Top Tips to Stop Bed-Time Anxiety Today!
Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | September 22, 2016
Tossing and turning in your sleep is a concept we are all familiar with. When we hear a co-worker, loved one or even a stranger complain about “tossing and turning” in their sleep the night before, we are instantly filled with empathy. Worry and anxiety are usually the culprits behind this tossing and turning and for some people it is a regular occurrence. Others still might even have anxiety that is directly linked to sleeping and bedtime rituals.
Have you ever found yourself lying awake at night filled with stress over waking up on time the next morning? While those still in school are far more likely to worry about sleeping through an alarm, adults can experience this feeling, especially when we are dealing with a change that disrupts our schedule. Think that early morning flight for an impromptu business trip.
This leads us to our first Top Tip:
Make-Up a Schedule
We give kids a bedtime, and that seems to work, so why not ourselves? Setting a bedtime can actually be a relaxing experience provided you don’t reschedule it and you get into bed at the time you set consistently every night. After a few days your body will start to settle into the routine and when your bedtime starts approaching, you will start to feel sleepy.
Shake it Off
Anxiety translates to a feeling of nervous energy for most people. Burning off that nervous energy can relax the mind and body. Though being physically active on a regular basis can help reduce your overall anxiety, you can also use exercise as a quick fix on restless nights. Go for a brief stroll or try calming your nerves by catching up on some household chores. Don’t go overboard, but instead stick to light effort activities that won’t reenergize you.
Try Using a Noise Machine
The sound of TV and radio static, a fan, a humidifier or even the low hum of the neighbor’s central air can provide a soothing soundtrack for nightly slumbers. Many people rely on these consistent noises to keep them soothed and calm throughout the night. For some, the white noise provides calming sensation, for others it blocks out the inconsistent noises that pop up during the night like the refrigerator starting its cooling cycle or your computer doing its weekly updates.
Back in the day, white noise machines were the go-to solution for soothing nightly noises. Apps, music playlists and YouTube videos can usually do the trick nowadays. Peruse the web to find your very own digital white noise machine that you can play on repeat all night long.