By Jennifer McDougall
When the lights go out, the distractions disappear, and everything becomes a little more unsettling.
The exact causes that create anxiety during the day can generate anxiety at night. However, the combination of anxiety and insomnia may be mistaken for other diseases, and the difference in environment between night and day can lead you to believe it’s something else. So, what causes worry at night, and what can you do about it? Anxious emotions are the body’s natural alarm reaction to actual or imagined psychological or physical threats, and they can affect anybody. It’s even considered serviceable to the person in moderate cases.
What is Anxiety
Anxiety could be caused by everyday stressors and manifests itself in a variety of ways. It might also show up as a generalized anxiety disorder. Because of inherited and temperamental variables, some people are just more prone to worry than others. Most individuals, on the other hand, are familiar with these common anxiety symptoms. Anxiety may make you feel as if you’re alone in the world. Anxiety, on the other hand, affects over 20% of the population. This implies that a lot is understood about how to manage anxiety successfully.
Anxiety at Night
Your subconscious mind and brain continue to analyze and deal with problems you face during the day at night. If the task is too difficult, it may cause insomnia or other sleep problems. You might wake up from a panic attack, suffer night terrors, or have sleep paralysis in extreme situations. “Stress dreams” are a common occurrence for many people. These nightmares generally revolve around mundane activities that go wrong. Stress dreams aren’t as vivid or disturbing as night terrors, but they can still keep you awake at night.
Insomnia or sleep disturbances such as nightmares or night terrors are diagnostic indicators for anxiety disorders and everyday anxiety. Because a person’s hormonal system is altered when under a lot of stress, it is normal for people going through this to wake up in the middle of the night or feel highly anxious. It can even be challenging to go back asleep. So whatever is giving you worry throughout the day will most certainly manifest itself at night.
It’s crucial to distinguish between nocturnal anxiety that occurs sometimes and nocturnal anxiety caused by an anxiety disorder. The former may be addressed and resolved by making a few lifestyle adjustments and treatment and counseling. On the other hand, the latter can only be diagnosed by a physician or psychiatrist and is best treated with medicine and a lifestyle change.
Symptoms Of Occasional Anxiety At Night
Knowing the difference between normal anxiety and something more serious can help you receive the treatment you need. While most individuals with anxiety have some common symptoms, each person’s entire collection of symptoms is unique. The following are some of the most frequent signs and symptoms of occasional anxiety.
- Occasional anxiety over events such as a breakup, work stress, conflict, or a child’s sickness.
- When confronted with an awkward social setting, you may feel embarrassed or self-conscious.
- Physical symptoms such as nervousness, light perspiration, or even dizziness result from a sizeable looming test, a business deal, or a life milestone such as getting married.
- Following a stressful incident, sadness, sleeplessness, and anxiety or concern are common.
- Fear of a hazardous circumstance or person.
- The standard need for guarantee of safety, security, and good health.
Most people’s symptoms of nocturnal anxiety will go away once the stresses have been removed, reduced, or controlled. However, anxiety symptoms might linger for months after a significant life change or catastrophe. If they continue longer, you should see a doctor since you might be suffering from an anxiety condition.
Anxiety disorders are a category of mental illnesses that have common symptoms. Only a skilled doctor or certified therapist can diagnose and heal mental illnesses. An anxiety disorder does not necessitate the presence of all of these symptoms. It’s recommended to speak with a qualified therapist if you find that your anxiety is unmanageable on your own.
How to Ease Your Nighttime Anxiety
The sooner you treat the anxiety that keeps you awake at night, as well as any other symptoms that are keeping you up, the better. Humans are creatures of habit, and it is conceivable, although not likely, to develop an anxiety habit. It’s never a good idea to hide any sensations, and addressing worry, and its causes head-on is critical if you want to avoid an adverse stress reaction.
The suggestions below will help you deal with stress, which is the leading cause of anxiety. Please keep in mind that only perseverance with the following will yield long-term results. Over time, they will become healthy habits and helpful tools for staying in control of anxiety rather than succumbing to its crippling effects.
- Exercise — One of the most efficient ways to immediately decrease stress hormones in the body and trigger a cascade of biological processes that improve physical and mental wellness is through exercise. We were created to move, not sit for long periods in front of a computer or television. Yet, according to studies, even 15 minutes of daily walking can lower all-cause death by 14%.
- Develop a Nighttime Routine — Keep intense activity for the morning or early afternoon. Try psychologically calming exercises like yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong if you suffer from night anxiety. Reading a book can assist some people, but it’s not the same as reading on your phone. Electronic gadgets emit a bright, artificial light that might deceive your body into staying awake for extended periods. Caffeine-free herbal teas are another option for lulling you to sleep. You might also want to avoid coffee in the afternoon.
- Meditation has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety in studies. If done daily, it can help to relax the mind and enhance brain function. Consider studying a specific method, such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), which has been effective in treating stress and anxiety problems in over 40 years of research. “No other stress management approach has anywhere like the quantity of concrete evidence that TM has,” says Norman Rosenthal, MD, of the National Institutes of Mental Health in the United States.
- Avoid big and late suppers, as well as stimulants like coffee or chocolate, in your diet. Reduce your sugar intake and replace it with fruit instead. Fast food and processed meals should be avoided. Consult a dietitian for specialized dietary guidance if necessary. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drinking alcohol can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as more sleep disruptions. Tossing and turning for a few minutes longer and sleeping all night is preferable to falling asleep quickly and waking up too early.
- Play Music — The link between emotions and music is a strong one. MindLab International with Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson has tested this particular ambient music track for anxiety, with a 65% reduction in participant symptoms. Listen to this or other soothing music before going to bed.
- Vitamin B12 supplementation has been shown to improve neurological function and is helpful in the treatment of moderate anxiety. However, irritability, memory loss, sadness, psychosis, and cardiac abnormalities are all symptoms of vitamin deficiency. Before going to bed, try taking a natural sleep supplement like chamomile tea, melatonin, valerian, St John’s Wort, or kava-kava. To avoid any unwanted side effects, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
- Seek Help — A qualified therapist can assist you in determining the underlying source of your anxiety and addressing it directly so that you can sleep soundly and peacefully every night.
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Featured photo by Ashley Byrd