The most frustrating thing that happens when you have anxiety at night is the countless hours your mind races. That annoying tightness in your chest and expecting the worst to come can have you losing out on needed rest.
Once your head hits the pillow, you may find yourself thinking about the challenges you’ve dealt with or the amount of work you still need to get done. I often overthink at night and sometimes cause my own panic attacks, isn’t that crazy?
After constantly getting only 4-5 hours of sleep or less per night and allowing my anxiety to worsen, I knew I had to make changes so I could not only reclaim my sleep but also lay down at night with peace of mind. It’s important to get your beauty sleep, therefore, you want to find ways to combat your anxiety at night. That’s what we’ll be talking about in this post!
Disclaimer: This post shouldn’t be taken as medical or professional advice. I’m sharing tips that have worked for my anxiety and what I’ve learned in therapy. If you have any serious health issues, please contact your doctor.
How to Combat Anxiety at Night
Create a Nighttime Routine
Creating a consistent routine to follow at night has helped reduce my anxiety. One thing I enjoy doing is my skincare routine before getting ready for bed. Skincare has always been a form of self-care for me, that feeling of pampering yourself and taking care of your skin is amazing.
Taking 10-15 minutes for myself and focusing on doing what I love preps my body for sleep and helps me relax.
I’ve also started to limit the amount of time I’m on my phone scrolling through social media before bed. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had was laying in the bed on Instagram for hours. Next thing you know, it’s 3:00 in the morning and I start panicking because I know I won’t get much sleep.
Using “DND” on my phone has been the best option and also turning my TV off an hour or two before I plan on going to sleep. If I’m laying there and can’t seem to relax, another thing I love doing is reading. If you want to add some extra “oomph” to prepare for bed, you can also drink teas that help with relaxation.
Write in a Journal
I’ve been journaling for the past year and it has made a huge difference with my anxiety. When you spend time writing down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, it takes a weight off of your shoulders. I’m able to express myself the best when I’m writing, therefore, spending time acknowledging how I’m feeling and writing it down helps me to find clarity and peace of mind.
Related Post: How to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts + Emotions
I use an app on my iPhone called Journey, it’s easy to open up and start typing all of my thoughts away. In this app, you can keep track of your mood each day and they offer coaching programs if you want to pay for the membership.
You don’t have to use this app, buying a notebook to write in would work perfectly. Also, remember you don’t always have to write about the negative. I love writing down things that I’m thankful for, accomplishments I’ve made, and I always try to figure out how to turn a negative situation into a positive. I know it’s easier said than done at times, however, when you change your mindset, anything is possible.
I tried CBD for the first time last year and have been hooked ever since. CBD helps to regulate cortisol, which is a stress hormone that has an impact on sleep cycles. Everyone is different and you’ll have to experiment with CBD to find what works best for you and your body. There are a variety of products to choose from such as:
- CBD drinks
- CBD Oil
- Bath bombs
Make sure you check out my blog post: “My Experience with CBD Products. Is the Hype Real” to learn more about the benefits of using CBD and which brands I recommend trying. My experience with CBD has been amazing. Although I don’t use it every night anymore, it does make a difference when I feel overwhelmed from my day and need extra help relaxing.
Practice Breathing Exercises
I learned about different breathing techniques when I found a therapist. This has been the hardest tip for me because when I get stressed, I don’t focus on taking deep breaths or breathing slowly. Most of the time when we get overwhelmed, our breathing turns shallow which leads to our anxiety becoming worse. I hate when I feel like I can’t catch a full breath and my chest starts feeling tight, especially when I’m laying down.
Practicing breathing techniques is a great strategy for fighting your anxiety at night. When you focus on slowing your breathing down, this will help you gain control and those anxiety symptoms will start to decrease. I recommend sitting up, relaxing your muscles, and taking deep breaths in and out until you feel calmer.
Breathing can also help us focus on the present moment. When you focus on the “now” instead of the future, it gives you a chance to sit back and not worry as much. This will give your mind a chance to slow down instead of running all over the place throughout the night.
There are a number of apps you can download to use for meditation purposes and breathing. One of my favorites is Calm. They have everything you need that will help you relax and have a good night sleep such as:
- Breathing exercises for relaxation
- Guided meditations
- Mindfulness programs
- Soothing music/sounds
- Bedtime stories
One thing I love about this app is you don’t have to be an expert to learn how to meditate and don’t have to do it for a long period of time. These types of apps can make practicing meditation easier and will help you stay on track with scheduling time for it each day. Trust me, even if it’s for 5 minutes, you will notice a difference with your anxiety.
If you’re not a fan of using any of the apps, you can also search for guided meditations on YouTube.
Taking control of your anxiety at night will seem challenging, however, it’s possible. You have to be intentional about making a change and know it’ll get easier to practice over time. Don’t expect your anxiety to disappear overnight after following these tips. Be patient, find what works best for you, and continue to work on controlling your anxiety so you can start receiving all of the beauty rest you need.
Check out my “Mental Health” blog posts to find more tips on combatting anxiety and negative thinking.