Tips for Relieving Anxiety That Comes at Night

I've never been someone who suffers from anxiety, or who has panic attacks, or who is just generally a bundle of nerves. I've had specific kinds of anxiety, (test anxiety for example), but this is a healthy anxiety, nothing debilitating.

In the last few years or so however, I've started developing more anxious symptoms, I'm assuming that are a result of the field I work in. When you work with the mentally ill all day, it can wear on you to say the least.

What I've noticed is that when I am particularly anxious about something, it always seems to be at night. Either I won't be able to fall asleep, or I'll wake up continuously throughout the night, unable to get back to sleep for some time.

I would consider this a step up from my past, considering I've had night terrors my whole life, so I think my brain has finally stopped those and just succumbed to forcing me out of my slumber.

Regardless, when this happened the night before last, for some reason I blanked on how to help myself, and ended up getting maybe two hours of sleep that night. On my way to work the next morning I was listening to a health related podcast, and it sparked the thought that I need to make a list of all the things I know that can help with night anxiety.

Hopefully if this is something you suffer from as well, the following tips are something you can try the next time you just can't sleep.

The first thing I would say is get out of bed. If you're laying there for any longer than 10 minutes, get up. You aren't doing yourself any favors just letting your mind go crazy.

Once you're out of bed, distract your brain. Color, read, draw. You eventually need to solve the           
problem that is causing the anxiety, but at night when you need sleep isn't the time to do that. So until you have the time, use distraction. 

If getting out of bed might prove to be too difficult a task, maybe instead try a guided relaxation audio or video instead. The other night I was struggling with anxiety, and took a bubble bath, lit some candles, and put on an 18 minute guided relaxation meditation. Took my anxiety from an 8 to a 4. 

Next, I would suggest trying 1 or 2 ideas that are more for my instant gratification people. 

Rescue remedy is a good idea. If you haven't heard of rescue remedy, it's a healthy, clinically proven blend that you can take during moments of extreme stress or anxiety. It comes as a spray, drops...they make it for kids and animals. They also have them specifically blended for certain situations. is a good place to start if you're interested, but you can purchase off of amazon. 

Another good idea for those who prefer more of an "instant relief" feeling is almond milk with nutmeg. Almond milk is good for you, obviously, and nutmeg is a natural sedative so there's that!

The final two tips I would suggest are for people who might be a little more advanced, or a little more interested in different techniques. 

First, there's PMR (progressive muscle relaxation). This is where you learn to basically tighten and release all the muscles in your body from head to toe, in order to let go of tension and allow your body to physically relax. I used to do this with my kiddos when I worked in foster care, and they always really enjoyed it. You can search for any PMR script, or even youtube that as well. 

Then there's EFT tapping. EFT stands for emotional freedom techniques and it's a type of tapping you do to your own body using your fingers on certain points to help your body use it's healing properties. I know that sounds crazy, but it's used widely in the therapeutic community and I personally find it helpful. You can also youtube this or check out the website for more information. 

Lastly, I would like to suggest making your bedroom your sanctuary, and having a nighttime routine that you really enjoy, as this will get your mind in a good space and produce a feeling of calm prior to even laying down. Maybe this consists of lighting candles, or utilizing essential oils, putting lotion on, doing a face mask, reading, journaling, meditating. Just a slow-down routine that you look forward to could maybe be preventative measures to help if you have frequent nighttime anxiety.

Well, that's it for my tips to help with anxious thoughts at night! I hope if you're having trouble in this area that you've stumbled across this at the right time, and it helped. Sweet dreams!! xxo

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