Quiet Anxious Thoughts Before Bed
It can be difficult to fall asleep when it seems that it’s the only time during the day where you have time to think. This time is often when all of the worry you had during the day accumulates, and you get caught up in a whirlwind of racing thoughts. How can you sleep if you’re worrying? If you do manage to fall asleep after so much worry, you can often toss and turn, grind your teeth, or experience nightmares. It is important to soothe your worries before trying to fall asleep.
Here are some tips to do just that:
Set Aside a Time to Worry
This seems strange, but setting aside 20 minutes to address your worries can be helpful. It isn’t productive to worry at night, when you are exhausted, and not thinking clearly. Promise yourself that tomorrow, at a certain time, you will sit down and focus on the things that are bothering you. You may find that when tomorrow comes, your worry was irrational or unimportant. You might not even remember what was worrying you!
If there is a large issue that is bothering you, ask yourself what you can do about it, and make a plan. Try to limit your worrying to solvable issues. If you are concerned about money, and your worrying keeps you up at night, don’t just hide from the issue, address it by speaking to your bank, creditors, or a financial advisor. Open your mail and look at your bills. Face the issues head on. Avoidance only makes worrying more severe.
If you spend time worrying about irrational thoughts or unlikely scenarios, ask yourself where this fear is coming from. Why are you so worried about this particular outcome? Ask yourself how your worrying can help… Chances are, the worrying is acting as a distraction for another underlying emotion.
Get Out of Your Head
Finally, worrying exists in the mind, but can often appear in the body, in physical symptoms, such as restlessness, body aches, muscle tightness, difficulty breathing and a racing heart. Next time you are lying in bed worrying, try to focus on your body instead of your mind. Review the tip “Body Scanning-Mindfulness Technique,” which is a simple breathing and body-focused exercise that you can do in bed, which will help let go of your worry, and leave you feeling calm and relaxed.