Feeling anxious at night? You’re not alone. In this post, let’s find out some cures for your night time anxiety.
- 6 Things to do to Reduce Anxiety at Night
- Bonus Tips for Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal feeling of fear, worry, stress or panic that you feel when you face a threatening situation. However, anxiety can morph into a dangerous mental disorder when you start feeling anxiety for the littlest of things. when you find it hard to cope with these feelings that feel suffocating, then you need to invest in therapy, or work on yourself and try out some activities that will help reduce your anxiety.
6 Things to do to Reduce Anxiety at Night
Let’s get into just a few activities that can reduce the feelings of anxiety at night.
1. Take a warm bath or shower
Warm water and soothing scents help relieve sleep anxiety. If you don’t have a nightly anxiety routine, be sure to include a warm soothing bath to help you relax and calm down. I recently got myself a bath set from Bath and Body Works called “Perfect Peony” and it has a sweet but not overwhelming scent that makes me feel so calm. You can also spray a bit of a body mist in your shower so that the steam from your shower releases its scent. This can work as DIY aromatherapy.
2. Watch Midnight in Paris or similar anxiety-free TV
Midnight in Paris is just about the best movie out there. It’s my go-to movie and I like to watch it a lot. If you have anxiety at night, I recommend an anxiety-free movie or TV show. I hate watching stuff that isn’t predictable and has me guessing what happens next.
That’s why I recommend activities that will keep you calm, and maybe even make you laugh a bit.
3. Informational podcast
Anxiety and sleep are correlated at night. The longer you stay awake, the more your anxiety has time to play. That’s why to reduce night time anxiety, you should reduce your uptime. One of my favorite things to do to fall asleep at night is to watch a wildlife documentary, or just have one playing in the background while I dozed off to sleep.
Listening to people talk helps me fall asleep. That’s why I try to fit in a podcast or two while I drift off so I can learn useful and important things.
In this journey to beat anxiety without medication, we need to try as many activities as we possibly can.
Journaling is literally free therapy. Go to a therapist and guess what they’ll tell you to do? To go out and buy a fresh journal so you can write down your thoughts. Writing thoughts down helps you to extract your tangle of thoughts into a meaningful string of words.
I mean think about it – you are a pretty smart person. You help your friends out when they have personal issues in their lives. The only thing is that when it comes to you, things aren’t that clear and cut out. Getting out on paper fixes that issue. Now, you have something you can work with.
I remember the last time I had a true self-therapy session with myself. I unearthed some deep psychological wounds that had been coloring my interactions with people. When I realized the exact reason why I was acting the way I did, it’s like I came undone. I felt like a whole new person. I changed that day, and I don’t think people think it’s possible to change in one day. But it happened to me.
That said, journaling can help reduce anxiety before bed.
5. A cup of soothing tea
Tea is my choice of drug. Since I’m caffeine-intolerant, I stay miles away from coffee, and that led me to falling in love with tea. Here’s the thing about tea okay: It’s warm, keeps you company for long, and makes you feel safe. It’s not like a fresh juice that you gulp down in under one minute.
A cup of chamomile tea at night is really all you need to put you to bed. It provides a relaxing properties that slow you down and make you sleepy. Chamomile has properties that relax muscles and reduce irritability. It’s perfect for sleep anxiety treatment.
6. Less social media
Name one person who hates social media as much as I do, I’ll wait. Lol. Last month I started a new posting schedule to improve my Instagram account. I tried posting twice a day, after watching a video from Chris Do at The Futur. He motivated me to work on my social media. I tried, I really did. But social media sucks the juice out of me.
I am very sure of it. One evening, I was full of life and energy, ready to conquer the diem. Then, I went on a little Instagram scroll. After that, I was like, damn, why I am so hecking tired? Culprit: Social Freaking Media. Social media makes anxiety worse at night.
It sucked the life out of my soul. And that, my friends, is why I stay away from anything that looks like a little pink and purple camera icon on my phone. Actually, I already deleted the app.
Bonus Tips for Anxiety
In this section, I want to share some extra tidbits for how I reduce my anxiety. It’s a mix of techniques from CBT and just some personal stories of how I manage anxiety at any time of the day, not just night time.
1. Deep breaths 3x
This is the most underrated tool for anxiety out there. I remember the last time I was having a panic attack. It was actually quite funny because a really good thing was happening to me! I was feeling intense anxiety until I told myself, “You know what, I have to take some deep breaths.”
After taking those three deep breaths, like magic, I felt amazing. All the anxiety drained out of me.
Sometimes I still get Sunday night anxiety before work in the morning. It feels like a chore, but those three deep breaths always come through for me.
2. Behavioral Experimentation
Behavioral experimenting is a new technique I’ve been using on myself. It’s a CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique used by therapists to help with anxiety. Here is how to use it:
You are anxious about a certain situation, and you seem to think it’s going to turn out to be catastrophic. Now, write down all the thoughts that you think will come to fruition. That you’ll be late, or get into an accident, or get arrested.
When the event has passed, compare your notes to what actually happened.
This exercise can help to solidify the fact that your anxious thoughts to not reflect reality.
3. Release and let go
I used this technique a bunch of times on myself until I realized that it was very effective in helping me to calm down and relax. I think I would attribute it to Kyle Cease, whose videos I watch a lot. He talks about how you should let go and surrender to life.
I know it sounds a bit counter-intuitive. I mean, if I really wanted something but I had so much anxiety about it, why would I let go? I think it works because when I give up on obsessing about something, it clears my mind and helps me make better decisions.
When I had a lot of anxiety before sleep about starting my new job the next day, I told myself that it was okay and I didn’t have to do it if it was giving me anxiety. I went to sleep feeling peaceful. When I woke up the next morning, I had this deep resolve in me that I was going to go to my job and be just fine.
There is something about letting go, even when you don’t want to, that helps you make a better decision.
Additional Helpful Posts
- 5 Mental Habits that Make Your Anxiety Worse
- Daily Routine to Reduce Anxiety
- How to Heal Anxiety + Free Anxiety Healing Worksheet