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Why Does My Anxiety Get Worse At Night

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What To Do If Your Depression And Anxiety Are Worse At Night

Why Is My Anxiety Worse At Night?

Mental illness is an incredibly elusive, flexible and unpredictable monster. Every time you think youd pinned it down, somehow it manages to slip away and the wrestle starts all over again. When you feel youve balanced the scale, it pushes its heavy finger down on one side and suddenly, everything is sideways. The popular expression of cut one head off and two more appear is close to the truth with mental illness. I think a more relatable expression is cut off one head and you cant even count the number of heads that take its place. This isnt meant to be discouraging, but a reminder that mental illness is never a one-round fight. Its something that requires patience, grit and stamina to fight every day.

These cycles of success and setbacks is something everyone goes through in their life, even without mental illnesses. But these monsters can make the successes feel less valuable and the setbacks feel like complete failures. This is part of its arsenal of lies, and we cannot give into it. But with these cycles, we always have to be prepared for the next part, whether thats looking forward to the sun rising or preparing for the sun to set. For me, this isnt just a metaphor it is quite literally what I have to do.

Establish A Bedtime Routine

Establishing a bedtime routine lets you focus on taking proactive steps for yourself instead of ruminating in your anxiety. Your bedtime routine may include activities such as taking a shower, brushing your teeth, changing into pajamas, reading from an inspirational book, prayer, or listening to music.

Your bedtime routine should be established to help set you up for better rest. Dont include any activities that may be too overstimulating, such as scrolling through social media or watching TV.

Instead, make your routine calming and quiet, leading up to you falling asleep. This will signal to your brain that it is time to rest and will allow you to go to sleep without an upset and anxious mind.

How To Cope With A Panic Attack At Night

Waking up and discovering youre having a panic attack can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and the fact that youre probably still groggy and trying to come round from sleep, can make you feel out of control and cause you to panic even more.

If youre having a nocturnal panic attack, try the following:

Dont fight it

If you wake up and youre having a panic attack, its important not to fight it, as this could make things worse. Accept the panic attack for what it is and let the feelings wash over you. Remember, it is only temporary, and it will fade eventually. You just need to let it happen.

Try and relax

Try to get your body back into a relaxed state. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly to regulate your breathing. Relax your muscles, and try to focus your mind on positive thoughts and images.

Get up and do something

Go back to bed when youre ready

Only go back to bed when youre beginning to feel tired again and ready for sleep. When youre in bed, keep yourself calm by breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, to the extent that your whole abdomen, not just your chest, is rising and falling.

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Visualize The Good Things In Your Life

The power of your imagination can help get you to a place of ease when youre fretting.

Visualization of positive events and relationships in your life will help you increase your connection to positive emotions that are also lying around within you, but you have to work at accessing them when the anxious feelings or thoughts have already shown up, says Cummins.

Calming your body is integral to calming your mind.

Joy Rains, a certified life coach and the author of “Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind”, recommends a progressive relaxation exercise you can do in bed.

You Have Moderate Symptoms Of Anxiety

Why Does Your Anxiety Get Seriously Worse At Night? 4 Ways ...

We know that people with moderately severe symptoms of anxiety are having a difficult time. We hope you are doing okay. If you are feeling unsafe or suicidal, please visit the I need urgent help page.

Moderately severe symptoms of anxiety often occur when we are dealing with a difficult situation. If you are dealing with a difficult situation, it is normal to experience such symptoms for short periods of time. During this time, you can take active steps to stop yourself from feeling worse and reduce your anxiety.

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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.

What Are Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are sudden, unexpected episodes of intense anxiety, which can cause a variety of frightening symptoms. These include:

  • Feeling out of control and disconnected from your surroundings
  • Feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
  • Chest pains and shortness of breath – a tightness of the chest and feeling as though its a struggle to breathe
  • A racing or pounding heart
  • Hyperventilating
  • Numbness and tingling, for example, tingling lips and numbness in your fingers and toes
  • Fluctuating body temperature feeling very hot or very cold

These symptoms can be so severe they sometimes make first time sufferers believe theyre experiencing a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Over time, panic attacks can become more frequent, and the fear of having a panic attack becomes embedded, resulting in a vicious circle.

