You’ve had a busy day and are looking forward to going to sleep and getting that much needed rest that you’ve been looking forward to. Except when you rest your head on your pillow and close your eyes, rather than doze off to dreamland, you have a bunch of thoughts flooding in.
Everything from replaying conversations you’ve had throughout the day, to planning that work meeting you have tomorrow, your mind-racing thoughts cause you to worry and you find yourself wide awake feeling frustrated and desperate to catch some much-needed zzz’s.
Here are 5 ways to cope with the anxiety and worry that nighttime brings:
1. Create a bedtime ritual
Whether it is doing some light stretches, taking a soothing bath, listening to quiet music, or reading a book each night before bed, engaging in a calming activity can help relax your mind and body. Aim to set aside 30-90 minutes before you would like to fall asleep and try keeping this routine consistent.
2. Write out your worrying thoughts
3. Deep breathing
4. Mindfulness techniques
5. Create an ideal bedroom setting
Set up your environment to maximize comfort and sleep quality. Keeping your bedroom dark and cool, choosing a comfortable pillow, and having lighter, breathable bedding can help you fall and stay asleep throughout the night. If noise is a factor that keeps you awake, you may consider a white noise app or machine, or quietly playing some gentle and soothing sounds such as ocean waves or raindrops to help you fall asleep.
There are many reasons why you may find it more difficult to ease your mind at night. During the day, we are faced with distractions and our minds are usually more awake and alert to deal with anxious thoughts. As our minds become more tired, it is challenging to do so and takes more mental effort, therefore our worries can feel more intense as we are getting ready to sleep. Trying out the above strategies, as well as other techniques to help you manage anxiety at night may help you feel more relaxed and increase your sleep quality. If you need more help and guidance, consider speaking with a therapist to tailor a unique plan for you and your symptoms. Getting the help you need can make a positive difference in how you think and feel both during the day and night.
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