Why do people get more anxious at night? Is there a solution to this robber of sleep? You’ve had a rough day at work. Your boss has been breathing down your neck these past weeks over a project that’s due for submission in three days’ time, and you come back to find that your dogs have turned the house inside out in search of fun while you were away. After making some sense out of all the mess, you finally crash on your bed. But your mind has other plans for you. Rather than have a sound, hearty sleep, your head fires up with different kinds of events and worries, and your dream of a wonderful sleep flies through the window. Does that sound like you? Then keep reading for tips on coping with anxiety at night.
Why Anxiety at Night?
According to Health.com, one of the triggers of night anxiety is the quiet, and private atmosphere created by night. Because there are no distractions, and you are lying alone in a dark room without any distractions, thoughts start popping into your mind until they become overwhelming and you lose control. Night anxiety can also be caused by a sleeping disorder which prevents you from sleeping until anxious thoughts start surfacing in your mind. For insomniacs, sleep time is a dreaded period that involves a lot of tossing/turning around. In the course of trying to sleep, they become lost in thoughts, most of which are innocuous in real-life but at the moment unsurmountable. And this becomes a vicious cycle with different episodes playing out every night. If your anxiety becomes uncontrollable when you are about going to bed, here are some helpful tips to help you get some sleep.
Do light activity before bed
While sleep is a natural process, it can be enhanced by doing activities that are not anxiety-inducing close to bedtime. Set a routine that keeps your body in sleep mode before you sleep. This will put you in a relaxed mood and make it easier for your body to ease into sleep. Things you can do to wind down include brushing your teeth, washing your face, taking a shower, putting on your pajamas, and so on. According to psychologist Susanna Halonen, ‘The more identical you can make every evening, the more you train your body to prepare for sleep and the easier it will be to achieve.’ So if you want to reduce your night anxiety, train your body to wind down when it’s close to bedtime, and your mind will follow suit.
Take a bath
A bath is a soothing activity that helps the body relax, calms the mind and is a low-cost way of reducing anxiety at night. If you are a fan of essential oils, adding a few drops of lavender to your bath water can aid the sleep process. Also, a bath lowers your body temperature, which primes the brain to release melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Another thing you can do is use an essential oil diffuser while taking your bath.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can rob you of sleep if taken too close to sleep time. It takes about six hours for the effects of a single cup of coffee or tea to wear off. Trouble getting through your afternoon without a cup or two of coffee? Some people have found that meditation or light physical activity (walking, going up and down stairs, etc.) helps them get through the afternoon.
Take a deep breath
Deep breathing can help declutter your mind and free it of anxious thoughts. Experts say that breathing in and holding one’s breath for a few seconds before breathing out can help your mind
and body relax and slow things to a manageable pace.
According to Will William, a meditation teacher, doing vigorous exercise late in the evening can make your nervous system too active for sleep. He advises that you can restructure your exercise time to the morning or use meditation to relax your mind after exercise.
We hope that these simple yet important tips help you get a better night’s rest. Do you suffer with anxiety at night? If so, we’d love to hear from you. How do you cope with it? Any tricks or tips that would benefit our readers? If so, please use the comment box below to let us know. Until next time.