Do you have difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety symptoms? It’s common to experience anxiety at night, and while everyone experiences anxiety differently, many people feel that evening time makes their anxiety worse. Just over 31% of adult Americans experience some sort of anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and you’re not alone if you’ve noticed that your anxiety seems to worsen as the day goes on.
While there are many potential causes of heightened anxiety in the evening time, one possibility is that you’re more likely to ruminate on your worries when you’re trying to wind down for bed. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do to try and ease your nighttime anxiousness.
Read on for some tips from mental health professionals about how to deal with anxiety at night.
What Is Anxiety and What Does It Feel Like?
Anxiety is a stress response that affects many people in different ways. Most people can experience it through physical and mental responses, such as increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed.
It can be a short-term stress response to a perceived threat or situation, or it can feel like a more long-term experience with stress and worry. Examples of what anxiety feels like can include feeling physically on edge or having trouble concentrating.
In severe cases, an individual may suffer moments of dissociation or panic attacks that interfere with their ability to function normally. Anxiety is very common, and it is crucial to remember how unique the experience is for each individual.
People who experience heightened anxiety levels at night often report common symptoms like racing thoughts, intrusive thoughts, night sweats, and gastrointestinal problems.
What Makes Anxiety Worse at Night
Evening anxiety is a common but often overlooked symptom of an anxious mind. Those suffering from evening anxiety experience an increase in anxiety symptoms not only as evening approaches but also throughout the evening itself.
Possible underlying causes include post-work stress weighing heavily on one’s mind or exacerbated physical manifestations of anxiety such as restless leg syndrome. Regardless of its cause, evening anxiety can become a difficult obstacle to face daily, leaving those afflicted feeling powerless and exhausted by the evening hours.
Tips for Managing Evening Anxiety
Managing stress and anxiety at night can be difficult. The first step is to focus on developing healthy routines and habits.
Follow a Regular Schedule
Following a regular schedule can be beneficial for combating evening anxiety. Establish a sleep or bedtime routine. Your sleep routine should include going to bed and waking up at the same times each day and engaging in activities that promote relaxation before bedtime.
Regularly engaging in stress-reducing activities like reading or listening to calming music will also help make falling asleep smoother and easier each night. Stress-reducing apps on your phone, such as Calm or Loóna, can also help you unwind at the end of a hard day.
Break Bad Habits
Additionally, breaking bad habits such as scrolling through social media feeds late into the night should become a priority when attempting to manage stressors before bedtime. Not only do they keep you awake, but they can also give way to feelings of anxiety, stress, or even anger.
Get Plenty of Rest
Make sure to get plenty of rest and avoid stimulants like caffeine in the later hours of the day. Stay away from sugar, coffee, and black or green tea. Herbal teas are usually a good option, but if you prefer coffee, go decaf.
Exercise can help reduce stress levels throughout the day, and employing relaxation techniques can also be beneficial in countering stress and anxiety at night. Yoga and pilates are both excellent exercise regimens that help to relieve stress.
Talk to Someone
Talking to someone about your feelings of evening anxiety is extremely important in managing stress and anxiety. Simply getting it off your chest can bring a lot of relief.
Where to Find Help
Anxiety can be difficult to manage and take a significant toll on our lives. Fortunately, many resources are available to those needing more help with anxiety.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you are incapable of a restful night’s sleep, it may be time to talk to your doctor. There are many medical conditions that affect sleep. A medical condition or sleep disorder has the ability to create intense anxiety, and vice versa. There are many things that can contribute to anxiety and sleep quality and it is easy to get into a vicious cycle. A medical professional will be able to guide you to making the right changes so you can get a good night’s sleep.
There are support groups both online and in person for people with anxiety disorders. Support groups provide an opportunity to connect with others who are also experiencing anxiety or dealing with similar conditions.
Friends and Family
Finally, it is important to talk with friends and family about feelings of anxiousness. Simply talking to a loved one has the ability to calm anxiety. They are often your number-one support network.
Seek Professional Help
If you feel your anxiety has become too overwhelming, do not hesitate to seek professional help. A qualified mental health professional can provide the necessary tools and resources to understand and manage your anxiety. There are a lot of treatment options, from in-person and online counseling and psychiatry services that can offer treatment for nighttime anxiety to traditional medication. If traditional anxiety treatments have not worked, TMS therapy is a clinically proven and extremely effective treatment for anxiety.
Don’t Struggle in Silence
If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. Finding help and support can be a great source of comfort, as many people struggle with similar challenges. It is essential to take time for yourself and talk it out with someone who can provide compassion and understanding.
Don’t isolate yourself, as doing so will only worsen the situation. Reaching out is a sign of strength; it will give you the tools to begin addressing your issues and making positive changes in your life.
You Can Overcome Anxiety at Night
For many people, anxiety is a normal part of life. Anxiety can become overwhelming when it is affecting your health and compromising your ability to get a good night’s rest. If you’re struggling with anxiety at night, know that you’re not alone—many people experience the same thing, and there are some things you can do to manage your anxiety and get a better night’s sleep.
Be sure to reach out for help if you need it; many resources are available to support you. Contact Oasis TMS for a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you reduce anxiety and start sleeping soundly.