Night time panic attacks, also known as nocturnal panic attacks or night terrors, happen while youre asleep and wake you up, often with the same symptoms as day time panic attacks. However, while these nocturnal attacks usually only last for a few minutes, it can take a long time for you to calm down enough to go back to sleep after having one. This, coupled with worrying about whether youre going to have another panic attack, may lead to insomnia.

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Panic That You’re Not Sleeping

This is the worst. If you’re anything like me, if you find that you can’t fall asleep then you can spend hours laying there just thinking about how much sleep you’re not getting and how awake you are. It can be hard to avoid, but try if you can â it’s essentially just torturing yourself for no reason and can send your anxiety through the roof. “You’re better off getting up and reading or listening to soft music to help distract your brain and hopefully start the wind-down process again,” Logie previously said to Bustle. Don’t just lay there counting down the minutes, try to distract yourself so you don’t focus on the panic.

Keep The Bedroom Chilled And Completely Dark

ANXIETY Worse at Night – Why?! and What to do when you cant rest at night

We may want to consider keeping our bedroom just a tad cooler than we like, and leaving any nightstand lights off.

Ensure your bedroom is quiet, comfortable, ventilated, dark and cool, says Elaine Slater, a psychologist and psychotherapeutic counselor. Even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt the production of melatonin and overall sleep.

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How To Calm Anxiety And Get Better Sleep

Although the impacts of anxiety disorders can be substantial, they are one of the most treatable mental health disorders. This doesnt mean that reducing anxiety is always simple, but there are treatments that can help.

Any person who has persistent or significant anxiety and/or sleeping problems should talk with a doctor who can best assess their situation and discuss the benefits and downsides of the potential treatment options in their case.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment for anxiety disorders. It is a type of talk therapy that works to reorient negative thinking, and it has had success in decreasing anxiety. Studies have found that CBT can often reduce anxiety even in people who have insomnia. Addressing anxiety can pave the way for better sleep, but severe cases of insomnia may persist after CBT for anxiety. CBT for insomnia may be a useful next step in these cases.

Several different types of medications are approved to treat anxiety disorders including anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. These medications are intended to mitigate symptoms rather than cure the underlying anxiety.

Because of the multifaceted relationship between anxiety and sleep, getting better rest may help combat feelings of anxiety. Building healthy sleep habits can make going to bed a more pleasant experience and facilitate a consistent routine to enhance sleep.

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Eric Suni

Staff Writer

Alex Dimitriu

Psychiatrist

Eric Suni

Consider Bedtime Supplements To Calm Anxiety

Magnesium is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to relax a busy or tense mind in the evening. Serenease contains 420 mg of magnesium from the 6 most functional types of this miracle mineral.

Chamomile tea has also been shown to support a feeling of calm and ease before bed . You can find chamomile in the tea section at most grocery stores, or steep the dried flowers yourself.

To help you fall asleep, magnolia bark is a staple in Eastern medicine, and has been shown to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as increase total sleep time .

Sleep Savior contains both magnolia bark and magnesium, plus 3 mg of melatonin to help you drift off for a restful nights sleep.

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If You Can’t Sleep Get Up

Insomnia is frustrating, but lying in bed and trying to get to sleep is only going to make you feel worse. If you can’t get back to sleep within 20 minutes, get up.

“Some people get a sleep phobia where they get fixated on not being able to get to sleep, which can become a big anxiety worry,” Lidbetter says. “If you can’t go to sleep, get up and do something else. Reading can be therapeutic or you could practise mindfulness.

“Anxiety UK has a strong partnership with the Headspace people, which is a great app and something you can just practise which is relatively easy to do. It just sets the scene for a restful night’s sleep because it calms down your sympathetic nervous system and puts you into relaxation mode.”

