Anxiety is a common term used to outline a feeling, one that leaves you worried, restless, and uneasy. It is also a feeling or state of mind that can impact your sleep and slowly take away the minutes where your mind has actually gotten a chance to breathe.
Many times anxiety is caused by an event that has drastically or will drastically impact your future. Whether you have a big test tomorrow, someone you loved recently passed away, or if it was your first day travelling alone, the night before can be torture.
I remember the many nights where I stayed up and overanalyzed anything and everything I knew about the Roman Empire, or Euler’s formula, just because I was to afraid to fall asleep and forget everything. I couldn’t let myself sleep in fear of waking up and facing reality that I should have studied more.
These are just a few examples of what can cause nighttime anxiety, but it can be anything, like your hectic schedule, schoolwork, problems with friends, the list is endless. Here are some ways to handle those nights and days where you just can’t seem to stop thinking:
COOL DOWN: After a long day at work or school, it’s important to let your body know that it’s time for bed. Have a hot shower to heat up your body, instantly getting yourself ready to sleep. Don’t stop there, it’s important to prepare your mind as well as your body. Do something relaxing that can ease your attention off of all the things you have to do, like coloring, meditation, or stretching.
NO STIMULANTS: This means no coffee, energy drinks, heavy exercise, alcohol, or even most teas. Try to find caffeine free teas or make your own if you're feeling like drinking something other than water. It is really important to be away from caffeine and energy that will keep you up longer than you wanted. If you're hungry for food, almonds have been to help with sleep, and also are a great snack.
BRAIN OUT: If you're having a million thoughts racing through your mind don’t just let them sit there driving you crazy, dump them. Spill out all the stuff that’s keeping you up onto paper, helping you feel more at ease.
These are three basic tips to help you get started, but another important one that most people try to avoid is staying away from screens. They’re the worst of the worst in keeping you up at night.
Let us know what you do to deal with your nighttime anxiety by using our #stepupmagazine hashtag!
Mana Mehta is a 16-year-old high school student, aspiring to be a political journalist. She is usually glued to a good book and watching political debates.