Living with anxiety is hard as it is, but for some people it gets worse when they go to sleep at night, rather, try to go to sleep at night. Anxiety at night can sometimes make you feel worse than ever, leading to you dreading sleep altogether. Something as normal as sleeping becomes one of your biggest struggles in life.
Anxiety makes you toss and turn constantly with a million thoughts running through your mind, with no intention of slowing down.
No matter how hard and tiring of a day you may have had, sleep just refuses to come, and you spend yet another night staring at the ceiling trying to make sense of all the intrusive thoughts racing through your mind. You try so hard to sleep, but those anxious thoughts beat you every time. You wake up every morning tired and exhausted, and like this, the vicious cycle continues.
But you don’t have to live like this, because there are a few things you can do that will make it a bit easier for you to handle your anxiety at night. Just a couple of simple things you can do that will relax you enough to have a good night’s sleep.
Here Are 8 Tips That Can Help You Fight Anxiety At Night
1. Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness.
Doing some relaxing and calming deep breathing exercises before going to bed can do wonders for your sleep. It relaxes your muscles and calms your mind so that you can have a deep, and proper sleep at night. And not just deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation can also help you tremendously in fighting anxiety at night. All these practices help in clearing your mind of all those disturbing and anxious thoughts, that make sleeping difficult.
Deep breathing exercises and meditation can help you clear your mind, focus on the present, and also help you practice detachment from all your fears and worries. So the next time, you feel your anxiety hovering over you, try any of these out for a few minutes, and see how better, calmer, and relaxed you feel. Regularly practicing these can help you control your anxiety to a huge extent.
Related: 7 Anxiety Remedies You Never Heard About
2. Listening to motivational podcasts and watching inspirational videos.
One of the biggest reasons behind anxiety is all the negative thoughts that keep on running through your mind. What if something goes wrong? What if I am not good enough? What if I can never fulfill my true potential? What if I am a burden on everyone? Questions like these always make you feel anxious about yourself and the future and make you question yourself relentlessly.
In order to make sure this does not keep on happening again and again, what you can do is listen and watch motivational and inspirational podcasts. It will not just help you deal with your insecurities, it will also encourage you to work hard and reach all your goals. It will help get rid of the constant stress you are in so that you can have a more positive approach towards things.
If you don’t feel like listening to podcasts or watching videos, you can also read books, as reading books before bedtime ensures that you fall asleep faster, and also makes sure that you sleep better.
3. Cutting back on your social media usage.
Scrolling through your social media for a long time before going to sleep, does not just hamper your sleep at night, but can also exacerbate your anxiety. Studies have found that excessive social media usage can affect your mental health, and have detrimental emotional consequences. If you keep on scrolling mindlessly through your social media, it can lead to you feeling more anxious than ever.
So, instead of depending on social media, focus on something positive before going to sleep. Reading, talking to your family, or watching funny, light-hearted things can soothe you, and help you have a good night’s sleep. Indulge in those things that will make you feel positive about yourself, and won’t trigger you and your anxiety.
Journaling is one of the best things you can do to keep your anxiety at bay, especially at night. Whenever you feel like your intrusive thoughts, worries and fears are overwhelming you or threatening to drown you, take a journal and write all of it down. Pouring your heart out and writing down all your thoughts can be cathartic. You might find it tough to express your fears to someone, but keeping it all in is also not the right thing to do, is it?
Writing everything down helps you to detach yourself from all the negative thoughts, and provides you with mental peace and clarity. It helps you acknowledge and face your worries in a more constructive way, and not just simply ruminate about them. Write all your feelings and thoughts down before going to sleep, and see how lighter you feel.
Related: 5 Powerful Steps To Calm Your Worry and Anxiety
5. Switching everything off.
One of the best things you can do to enjoy a good night’s sleep and also fight your anxiety at night is switching off all your electronic devices. Overdependence on electronic devices such as television, mobile phone, laptop, IPad, etc. has played a huge role in people making anxious, more than ever before. Scrolling through social media, obsessively checking emails, all of this hampers your sleep more than you think.
So, before your bedtime, make sure you unplug yourself completely from such things. Do things that will make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Do things that will make you feel more centered and grounded. Look within yourself and find those things that will make you feel happy, and will help you handle your anxiety at night; always depending on electronic devices is not the answer at all.
6. Avoiding caffeine before bed.
If you want to have a good night’s sleep without any anxious thoughts disturbing you at night, then you should avoid consuming caffeinated drinks before going to bed. Caffeine spikes up your adrenaline levels, leading you to feel more anxious and on edge. If you notice that caffeinated food and drinks are making you more jittery, then it’s a good idea to cut back on them, especially before you go to sleep.
Apart from coffee, other common sources of caffeine are dark chocolate, over-the-counter medications, cereals, and chocolate desserts. When cutting out caffeine, make sure that you do it gradually, as caffeine withdrawal can cause physical symptoms identical to that of anxiety.
7. Listening to your favorite music.
Music is a powerful thing when it comes to handling your anxiety at night. Music helps in activating the reward systems in your brain which heightens feelings of happiness and pleasure and helps in controlling stressful and anxious thoughts. There is a lot of research out there that says music is extremely beneficial for mental, emotional, and even physical well-being; music has the power to improve your immune system by reducing stress.
Listening to your favorite music before going to sleep can make you feel positive and help you unwind after a long day. It will also help boost your mood, and relax you, and help you fall asleep faster.
8. Going to sleep at the same time every night.
Going to sleep at the same time every day can help a lot when it comes to dealing with anxiety at night. Following a consistent sleep routine helps you stay mentally and physically healthy, and most importantly, keeps your circadian rhythm in check, so that proper sleep is ensured. The more you sleep at the same time, the faster you will fall asleep and this will help you keep your anxiety in check.
It is equally important to wake up at the same time every day so that your biological clock doesn’t get disrupted. It is crucial to keep your sleep time and wake time consistent, and this might even make you feel tired for a few days, but this will be beneficial for you in the long term by building up your sleep drive, improving the quality of your sleep, and helping you fall asleep faster.
Related: The 4 R’s of Managing Anxiety
Making these small changes in your life can help you a lot when it comes to handling your anxiety, especially at night. Sleep is very important for having healthy physical and mental health, so there’s no point compromising on it. Try these simple things out, and see what a world of difference it makes to your life.
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