Are you someone who experiences anxiety at night? This is a common occurrence. You might have mild symptoms during the day, but it isn’t until you’re lying in bed and trying to settle down that you suddenly feel the panic settling in. It’s the slowing down or stopping of daily activities that causes you to experience every feeling and emotion in a quiet room that was kept at bay by the busyness of the day.
If you’re someone with nighttime anxiety, the following tips may be helpful for you.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
You probably know that these are not recommended for anyone with anxiety or panic disorder. Both caffeine and alcohol can speed up your blood pressure, activate stress hormones that flood your system, cause you to feel jittery, and make your anxiety worse. Consider reducing caffeine during the day, and stop drinking soft drinks, coffee, or alcohol in the evenings. If you like a hot beverage at night, try drinking herbal tea. Keep in mind giving up caffeine isn’t forever. It’s a temporary change until you start feeling better. Then you can add it back in and see how well you tolerate it.
Start a New Nighttime Routine
Having healthy routines each day can have a positive effect on your mental health and should include a nighttime routine. Start a new sleep hygiene habit before bed that sets you up for a relaxing sleep to lower anxiety. This might include coloring or reading in bed, taking a relaxing, hot bath, or enjoying some fun TV time with the family. Consider watching shows that are lighthearted and not overly stimulating. When you’re ready for bed, make sure the room is dark and relatively cool. This tells your body that you’re ready for rest and often allows for a good night’s sleep.
Participate in Relaxing Activities
It’s important to find activities that are relaxing and help you sleep, but they should also help lower your anxiety. You might love dancing, but if it gets you hyped up, it might not be the best idea before going to bed. Instead, think of more calming activities, whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood with your dog or kids, doing some yoga stretches or spending five to ten minutes taking deep mindful breaths before you go to bed. A great breathing technique to try is breathing in for four, hold for seven and exhale for eight. Repeat five or six times and then return to normal breathing. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for helping us to feel calm and centered.
Try Essential Oils to Relax
Essential oils can be great if you have anxiety in the evenings. You can add them to your bath, apply to your skin, or use drops of pure oils in an essential oil diffuser. Try out different relaxing scents until you find the ones that work best for you. Chamomile, lavender, clary sage, and ylang ylang are calming and known to induce a state of relaxation. Be sure to purchase from a reputable company to ensure you’re not adding unwanted chemicals to your environment.
If you feel like your anxiety needs more specialized attention, sign up for a free discovery call. Together we can discuss your specific needs and create a plan to help you settle down for a good night’s rest.
Wishing you well,