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Night anxiety: causes and 10 keys to overcome it

Night anxiety: causes and 10 keys to overcome it

May 26, 2024

It is 2 o'clock in the morning and in 5 hours you must get up to go to work. You've been tossing and turning for two hours, and no matter how hard you try, you can not sleep. You have tried everything to fall asleep quickly, count sheep, do the 4-7-8 method, etcetera, but every minute that passes you feel more distressed and more worried. Every time you have less time to sleep and thinking about this keeps you more awake.

If you think that this situation has happened to you, you may have suffered nighttime anxiety , a phenomenon associated with insomnia that may appear at specific moments or for long periods of time for various reasons. In this article you will find some tips that will help you overcome this type of anxiety.


  • Related article: "The 7 types of anxiety (causes and symptoms)"

When the mind does not disconnect

This unpleasant sensation can appear for different reasons, and surely you have experienced it in your life. The night anxiety invades you when you enter that vicious circle in which you have very clear that you should fall asleep but those negative thoughts and that anxiety only make you feed this negative situation. You are sleepy, but you can not relax .

Our mind has a tendency to ruminate, and if we turn a matter over we make things worse. Once those reflections take over our attention worry seriously disrupts our ability to fall asleep .


  • Maybe you're interested: "The 7 main sleep disorders"

Causes of nighttime anxiety

Anxiety is a totally normal and adaptive emotion, and people can experience it in our daily life many times, but nighttime anxiety is not exactly positive. Usually It is a consequence of concerns that we can have about something that happens to us in our daily life.

Perhaps it is a warning about something that can go wrong, and in the best of cases, for example, it is a way to warn us that we should leave in search of a job because we are running out of money.

But it can also happen that nighttime anxiety is the result of imagined or anticipated worries that we have and that we are exaggerating, it can be a symptom of the stress that we are suffering and that prevents us from sleeping, and it can even be a consequence of doing intensity physical training just before of going to bed, which activates our nervous system and, in turn, prevents us from disconnecting when we are in bed.


Tips to overcome anxiety at night

Without a doubt, suffering this situation is unpleasant. But… Is it possible to overcome it? Below you can find some tips and habits that can get you out of this complicated situation.

1. Detect the problem

It has already been mentioned in the previous lines that nighttime anxiety can be caused by different reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to detect which is the source of the problem. Are we training at night? Are we worried about our life (for example, the payment of the mortgage)? Do we have a lot of work in our office and take this work home? Are we going through an existential crisis?

These questions can help us to know what is really happening to us, and that way we can solve it. For example, if we have detected that the problem is that we train at night, it may be better to train in the morning.

2. Seek psychological help

In some cases, we may not be aware of the problem, or when trying to fix it, the symptoms have not improved. Then it is necessary to go to psychological therapy. An expert psychotherapist can help you to solve the problems of nocturnal anxiety and insomnia, so that you can improve your general health and recover emotional balance.

3. Exercise

Doing physical exercise is necessary because it brings many benefits not only physical, but also psychological . Studies show that sports practice improves mood because it helps to release neurochemicals such as serotonin or endorphins, which make us feel good.

It also helps us to reduce stress and anxiety, because reduces the presence of cortisol in our body . Also, with physical exercise you will be more tired at home and sleep better.

4. But ... do not overdo it

However, to prevent the nervous system from being excessively active late at night, it is better to practice sports or physical exercise in the morning or early in the afternoon. The important thing is to avoid exercising at night .

Likewise, it is necessary to avoid overtraining syndrome, also called staleness, which is different from physical overtraining. This condition occurs when the athlete does not rest enough or trains excessively , which has serious consequences for your mental health: feelings of emotional fatigue, lethargy, loss of vigor, insomnia, depression etc. It can be difficult to detect it; however, you can know more about this phenomenon in our article: "Overtraining Syndrome: Burned Athletes"

5. Eat well

Food is also an important factor that determines to a greater or lesser extent our general well-being. Definitely, a healthy life will favor good sleep habits , which may have an important role in preventing insomnia.

But food should be taken care of especially at night, since heavy meals can cause difficulties in falling asleep and, therefore, nighttime anxiety.

6. Beware of stimulants

While it is true that not everyone is equally affected by some stimulants such as coffee or theobromine, it is always preferable not to take products that contain these substances (especially taurine) after 6 pm (when you have a normal schedule) because it can hinder sleep and alter your nervous system.

7. Practice Mindfulness

The practice of Mindfulness or Mindfulness It seems to have a positive effect when it comes to combating anxiety, stress or insomnia. Mindfulness is a method that works the ability to be aware, compassion and the ability to be present in the here and now.

Their 8-week program called "Stress Reduction Program based on Mindfulness (MSBR)" seems to greatly improve the well-being of the people who have used it. A study from the University of Utah showed that MBSR not only helps reduce stress and control anxiety, but it can also help us sleep better

  • Related article: "5 Mindfulness exercises to improve your emotional well-being"

8. Have a daily schedule

Insomnia and nighttime anxiety can also occur because of not having a defined schedule. For example, for going to bed one day at 11pm, the next at 3am and the next at 12pm. The same goes for getting up every day at a different time. It is always preferable to have a more or less fixed schedule, say from 9am to 23pm, which allows the circadian rhythm not to be altered and a natural and quality dream is produced.

9. Disconnect

The schedule is often mediated many times by how we use technological devices. If we start watching a movie at 11pm, we probably will not go to bed until after 1am, which does not favor sleep at all and can cause nighttime anxiety.

In addition, scientific studies say that using electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime also harms that we can fall asleep, because it seems to keep the mind stimulated due to enlightenment what these devices use.

10. Use the bedroom to sleep and have intimate relationships

Experts say that the room should be used to sleep or have sex if we want to sleep better, so they do not advise having the computer in this space of the house. Likewise, having television nearby can be counterproductive , especially if we go to bed with the TV set.

We must also take care of the space where we sleep: a comfortable pillow, a correct temperature, etc. They are factors that can cause a poor quality of sleep and can make us wake up at midnight and then we can not sleep properly.


How I Overcame My Sleep Anxiety || Fear About Going to Sleep (May 2024).


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