How Do You Stop Panic Attacks At Night

Why Does Your Anxiety Get Seriously Worse At Night? 4 Ways ...

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.

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What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening

Living with an anxiety disorder makes coping with day-to-day life very difficult and can have a huge negative impact on your work, social and personal life. For some people, the symptoms of anxiety which include excessive fear and worrying, panic attacks, feeling tense and restlessness can get worse in the evening.

The reason that anxiety gets worse in the evening for some people may be due to the lack of daytime distractions. Our days are often busy with work and all of the things that we need to get done, while at night, our activity slows down and were left alone to confront our thoughts.

For those people who find that their anxiety intensifies in the evening, there are a number of things you can do help ease the symptoms and set yourself up for a good night of sleep.

Everything In This World Is Created In Balance

There is dark and there is light. There is positive and there is negative. Theres night and theres day. So, during the daytime, thats full go light and its full of energy and your thoughts are focused outward and you have a job to go to, you have kids to look after, you have errands to run, theres something to do.

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Blueprint For Better Livinga Guide To Better Sleep

Anxiety piles up at night because anxious preoccupation is avoidable when a person is actively using their brain and body to carry them through the day, says Dr. Kate Cummins, a licensed clinical psychologist. When you have a list of to-dos or business meetings to participate in, your thought process is geared towards frontal cortex functioning, which is the judgment, planning and reasoning areas of your brain. Once you are finding yourself at the end of your day, your frontal cortex has the ability to relax a bit, shifting gears into things you enjoy or pieces of you that are not connected to higher level functioning, mainly in your emotions and limbic system. When your thoughts start connecting to the emotional part of your cognitive functioning, especially at night, the anxious thoughts or anxious emotion that has been lying dormant all day has a place to go, and becomes the forefront of your thinking patterns.

How do we stop this vicious cycle? Weve compiled a list of helpful tips in two parts: things you can do while in the grips of anxious thoughts, and things you can do to prevent them, before you go to bed.

So What Can You Do About It

Why is anxiety worse at night or in the morning?
  • Make sure you are staying hydrated and getting enough nutrition.This may seem either silly or obvious but a day with a baby can get away from you real quick. Before you know it, all you have had is maybe one glass of water and a granola bar. Getting enough food and water throughout the day has a positive impact on your mental health and can make it easier for you to keep your fight or flight response at bay.
  • Practice the breathing technique called The Relaxation Response.When you are feeling anxious, you stop breathing properly which actually increases the physical symptoms of anxiety.Practicing this breathing technique at least once a day can positively impact how you feel all day, which will make it easier for your body and mind to slow down so you can fall asleep.
  • Understand what anxiety really is.Anxiety is all about the future and usually asks the question, what if. What if ___________ happens to my baby or me? These thoughts are scary but remember, you arent in the future, you are in the here and now. Jumping on the anxiety train of thought deceives you into thinking that if you can plan for what if, then you can control it. But 99% of the time, that what if scenario never happens. It surely doesnt prepare you for anything. It only makes you miserable in the present moment.

These suggestions are just your starting point. One may seem more reasonable for you to start than the other. And after you start it, you may find you dont like it.

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The Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

If you dont know a lot about anxiety or youre not sure whether you have it, it can be useful to know more about the signs and symptoms of anxiety.

Anxiety is a totally normal feeling that pretty much all of us experience at some point or another throughout light especially if were feeling worried, nervous or scared about something big coming up. This could be anything from a job interview or a presentation you have to do at work, or perhaps a big social event like a party, or even having a difficult conversation with a loved one.

Typical symptoms of anxiety include feeling restless, agitated or nervous you might notice that you cant sit still, focus on anything or relax properly. You could have trouble concentrating on work or struggle to think about anything else other than the anxious thoughts racing through their mind. This is often accompanied by an underlying sense of dread or panic a nagging fear that something bad is going to happen.

As well as these emotional symptoms, there are a number of physiological symptoms too. These include an increased heart rate , sweating, shaking, and hyperventilation.

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