Anxiety at night is just another type of anxiety because it is usually caused by the same factors. People who suffer from anxiety disorders commonly experience that their evenings are characterized by a general feeling of unease, worry, and apprehension.
Anxiety can prevent you from falling asleep at night, making your anxiety worse. So, it’s vital to overcome your sleep deprivation to feel rested and energized during the day to combat your condition and be more productive and happy.
Although addressing anxiety improves your sleep eventually, there are still ways to fix sleep issues to help you go through your anxiety-fighting journey. And this article assembles some useful tips for you to deal with nighttime anxiety.
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Sleep Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety over falling asleep is referred to as sleep anxiety. You could worry that you won’t be able to fall asleep or stay asleep. Additionally, a condition known as somniphobia, or fear of sleep, affects some people. They may believe they shouldn’t sleep because they need to be awake and on guard or that something horrible will happen to them while they are asleep. Some people experience nighttime panic attacks known as nocturnal panic attacks. Such panic episodes are brief periods of great dread.
You may experience the following physical and mental symptoms due to anxiety in the middle of the night.
|Psychological Symptoms||Physical Symptoms|
Causes of Sleep Anxiety
Our bodies release hormones that assist us in acting fast to avoid injury when we are under stress or anxiety. Your body may find it challenging to relax if the levels of these hormones are chronically elevated, especially before bedtime. You could have trouble drifting off to sleep and may end up waking up with anxiety in the middle of the night. An Underactive or overactive thyroid gland is another medical problem that can result in a slower/faster metabolism and insufficient/excessive thyroid hormone production in the bloodstream leading to anxiety and insomnia.
How to Calm Anxiety at Night? 10 Tips
These simple and natural techniques can assist you in calming your body and mind and easing yourself into sleep. Try them if worry or interrupted sleep are frequent occurrences in your daily life. It takes time and patience to change your sleep behaviors, but eventually, adjusting to these changes may help you fall asleep faster and sleep when stressed and anxious.
It has been proven that mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for managing anxiety. Do a mindfulness practice in the evening or before going to bed to eliminate your anxiety symptoms at night. Sit in a relaxed seated position and close your eyes to begin your meditation. Being present in the moment is the goal of mindfulness. Simply focus on your breathing as you meditate. Be aware of your breaths as you inhale and exhale them.
The added benefit of meditation is that it helps you control your breathing. For instance, when you’re anxious, your breathing tends to become faster, shallower, or irregular. On the other hand, when you breathe deliberately, your breath naturally deepens and slows.
Set Up Your Sleep Hygiene
The term “sleep hygiene” refers to a variety of behaviors required for high-quality sleep. Your mind will be less likely to spiral into anxious thoughts if you follow a schedule and practice good sleep hygiene regularly. The following habits may help you to sleep when stressed and anxious:
- Reduce screen time before bed
- Avoid strenuous exercise and large meals right before bedtime
- No coffee or alcohol after a particular period in the afternoon or before going to bed
- Keep power naps to 20 minutes maximum
- Maintain a cool and dark bedroom
- Develop a regular nighttime routine
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A good approach to letting your thoughts go is to put them in writing. Though it could be a fantastic way to let off steam, only concentrating on your day’s unpleasant and stressful events could make you feel even worse. So, try to maintain your attention on things that will make you feel more at ease and secure throughout your nighttime writing practice instead. You may, for instance, describe someone you love or a location that gives you a sense of security.
People who exercise regularly report sleeping better and falling asleep more quickly; it is an excellent method for maintaining good sleeping habits. However, refrain from strenuous activities at least an hour before going to bed. It is preferable to exercise in the mornings rather than in the late evenings.
Find Your Triggers
Being mindful enough and knowing your triggers and what is troubling you is a great skill. So, the next time you experience nighttime anxiety, be aware of your surroundings. What did you do immediately before you felt anxious? Did you consume any coffee? Who were you with? Knowing what triggers your anxiety makes your mind less anxious so that it is quiet, clear, and optimistic before you go to sleep.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
Laptops, phones, and tablets provide blue light that makes the brain believe the sun is up and inhibits melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our sleep and wake cycles.
To lessen sleep disruptions, try avoiding screens for one to two hours before bedtime. If you find it difficult to put your phone down before bed, you can use a blue light filter to reduce the amount of stimulating blue light.
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Use Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Evidence-based techniques like progressive muscle relaxation can assist your body in relaxing. The ideal position to perform PMR is on a comfortable surface. Start with your ankles, feet, and toes. Put as much tension as you can in this muscle group (but not so hard that it causes pain). Likely, your feet will slightly rise off the bed. Allow the muscles in this area to totally relax after tensing them for around 10 seconds. Let that muscle group’s tension dissolve completely.
Repeat this exercise for your legs, hips, abdomen, and other specific muscle groups as you work your way up to your body. Many people discover that they start feeling relaxed before they complete PMR.
Create a Soothing Environment
An atmosphere conducive to sleep should be calm, dark, and chilly. Your odds of settling your mind and drifting off to sleep quickly can be improved by adjusting the temperature, music, and light in your bedroom. It takes both visual design and practical setup, including lighting, music, and fragrance, to create a soothing environment for sleep. You may create the perfect bedroom for restful sleep by taking these factors into account.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Relaxing music can help you fall asleep easier by calming your autonomic nervous system, which causes slower breathing, a lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure. Find out what type of sound makes you feel more relaxed. For instance, while some people find the sound of running water comforting, others may find it annoying. Everything relies on what your body requires to relax.
Try Psychotherapy and Medication
One of the best methods to permanently overcome your anxiety is to seek counseling. One of the most successful forms of psychotherapy for anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy. It helps you become aware of and confront your unreasonable or worrying ideas. Anxiety alters our thinking and might lead us to believe untrue things. You can change your thought habits with the aid of psychotherapy.
Last but not least, many people who suffer from anxiety or sleep issues find relief from psychiatric drugs. To ascertain whether medicine is the best course of action for you, be sure to speak with your doctor. Before prescribing you any medications, your doctor will conduct an assessment of your symptoms and health history to find the most suitable meds and avoid the risk of abuse and addiction.
Anxiety at night can be really uncomfortable because you need to unwind to get rid of the fatigue from the day. However, those who have nighttime anxiety can employ a variety of techniques to deal with their issues. However, if you or your loved one struggles to sleep at night because of worrying thoughts, talk to a professional. An efficient online consultation for any of your questions is offered by MEDvidi. Connect with us to start your treatment today!