How To Stop Night
Its been a long, tiring day and youre feeling shattered. Finally you crawl into bed, physically exhausted and ready for a good nights sleep only to find your mind has other ideas. Instead of drifting off into weightless slumber, your brain fires up, your pulse quickens and your head becomes crowded with endless worries you thought had been parked for the day.
Around 80% of people say their worries whirlwind out of control at night, says Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of support group Anxiety UK. With stress, we tend to worry about a specific, tangible problem. But with anxiety, were less aware of what were worrying about, so our reaction becomes the problem and we start feeling anxious about being anxious.
And even if we do initially drop off, those worries can still crowd in if we wake up during the night. The classic time to wake up seems to be between 2am and 4am, adds Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, author of Fast Asleep, Wide Awake. Suddenly your brain starts to became very active, and problems that may well be solvable during the day become huge worries at night made worse by the fact you cant sort them out there and then.
Heres what to do when your body says sleep but your minds not listening.
1. Sleep by the clock
When it comes to sleep, timing is everything, as Dr Michael Breus reveals in a new ground-breaking book. Our circadian rhythm also known as the biological clock affects every aspect of our life, including our ability to sleep well.
A Guided Meditation To Help You Sleep
I have found that this exercise helps, but Ive been forgetting one crucial part of my body: my face.
Focus on relaxing one’s eyes and face a common area overlooked when trying to relax, says Dr. Paul Coleman, a psychologist, motivational speaker and the author of Finding Peace When Your Heart Is In Pieces: A Step-by-Step Guide to the other side of Grief, Loss, and Pain. Imagine a simple relaxing scene to focus on. Keep going back to that image if your mind wanders.
Anxiety At Night: 12 Holistic Ways To Reduce It & Sleep Peacefully
Updated: | | This post may contain affiliate links. for our full disclosure.
Anxiety at night is SO frustrating! This post shares 12 holistic ways to reduce anxiety and fall asleep peacefully .
Youve had a long, tiring day, and you desperately just want a solid night of sleep to recharge before you wake up and do it all over again. Finally, you climb into bed and lay your weary body down, and close your eyes.
Instead of a peaceful drift into dreamland, though, you find your mind frustratingly revving like a motor.
The more you try to quiet your thoughts, the louder and more insistent they get. Anxiety starts to rear its ugly head and soon youre in flight or fight mode, your cortisol is spiking, you can feel your heart beating like a drum, and your body is anything but relaxed. With every minute that goes by the cycle perpetuates itself and sleep grows more elusive.
Ugh, what an utterly awful feeling of despair!
Of all the health struggles that fall through the cracks with mainstream medicine, anxiety at night is one of the most common and also one of the most deeply frustrating. Sleep is essential, and when it doesnt come easily or naturally life starts to unravel, as I know from personal experience.
Don’t Miss: Spoon Phobia
But There Are Psychological Reasons For Feeling Anxiety Post
For some drinkers, the hangover anxiety is almost as predictable as the pounding headache and queasy stomach, says Hafeez. The heart-racing, sweaty-palmed, antsy-stomach feeling is often related to worrying about the consequences of a blackout, or of being in a state of mind where there are holes in your memory and fears about things you said or did.
Thoughts of, what did I say to my boss?, or, did I approach the person I like? come flooding into your mind, and the anxiety surrounding what you said or did to embarrass yourself might be the culprit. Other times, Hafeez says, the hangxiety might not be related to anything specific, and might just be an overall feeling of uneasiness.
Sometimes, because people tend to use alcohol as a social lubricant, the anxiety comes creeping back in as soon as the alcohol starts to wear off. Anxiety and depression are often related to alcohol abuse, because the person has more anxiety when theyre not drinking rather than drinking, Koob notes.
In other cases, someone may still have anxiety when they are drinking, but according to Hafeez, just two drinks is enough to relax the brainat least temporarily, anyway.
How Do You Stop Panic Attacks At Night
Unfortunately, you can’t always stop panic attacks, especially if it’s a nocturnal panic attack that can happen during sleep without warning. However, you can learn to stay relaxed and “talk yourself down” by controlling your breath, practicing positive self-talk, relaxing your muscles, and seeking support from a friend or family member.
