What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening

Living with an anxiety disorder makes coping with day-to-day life very difficult and can have a huge negative impact on your work, social and personal life. For some people, the symptoms of anxiety which include excessive fear and worrying, panic attacks, feeling tense and restlessness can get worse in the evening.

The reason that anxiety gets worse in the evening for some people may be due to the lack of daytime distractions. Our days are often busy with work and all of the things that we need to get done, while at night, our activity slows down and we’re left alone to confront our thoughts.

For those people who find that their anxiety intensifies in the evening, there are a number of things you can do help ease the symptoms and set yourself up for a good night of sleep.

Cut Out Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bed

Avoid drinks that contain caffeine as these possess stimulant properties that will prevent you from switching off your mind and falling asleep – try not to have any caffeinated drinks or food after 2pm.

While having an alcoholic drink may relax you and help you sleep at first, you don’t get the same good quality sleep and you may find yourself awake in an hour or two, not being able to turn off your thoughts.

Instead try to have a cup of herbal tea that will relax your mind and prepare you for a deep, restful sleep.

Exercise Daily

Exercise helps reduce anxiety and depression and improves sleep quality. You should exercise early in the day or, at the latest, 3 to 4 hours before your bedtime, as exercising too close to bedtime will make it harder for you to wind down due to an increase in adrenaline levels.

Practice Mindfulness

Practising yoga or meditation is a great way to help you to unwind your body and mind. Focusing on your breathing and yoga movements takes you out of your head, away from your thoughts and into the present moment.

Having a warm bath with calming essential oils such as lavender and listening to some calming music can also be very relaxing and a great way to set yourself up for a peaceful sleep.

Distract Yourself

Staying busy in the evening will help to prevent you from getting swept up in the negative and worrying thoughts in your head. Going for a walk with a friend, reading a book or doing some art will keep you distracted and help reduce your anxiety.

Setting goals for yourself that you can work on each evening not only helps to keep you distracted from any negative thoughts but it allows you to focus on the future in a positive way. The goal could be as simple as finishing a jigsaw puzzle, as long as you’re working on achieving something you’ll improve your ability to cope with anxiety.

Turn Off Electronic Devices At Least 30 Minutes Before Your Set Bedtime

If you find yourself lying in bed worrying and getting anxious, unable to fall asleep, try turning off all electronic devices at least half an hour before bedtime.

Besides keeping your mind stimulated, the lights from an iPad, mobile phone or other electronic devices can make your mind believe it is still daytime. Make sure to keep these devices in another room, turn them off or cover up the blue displays. This includes digital clocks and televisions.

Write Down Your Worries

When you feel your anxiety start to intensify, get your journal out and write down your thoughts and feelings. Be sure to include all your fears and worries and then shut the journal to say goodnight to your worries. This will allow yourself to put them aside for the rest of the night and relax.

All of these techniques are extremely helpful to ease the symptoms of anxiety that may get worse in the evening. However, they are not a substitute for professional help and should be used in partnership with ongoing therapy in order to fully overcome the anxiety.

14 thoughts on “What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening”

  1. I feel terribly stressed with anxiety! My feet feel like they are burning! My heart rate goes over a hundred beats per minute!

  2. My mother (age 62) has the same problem- her levels of anxiety shoot up in the evening – she sweats , says her heart rate is high and feels as though blood gushing into her head.

  3. Marissa Salatin

    My anxiety is extremely high in the evenings especially weekdays when my kids and husband go to sleep and I’m alone with my thoughts that alone scares me don’t know why. The anxiety is so overwhelming I end up crying myself to sleep

    1. Marissa I’m right there with you. My husband and I are empty nesters and he falls asleep early and easily. I find myself stressing whenever he starts to doze because that means ill be alone with my thoughts, many of which are sad because I’m a little obsessed with mortality since I turned 60. Mostly sad thoughts and feelings. I’ll have to look at this more closely. I’ve never thought of it that way until you worded it so well. Thank you.!

    2. This happens to me too! Have you found anything that has helped? I’m desperate! I can’t keep feeling like this!

  4. I have just resolved my evening anxiety with CBD oil, the legal form of Hemp. It has resulted in a feeling of just being of normal mood, as per most of my day; I sleep soundly and any arthritic pain has gone.

  5. Honestly I would stay away from cannabis all together. Depending on how severe your anxiety is cannabis is not for everyone and that includes CBD. In my case someone had given me CBD oil and it gave me such a body buzz and sedative effect that it triggered my anxiety for feeling out of control of my body. There are studies that people who already have an anxiety disorder should stay away from cannabis. Don’t get me wrong I used to love smoking weed but that was before I started having panic attacks. Now I can’t even touch it because it will trigger my anxiety.

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