Why Anxiety Feels Worse At Night And What You Can Do About It
After a long day, you’re eager to jump into bed, get under the covers, and fall asleep. You kick off your slippers, plug in your phone, set your alarms, and crawl into bed. The temperature in your room is perfect, your sheets and pillowcase feel cool against your skin, and you can feel the exhaustion setting in.
You roll over to get into your comfortable bedtime position, close your eyes, and prepare to fall asleep peacefully. Instead, random thoughts start to fill your head. You can feel your heartbeat start to quicken, your breathing shortens, and your entire body grows tense. Instead of counting sheep and drifting off to sleep, you’re met with anxious thoughts which are keeping you up even though you should be sleeping.
Let’s learn more about why anxiety feels worse at night and what you can do about it.
You spent your entire day trying to keep yourself busy through a variety of different activities. Going to work, running errands, doing housework, taking care of children, cooking meals, etc. No matter how you kept yourself busy, you also distracted yourself. When you have a busy day, your mind is less likely to wander. At night, you have a lot fewer distractions because one of your main goals is to get a good night’s rest. The decrease in distractions can make room for those anxious thoughts to pile in.
Exhaustion Sets In
If you’re exhausted, you would think that sleep would come easily for you. This isn’t always the case when it comes to anxiety. If you have anxiety and you’re exhausted, it can become more challenging for your mind and body to cope with your anxiety. This can make it hard to think logically about the anxiety that you’re dealing with. You’re lacking the energy and emotional control in order to properly deal with or better manage the signs and symptoms you’re facing.
Too Much Caffeine
If you have a few cups of coffee during your day, it can help to give you the energy boost you may be looking for. It’s important to remember to limit any caffeine before bed. Not only can the caffeine keep you up at night or prevent you from staying asleep throughout the night, but it can also cause your anxiety to increase.
Be mindful of how many cups of coffee you’re consuming as well as the times you’re craving it. It may help give you the pick-me-up you’re looking for, but you won’t feel the same way when you’re trying to go to sleep at night.
How to Help
Anxiety is a common emotion that everyone will face from time to time. If you’re noticing that you’re struggling with anxiety especially when you’re trying to go to sleep at night, there are some lifestyle changes that you can make to try to manage the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Try to get your body on a natural sleep schedule and routine. You can do this by going to bed at the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning. Once your body and mind get used to this routine, you’ll naturally feel tired when it’s time to go to bed and energized when it’s time to wake up in the morning. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night to feel maximum benefits.
Seek Professional Help
Sleep is an essential human need. It’s just as important as food, shelter, and water. Everyone needs sleep in order to get rest and recovery so you can function to your full potential. If you’re struggling with going to sleep or staying asleep during the night, it may be time to reach out for additional support.
A mental health professional will be able to help you figure out why you’re anxious and give you the tools you need to better manage symptoms moving forward. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for anxiety therapy to learn more about how it can help you sleep better at night.