You May Like: Topographic Depression
Does Anxiety Go Away
For those people that are diagnosed with a legitimate anxiety disorder, the condition is unlikely to go away. Some people may be able to better control their anxiety disorder with the help and guidance of a therapist or psychologist, and medications may help further control the condition. There may also be specific coping mechanisms to help manage anxiety disorders, however, a permanent cure for anxiety does not currently exist.
For those that do not suffer from an anxiety disorder, but only have occasional or intermittent anxiety from time-to-time, this is normal and healthy behavior for many people. Temporary anxiety is likely to diminish over time, and if it is related to a specific place or person, removing yourself from those situations may help the anxiety go away after some time.
Take A Warm Bath Or Shower
Warm water and soothing scents help relieve sleep anxiety. If you dont have a nightly anxiety routine, be sure to include a warm soothing bath to help you relax and calm down. I recently got myself a bath set from Bath and Body Works called Perfect Peony and it has a sweet but not overwhelming scent that makes me feel so calm. You can also spray a bit of a body mist in your shower so that the steam from your shower releases its scent. This can work as DIY aromatherapy.
Also Check: Faint From Anxiety
Using Relaxation Techniques To Overcome Anxiety At Night
Use A Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are a type of heavy blanket that typically weighs between 5 and 30 pounds. Theyre known for producing calming effects by mimicking the feeling of a hug using deep pressure stimulation. Because weighted blankets can help increase serotonin and melatonin while decreasing cortisol, they have been shown to promote feelings of calmness and peacefulness.
Also Check: Fainting From Anxiety
How To Ease Anxiety: 5 Ways To Feel Calmer Right Now
When we’re anxious, our breath becomes rapid and shallow. Deep belly breathing helps decrease anxiety by stimulating the bodyâs relaxation response, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Itâs a powerful technique that works because we canât breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. There are many variations to try, including this simple exercise:
Inhale deeply for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Repeat several times.
Exercise is one of the best anxiety remedies, immediately and long term. Going for a walk creates a diversion from worries and releases muscle tension. Grab your headphones or earbuds on the way out:studies show that listening to music brings its own calming effects.
Long term, regular exercise triggers the release of feel-good neurochemicals in the brain, building up resilience against stormy emotions. It boosts confidence and mood, and we donât need to run a marathon to feel the benefits. Washing the car, hiking, gardening, a pick-up game â anything that gets us moving counts. Research shows that 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week can help to significantly improve anxiety symptoms, but even 10 minutes can make a difference.
Green tea, long used in Chinese medicine to treat depression, contains the amino acid L-theanine, which relieves stress, and reduces blood pressure and muscle tension.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Dr. Nikki Lacherza-Drew, licensed psychologist and owner of Vici Psychological Care, suggests engaging in proper sleep hygiene to help get better sleep. Lacherza-Drew says, If you have a routine and engage in appropriate sleep hygiene on a consistent basis, your mind will be less likely to go down the rabbit hole of anxious thoughts.
Sleep hygiene refers to various habits that are necessary for good sleep quality. To practice good sleep hygiene, Lacherza-Drew suggests:
- No major physical activity or heavy meals close to bedtime
- No caffeine or alcohol near bedtime or after a certain time in the afternoon
Other easy ways to practice good sleep hygiene include:
- Soaking up the morning sun
- Limiting power naps to 20 minutes
- Keeping your bedroom dark and cool
- Following a consistent bedtime routine
You May Like: Depression On A Map
Aromatherapy Diffuser And Essential Oil Set
Aromatherapy is a great self-care tool because its said to help improve pain levels and relieve stress.
In particular, while research is somewhat limited on essential oils, lavender oil is one thats generally considered a natural sleep aid. For example, one older study found that lavender increased the amount of slow and deep wave sleep.
Thats why this diffuser and essential oil set is a great tool to help you work aromatherapy into your nightly routine. Plus, the wood diffuser will look cute on your bedside.
Sense a pattern here? Products that give you something calming to focus on before bed are a great idea because they help take your mind off your worries.
Lighting a scented candle before bed is a great way to do that.
