pass in and out of your head. Often, when you dont try to fight the thoughts, control them, or actively ignore them, they start to get stuck in your mind. By just looking at them and not engaging with them, you can just let them float out of your head.
  • Focus on your body in this moment. Think about how your breath feels going in and out of your nose and mouth. Focus on your five senses. What do you feel, smell, or hear?
  • Mindfulness takes practice. Dont be discouraged if your mind is all over the place the first few times you try it.
  • Start by tightening your toes. Curl them under your feet and hold for five to 10 seconds. Then slowly relax.
  • Next, tighten all the muscles in the feet. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Slowly relax.
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    Get Your Worries On Paper

    Calming an already-stirred up mind can be challenging, so also implement some calming practices before you even get into bed.

    Dr. Whitney Roban, a clinical psychologist and family sleep specialists number one piece of advice for people suffering from night-time anxiety is to keep a journal where you can write down all those clingy thoughts.

    When you get these thoughts out of your head and onto paper, there is a good chance they will not infiltrate your mind when its actually time to go to sleep, Dr. Roban says. Many people also like to make lists in their journal of the things they need to do the next day.

    Who Am I By Jason Kehl

    Nighttime Anxiety and How to Cope | HealthyPlace

    Who Am I? This is a question I have been grappling with since the beginning. Since the moment I asked for help. Since the moment I decided alcohol would no longer control me. I thought I was something when I drank. I thought I knew who that something was, but it got lost in the shuffle of drinking as much as I could each and every time I drank. When you take away a huge part of your life, whether it is negative or positive, there is a rediscovery that takes place. You are basically a new person and it takes time to discover who we really are. The question of “Who Am I?” has come up many many times as I work to find this new me. I feel like I am getting closer everyday, and everyday I figure more and more out, and I do like what I see before me.

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    More Sleep Less Anxiety

    Diagnosing and treating crippling anxiety and anxiety disorders should be handled by a physician or other healthcare provider. But anyone can take steps to improve sleep hygiene and adopt relaxation techniques that make it easier to calm down and fall asleep.

    And you donât have to go it alone! The RISE app will help you track your progress toward lowering your sleep debt, set up reminders for sleep hygiene habits, and guide you through relaxation techniques to help you ease into dreamland. Because when it comes to having the energy you need to win the day, there is no substitute for sleep!

    Put Your Phone To Bed

    Just say no to doomscrolling before bed the practice of taking in a barrage of bad news online. Give your phone a bedtime before your own, Dr. Albers advises.

    And if anxiety keeps you awake or wakes you up, resist the temptation to break this rule and start using your phone. Your phones blue light signals your brain to turn back on, ultimately making it even harder to get to sleep.

    This is a No. 1 no-no for helping you fall back to sleep, Dr. Albers warns.

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    When To Contact A Doctor

    Occasional anxiety is common, especially during times of stress. However, chronic anxiety is a medical condition that often does not get better on its own. Delaying treatment gives the anxiety time to spiral out of control, potentially affecting other aspects of a personâs life.

    A person should see a doctor if they experience any of the following:

    • anxiety that causes physical health problems
    • anxiety that does not respond to home remedies like exercise
    • anxiety that is so severe that the person is unable to sleep

    People should also contact their doctor if they experience a recurrence of anxiety while undergoing treatment for anxiety. The doctor may recommend adjusting or adding to the treatment plan.

    Preventing Anxiety At Night

    How to Fight Anxiety at Night
  • 1Stay busy in the evening. Often, the reason why people dont feel anxiety during the day is because they are busy. Work helps keep you distracted from your thoughts and anxieties during the day. At night, you may slow down and do nothing, which can cause you to start thinking about your anxiety. Instead, give yourself projects or tasks in the evening to keep your mind occupied.XResearch source
  • These tasks dont have to be stressful or strenuous. Read a book, wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, crochet, or put together a puzzle. Anything that helps keep your mind focused on something other than your anxiety.
  • Having nothing to do in the evening can lead to you getting lost in your head. This leads to increased anxiety.
  • Recommended Reading: Can Coffee Give You Anxiety

    What Causes Nighttime Anxiety

    A range of factors may cause or contribute to anxiety, including genetic factors, levels of certain chemicals in your brain, stress and your environment.

    Researchers believe that certain traits and events may increase your risk of developing anxiety at some point in life. Common risk factors for anxiety include:

    • Exposure to stressful or negative events during your early childhood or adulthood

    • Certain childhood personality traits, such as shyness or inhibition

    • A family history of anxiety or other mental illnesses

    • Physical health issues, such as heart arrhythmias or thyroid problems

    Unlike generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and other types of anxiety, feeling anxious at night isnt recognized by the medical community as a specific class of anxiety.

    With this said, several factors may make you feel more anxious at night, or make your anxiety symptoms more noticeable. These may include:

    • Fears or concerns about the upcoming day, such as worries about your schedule, an important event or a demanding workload.

    • Worries about not being able to fall asleep, or the effects that lack of sleep might have on your health and physical function the next day.

    • Caffeine consumption during the day, particularly if youve consumed a lot of caffeine during the afternoon or evening.

    • Health anxiety .

    Some anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder , are closely associated with nighttime anxiety and insomnia.

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