Escape that Sunday night feeling with four top ways to deal with night time anxiety
Whether you call it The Fear or just the Sunday night wobbles, night time anxiety is a very real thing. Especially after a big weekend, holiday away or a big family occasion. So what can you do when you know you need to sleep but your mind is racing?
If you know you’ve had a lot to drink over the past few days or are already feeling a little anxious, start to wind down earlier than usual. So try to avoid your phone for 30 miuntes before you go to bed, and start the going to bed ritual giving yourself time to acknowledge what’s going on. If you do the same thing every night before you go to sleep, your mind will start to associate the actions with sleep. So, when you know you’re a little anxious, start your bedtime routine earlier and do each act mindfully. Even brushing your teeth!
We know the power of deep breathing, but if it’s not something you practice regularly try to take a big inhale and count down on the exhale. There’s nothing to judge about a number, and nowhere your mind can go. Try to start at 10 and count down, and if that doesn’t work, start counting down from your age!
Read more: How to develop a good sleep routine
Accept and move on
Write down what’s worrying you. Or make a list of things you have to do during the week. By committing these concerns to paper you’ll free up space in your mind. “We can’t help these thoughts coming in, but they’re only a problem when they start to consume us,” says Dr Guy Meadows of The Sleep School. “By giving them names, you speed up the process of defusion, so when unpleasant thoughts crop up, you can just acknowledge them – oh, there’s The Nag again – and go back to what you’re doing.”
Leave the room
If you are tossing and turning, then just give in. Get up, leave your bedroom and go and get a warm drink or sit elsewhere for ten minutes. This will reset your mind and body. Just be careful not start scrolling on your phone or to turn on the TV, as this will stimulate your brain again, leaving you back at square one.
Read more: Five tips for better sleep