Homesick makes a whole line of candles designed to evoke the smells of your home state or specific memories so its pretty easy to find a scented candle that youll find calming.
How To Get Rid Of Anxiety At Night
I trynot to stay up late too much. Laying on my bed, looking at the ceiling unableto sleep always brings out the anxiety in me. More often than not, staying upmakes me burst into uncontrollable tears. These are my tips about how to getrid of anxiety at night.
Do you ever find yourself in bed unable tounderstand why you havent fallen asleep yet? Thats not all, your thoughtskeep spiraling out of control and you start panicking. You start experiencing apanic attack. Its all dark and your thoughts keep getting more and morenegative.
The night time always brings our fears out.Sometimes we see weird shapes in our vision. We can become paranoid aboutburglars breaking in. Sounds are intensified at night. Everything is quiet andeveryone is asleep. Learn how to get rid of anxiety at night by using thesetips.
Recommended Reading: What Does Phobic Mean
Find What Relaxes You
There are already things in your life that relax you. You may find it beneficial to make a list of things you enjoy and that help you to relax so you can reference it when symptoms of anxiety arise. When you notice your anxiety rising turn to those activities to help stop symptoms before they escalate.
For example, if you find that a warm bath is relaxing, don’t wait, draw a bath, maybe light some candles or add a few nice scents and get in. Whether it’s a bath, a shower, skipping stones at a park, getting a massage – if it works, do it right away, rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by your anxiety.
Set An Intention Early
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.
You May Like: Is Phobia A Disease
What Causes Anxiety Attacks At Night
Nighttime anxiety or panic attacks, like their day time cohorts, result from the ‘fight or flight’ instinct being triggered by a perceived aggressor. In this case, the aggressor is likely to be mental angst resulting from pent-up worries.
In the business of daily life, these anxieties recede into the background, but then rear their monstrous heads at night when all distractions disappear. In the stillness of the night, there is no running away and anxieties can build, sometimes resulting in an anxiety attack.
We also know that the brain does not fully switch off when we are asleep. How often does an event that occurred during the day lead to an odd dream during the night? Our brain naturally tries to process and sort out the day’s events and if these have been stressful then our dreams may well provoke anxiety too.
If you think that you are not going to be able to fall asleep, then it is quite likely that you will have a battle on your hands. Try to follow some good sleep tips to switch off and give your brain a rest.
The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
A sleep debt can have serious ramifications on your anxiety levels. One study shows that severe sleep deprivation increases one’s state of anxiety, depression, and general distress relative to those who had a normal night of sleep. Another study shows that sleep deprived individuals reported a greater increase in anxiety during tasks and rated the likelihood of potential catastrophes as higher when sleep deprived, relative to when rested.
How much you sleep each night also determineshow well you can deal with anxiety and stress. When a person gets too little sleep, the deprivation acts as a chronic stressor that impairs brain functions and contributes to an overload on the body’s systems. This overload contributes to memory loss, brain fog, confusion, and depression, making it more difficult for a person to deal with stress. Furthermore, sleep deprivation creates an imbalance in hormone levels that drive anxiety levels higher. Too little sleep also boosts adrenaline levels that can exacerbate existing anxiety issues.
You May Like: Dehydration Cause Anxiety
If You Think You Feel More Worked Up Than You Should The Day After Drinking Its Worth Bringing Up To A Mental Health Provider
To reiterate, having a bout of hangover anxiety is not a direct sign of anxiety disorder. It is simply the symptom of drinking too much alcohol and causing the mind and body to experience anxiety as a result of alcohol withdrawal, says Hafeez.
But if you feel so anxious or low after drinking that it’s interfering with your day to day or you can’t seem to snap out of it, evaluate your relationship with alcohol and examine how it impacts your mental health. The questions Hafeez suggests you ask: Whats the motive for drinking enough alcohol to cause hangxiety in the first place? Are you over-drinking because of social anxiety, depression, or general anxiety, or to escape?
Everyones tolerance and response to alcohol is different, but most importantly, Dr. Koob says, it shouldnt be interfering with a healthy existence.
If youre struggling with alcohol, consult a professional. The NIAAA site has a treatment navigator where you can find treatment facilities in your zip code.