A goodnight’s rest leaves you with a smile on your face! You feel refreshed, energized, and ready to start the day. That’s just a couple of ways having enough sleep can impact you. But not all of us have an easy time catching the Z’s we need. You might have anxiety throughout the day, and it can follow you to bed. You can feel like your head is on repeat with many thoughts, keeping you up at night.
It’s normal to feel anxious. When your body believes you’re in danger, it wants to alert you so you can be safe. You might feel like your heart is pounding or that you have a lot of energy. Knowing how to react to your thoughts can help you fall asleep. Also, there’s nothing to worry about if you have a sleepless night once in a while. If anxiety is keeping you up at night, there’s something you can do:
- Write about how you feel. If you have paper and a pencil nearby, you’re in for a treat! Writing about how you feel is a great way to express yourself. Write what’s on your mind as if you were saying it to someone else. Also, you can choose to keep what you wrote private or show someone else.
- Allow yourself to feel anxiety. You might feel better if you allow yourself to feel anxiety. When we stop running, we confront and face what’s happening to us. Sometimes, we can’t control what happens throughout our lives. See your anxiety as a wave passing by you that won’t last forever. The feeling will slowly go away.
- Don’t force yourself to sleep. Do you have a fear of not falling asleep? To fall asleep, you have to be willing to accept that you can’t sleep perfectly on all nights. You’ll have an easier time sleeping when you think to yourself, “I can only try to fall asleep. I’ll do something to keep me awake tomorrow if I can’t sleep.”
- Practice gratitude. Before you go to bed, don’t forget to say “thank you”! Gratitude is all about remembering the good things done to you, like how someone helped you pay for your groceries. Noticing and appreciating the little things tends to help with anxiety by giving you a positive mindset. Create a list of three things that you’re thankful for around bedtime.
- Laugh. A good laugh (or even a smile) might be all that you need to help you drift off. Laughing gets you to release stress that might be keeping you up at night. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re giggling. Find the humor in your life with funny movies, cartoons, and videos.
When You Still Can’t Sleep
Everyone gets sleepless nights from anxiety. Sometimes, our thoughts go unnoticed during the day when at school or work and surface before bed. But your cause of anxious feelings at night could have a different reason. If you tried some of the strategies above but still can’t sleep, speak with your doctor.