If you’ve ever suffered from problems with sleep or anxiety, it will come as no surprise that there’s a correlation between the two. Stress and anxiety can keep you awake at night with thoughts running through your head, whilst not getting the sleep you need can have negative effect on your overall mental health, creating a vicious cycle.
This World Mental Health Day, qualified Sleep Coach, Nicky Blakeman from Yumi Nutrition gives her expert advice below for managing your anxiety at night to help you get the sleep you need.
1. Accept That Anxiety Is Normal
The first step is to accept that it’s normal to be having anxious thoughts about stressful and important times in your life. Try not to get too involved in your thoughts – observe them but don’t try to fight them.
2. Deal With Your Anxiety During The Day
The problem many people have is they don’t deal with their anxious thoughts during the day so they’re left to deal with them at bedtime when our minds are at their least rational. In order to help prevent anxious thoughts from keeping you up at night, you need to find a way of managing and dealing with these thoughts in the daytime.
3. Write Down How You Feel
A good way to get your anxious thoughts out of your system before bed is journaling. In the days leading up to an event you’re worried about, start to write down how you feel. This will help you to get all your thoughts onto the paper and you can then begin to rationalise them.
4. Come up With a Plan to Deal With The Worst Case Scenario
You’re much better at problem solving in the daytime than when you’re lying in bed at night so come up with a plan in the day. Consider the worst-case scenario i.e you don’t get the job you want or the grades you want in an exam and remember that you will always have options no matter what. Accept that you can’t always control how a situation will turn out and take some time to consider the options you have if the worst happens. Once you’ve come up with a list of options you can refer back to them when you start worrying at night – tackle your negative thoughts in the daytime and they will be much easier to manage at night.