Bedtime should be a haven of peace and relaxation after a stressful day you have. But, if you have bugging thoughts and anxiety, sleeping peacefully seems to be impossible. Your mind begins to spin as the lights go out.
When things don’t go according to plan, it replays them. Everything that didn’t work out the way you hoped. It fills your mind with disturbing images and videos that you can’t stop playing in your head.
Anxiety worsening at night can be caused by a variety of factors, including a lack of sleep.
Anxiety and panic attacks at night can be exacerbated by daily stress, poor sleep habits, and other medical conditions.
There are, however, several treatments that can help alleviate your anxiety and improve your sleep quality.
Anxiety is common, and you’re not alone if it’s keeping you awake at night. Having trouble sleeping is a common symptom of anxiety disorders, and many people find that their nights are plagued by unease, worry, and dread.
Sleep deprivation and anxiety go hand in hand, as sleep deprivation can prevent you from falling asleep at all.
So, in this article, we’ll tackle why your anxiety is worse at night and how to free yourself from suffering it.
Also, we’ll discuss some healthy sleeping habits and things that could lessen your anxiety triggers at night.
Why My Anxiety Is Worse At Night
Relaxing at night makes your mind focus on all the things you didn’t get a chance to think about during the day. A lot of the time, this anxiety stems from worries that you can’t address right away.
There isn’t a simple answer to why some people become more anxious at night. Instead, it can be caused by several things.
One reason is that when the lights go out and everything is quiet, there is less distraction and more time to worry and think about your job, finances, or relationships.
Difficulty falling asleep can also make you worry about how well you’ll be able to work the next day.
At night, anxiety may get worse because:
- It can make some people jittery and anxious if they drink too much caffeine during the day or right before they go to sleep.
- Having had a recent trauma or having post-traumatic stress disorder.
- People who have health anxiety, or who notice more aches and pains while they’re trying to fall asleep, are more likely to be stressed out.
- Nighttime anxiety was linked to menopause in one study.
- Worry or be afraid about the next day.
Anxiety can last longer than usual in some cases. When this happens, it can have a significant impact on your routine, both during the day and at night.
At night, anxiety is a common occurrence for many people. Studies show that sleep deprivation can cause anxiety in people. Studies have shown that anxiety disorders and poor sleep quality go hand in hand.
A lack of sleep may be a warning sign that you need to address your stress levels during the day, as chronic daytime stress puts your body into overdrive and taxes your hormones and adrenal system.
Anxiety during the night can lead to a vicious cycle: When you have a bad night’s sleep, you’re more tired the next day, and your body’s internal clock is thrown off balance.
Anxiety can manifest in a wide variety of ways. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety.
There is no set time for the onset of symptoms. Anxiety is frequently accompanied by the following signs and symptoms: difficulty concentrating and falling or staying asleep, gastrointestinal issues, feeling anxious, restless, or worried.
Having a panic attack can also be a symptom of anxiety. Having a panic attack is characterized by an uncontrollable feeling of dread accompanied by physical symptoms. Panic attacks are characterized by the following symptoms:
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling nervous or restless
- Increased heart rate and chest pains
- Sense of impending doom
- Throat tightness and shortness of breath
- Hot flashes, sweating, and chills
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- A sense of disconnection from reality, as if nothing exists
- Uncontrolled or racing thoughts
- Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
Anxiety and difficulty sleeping often go hand in hand. It is possible to experience anxiety as a result of a lack of sleep, as well as the other way around.
It is estimated that over half of all adults have difficulty sleeping at night due to their anxiety levels, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Sleep anxiety has received very little attention in the scientific community. Despite this, there are numerous reasons why your anxiety may be more pronounced at night.
When your thoughts are racing, it may feel like you can’t stop yourself from thinking. You may be thinking about the things you need to accomplish today or the things you want to accomplish in the future.
Causes of anxiety worsening at night:
Anxiety and problems sleeping seem to go hand in hand in many people’s lives. Having a lack of sleep can be a trigger for anxiety while having anxiety itself can cause a lack of sleep.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that an estimated 50 percent of American adults have difficulty sleeping at night because of their high levels of anxiety.
Nighttime anxiety is a topic that has received very little scientific investigation. There are, however, numerous reasons why your anxiety may be worse at night.
You might feel like your thoughts are racing and you can’t stop them. There is a good chance you’re thinking about the things on your to-do list or worrying about the things you have to do today.
Stress can cause the body to experience an adrenaline rush, making it extremely difficult to fall asleep.
Nighttime anxiety impact:
Evening anxiety can be particularly inconvenient because it can interfere with your leisure time, sap your energy, and worsen sleep problems.
Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on your ability to function, your quality of life, and your general health. As a result of a lack of sleep, you may find yourself more anxious at night.
During non-REM sleep, panic attacks or nocturnal panic attacks occur most frequently in stages 2 and 3 of sleep. Your body and mind can be worn out for days after having a panic attack in bed at night.
How To Calm Your Anxiety
When your mind is racing and you can’t seem to shut it off, your brain may be in overdrive. Worries can affect your sleep, making them seem even more ominous when they arise in the middle of the night.
Before going to bed, racing, intrusive thoughts are common for many people, whether or not they have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety at night can be caused by a variety of things, but there are ways to keep those thoughts at bay.
Several treatments can help alleviate your anxiety and improve your sleep quality. Mental health resources are available to you at any time if you’re concerned that your nighttime anxiety and lack of sleep are affecting your daily life.
Self-help strategies can go a long way, but you might also find it helpful to make an appointment with a doctor or nurse.
They can find out if you have any medical or sleep problems that are making it hard for you to sleep at night.
Treatment options usually include psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. In addition to good sleep habits, these options are usually used.
