If you or a loved one is suffering from nighttime anxiety you know how disruptive it can be to your daily activities. Fortunately, there is a way to deal with it.
Suffering From Nighttime Anxiety
Nighttime anxiety is when you go to bed but your mind cannot rest because you are too busy thinking about what you still need to do and what you haven’t achieved yet. In fact, nighttime anxiety is a surprisingly common problem. It is estimated that a quarter of the population deals with this issue.
The problem is that when you go to bed your body can finally stop. Unfortunately, this allows the feelings of anxiety you experience all the time to become stronger. In turn, this affects your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Fortunately, there are ways of combating the issue of nighttime anxiety.
Create a Bedtime Routine
You need to calm your mind and body before bed, allowing the anxiety to leave you. This will help you fall asleep. The best way to do this is to create a routine that lets your mind and body know it is bedtime.
- Turn off electronic devices
- Run a bath or read a book
- Listen to calming music
- Drink warm milk
- Go to bed
The actual routine is personal. It is whatever cams your mind. The key is to do it every night.
Anxiety is basically worrying about something that could happen. In many cases, the scenario you are imagining never occurs.
You need to face the things making you anxious, regardless of what they are, and then rationalize them. Of course, you don’t want to get bogged down in this, limit the amount of time you spend on each anxiety. It can help to record your feelings as this serves to get the anxiety out of your body.
Do Breathing Exercises
Learning simple breathing exercises gives you something to focus on, other than the anxiety. This will help to calm your mind and body, reducing the amount of stress hormone in your body and your desire to fight or flight.
Anxiety triggers the release of the hormone cortisol which, in turn, prepares your body for fight or flight. You cannot sleep when you are ready to fight or run away. That’s what makes anxiety such an issue at night.
However, if you lay down when you feel anxious and turn your head to one side with your eyes looking as far over as possible, you will cause the cranial nerve to react.
This has been shown to reduce anxiety in your body by counteracting the fight or flight syndrome. Simply hold the pose until you yawn or sigh. You will feel instantly calmer.
It can seem counter-productive to get out of bed when you are trying to get to sleep. But, if you are anxious sleep is not going to come easily. Instead, take a walk to your kitchen and prepare a non-caffeinated drink.
Then sit and enjoy it, allowing your mind to wander. You will be surprised at how much calmer you feel when you return to your bed.
Trick Your Brain
Babies fall asleep when they are trying to stay awake. You can adopt the same technique. Simply lie in bed and focus on keeping your eyes open. Every time they start to close open them again. It is surprising but fighting the intent to go to sleep will actually convince your brain you are tired and allow you to fall asleep.
Nighttime anxiety can seriously reduce your quality of life. That’s why you need to take steps today to deal with it. The above techniques should help. If they don’t then it’s time to get professional help.