Anxiety is a feeling that generates feelings of fear, dread or worry. It can make a person sweat, feel restless, tense, and cause their heart to beat faster. This may be a normal reaction to stress, for example.
However, sometimes this human emotion can last longer than usual, and when this happens, it may interfere with daily and night life. “For people with anxiety disorders, fear is not temporary and can be overwhelming,” says the US National Library of Medicine.
Anxiety can manifest in different ways and each person experiences it differently. There may be feelings of nervousness, restlessness or worry, problems concentrating, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and even gastrointestinal problems.
Some patients may also have panic attacks, an episode of extreme fear that may be accompanied by a feeling of unhappiness, rapid heartbeat and chest pain, shortness of breath, as well as a feeling of dizziness. tightness in the throat, sweating, chills, flushing, and lightheadedness or lightheadedness. .
Although episodes of anxiety can occur at any time, it is increasingly common for people to experience them at night. “Various clinical trials have determined that sleep deprivation can be a trigger for anxiety. Historically, research also suggests that anxiety disorders are linked to reduced sleep quality.
The source says sleep issues and anxiety seem to go hand in hand. Lack of sleep can be a trigger for anxiety, while anxiety can also lead to sleep deprivation.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that more than 50% of adults report that their level of anxiety affects their ability to sleep at night. For this reason, taking steps to manage nighttime anxiety and, incidentally, resolve sleep issues is key to improving quality of life.
One of the first steps to take is to try to identify what is the cause that generates this problem, assures the Psychology and Mind portal, because in this way you can start acting to find a solution. Excessive work, studies and personal, financial or emotional problems can trigger this situation.
Similarly, it is important to exercise, as it not only brings physical benefits, but psychological. “Studies show that playing sports improves mood because it helps release neurochemicals such as serotonin or endorphins, which make us feel good,” says Psychology and Mind.
Physical activity helps reduce stress and anxiety because it reduces the presence of cortisol in the body.
Another key aspect is to eat well, as it is one of the best ways to prevent insomnia. Food should be taken care of especially at nightsince large meals can cause difficulty falling asleep and therefore nighttime anxiety, experts say.
Meditation can also help. Scientific evidence suggests that a meditation session can be beneficial in reducing anxiety. Meditating just before going to bed can be a good way to reduce this condition at bedtime.
However, when the person cannot manage the situation on their own and considering aspects such as those mentioned above, it is better to resort to psychotherapies and one of them is cognitive therapy. behavioral. The latter stimulates the change of thought patterns to improve behavior and mood. According to the ADAA, it can take between 12 and 16 weeks to start seeing results.
Sometimes, say the experts, psychotherapy in itself is not enough and therefore it is necessary to resort to medication, which can supplement the care given by specialists with therapy.
It’s also important to treat underlying conditions, as some people have conditions that can cause symptoms of anxiety. For example, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain brain tumors can affect this problem.
Finally, alternative medicine can help with anxiety issues that occur at night. “Herbal and botanical research for anxiety is much more limited than traditional medicine. However, a 2010 systematic review found that herbal and nutritional supplements can be helpful therapies for anxiety.