Psychological treatments for anxiety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy, are effective in studies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT helps improve both sleep quality and sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep) in people with anxiety, according to one study.
Exposure therapy. This therapy can help you overcome your fear of having anxiety at night and/or sleeping problems as a result of your anxiety.
Many times, treating anxiety requires a two-pronged approach. Both psychotherapy and medication can be used together to get the best results.
There are a lot of different medications your doctor might give you to help with your anxiety. With you, they can talk about the pros and cons of a drug, its availability, and more.
- Benzodiazepines are the most common drugs that are used to treat acute anxiety attacks. Antidepressants are the most common drugs used to treat long-term anxiety.
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are currently the first-line treatment for the majority of anxiety disorders.
- People who don’t respond to SSRIs can try serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
6 Ways To Manage Your Anxiety in the Night
A relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep are within reach if you know how to deal with your nighttime anxiety.
In addition to self-help techniques like better sleep hygiene and bedtime rituals, you might benefit from seeing a therapist.
Anxiety medication can help some people as well. Talk to your doctor to see if medication is the best course of action.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with anxiety. What works for one person may not work at all for another.
Below are ways to manage your anxiety worsening at night. These steps will let you go to sleep without having a worried or stressed mind.
1. Set a Goal Early
There are many times when you don’t think about how you’re feeling or how you’d like to feel. Most likely, you don’t have time to think about how you want your evening to go. However, by setting an early goal, you are more likely to get what you want.
The best way to remember to set an intention is if you set a time for it in your day. For example, when you drive home from work, you might think about all the stress you went through that day.
It’s possible to let go of work stress at a certain point during your drive home, like when you drive over a bridge or pass a certain landmark. Then, you can enjoy the rest of your evening stress-free.
You could also set an alarm to remind you to think about having a good time. Set your own goal for how you want to feel each night, no matter what kind of prompt works best for you.
2. Learn How To Be Present
Many of us don’t know how we want to feel, and we spend a lot of time not paying attention to what’s going on right now. You might be able to enjoy your evening more if you try to be more aware.
People who learn how to be mindful don’t have to think about all their worries all the time. They can also see that they don’t have to act on every thought that comes into their minds. Meditation, for example, is a good way to learn how to be more aware.
If you don’t like the idea of being mindful, just try to be more aware of what’s going on in your life instead of looking in your mind for nervousness and fear.
If you’re stressed, try to pay attention to your loved ones, enjoy the food you’re eating, and pay attention to the beauty of the world. These are all simple ways to let go of anxiety and become more mindful.
3. Leave Some Extra Transition Time
When you do two things at the same time, you need a break in between. Many of us underestimate how long it takes to make a big change. There may be many things you need to do before you go to bed in the evening.
Consider adding a little extra time to each task, just in case it takes longer than you think. That way, you won’t feel like you have to do too much before going to bed.
4. Get Ready For The Next Day
Thinking about what they need to do the next day can make people stressed. One of the best things you can do to avoid this kind of anxiety is to be ready.
Get as much ready as you can, like having your clothes, lunches, and bags ready, and setting your alarm clock. Putting in a little time and effort can help keep your evening anxiety in check.
5. Make a Place to Relax
Everything is done and ready for the next day when you’re done for the night and can relax and let go. You need some time each evening to do this.
You should set aside at least 10 minutes of downtime each evening, no matter what brings you peace. People who do this feel calmer and may get a good night’s sleep.
6. Set a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine lets you focus on taking proactive steps for yourself instead of worrying about what you’ll do when you’re stressed.
You might take a shower, brush your teeth, change into pajamas, read an inspirational book, pray, or listen to music as part of your bedtime routine.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, you need to set up a bedtime routine. You don’t want to do anything that might be too stimulating, like scrolling through Facebook or watching TV. Instead, make your routine calming and quiet, which will help you fall asleep.
5 Habits That Help You Sleep Well
People who have good sleep habits at night can lessen their stress. Making sure you’re happy and comfortable in your bedroom will help you get a better night’s sleep.
There are many ways to make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep and that you stay asleep for a long time.
➜ Exercise regularly
Exercise can help improve both the quality and length of your sleep. If you have anxiety at night, you might be able to sleep longer if you exercise in the morning. Evening workouts can also help you sleep.
Strenuous exercise raises your body temperature and heart rate, which can make it hard to fall asleep if you do it before you go to bed.
If you don’t exercise at all, you won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep. However, regular exercise is better than not exercising at all. Exercise isn’t just good for getting a good night’s sleep. It can also help you feel less anxious.
➜ Develop a sleep schedule
To keep your circadian clock in order, you should set a sleep timetable. As long as you keep your wake and sleep cycles about the same time each day, it may be easier to fall asleep at night.
➜ Avoid stimulants when you are about to sleep
Stimulants can make you more anxious. As a bonus, taking stimulants before going to bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. It can be bad for your sleep if you drink alcohol or drink coffee before you go to bed.
➜ Turn off your gadgets
When you’re ready to go to sleep, don’t use your phones or tablets. This is what a 2017 study found: In almost 350 adults, the amount of time it took to fall asleep was only linked to the number of time adults spent on electronics after bedtime.
This is because blue light from electronics is thought to make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
➜ Have a comfortable sleeping place
Your pillows and mattresses must be both comfortable and supportive for your body and sleep style. To help you get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to make your bedroom comfortable and safe.
A good night’s sleep is possible even if it requires some practice. Test out several methods of relaxation to see which suits you best, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, journaling, or yoga.
Reach out for professional help if your anxiety is interfering with your ability to perform your daily tasks.
Make an appointment with your doctor or a professional in the field of mental health. Anxiety disorders can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.