According to studies, you can calm your anxiety by eating foods known to improve this condition.1 Similarly, you can incorporate some techniques to manage nighttime anxiety, such as avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages, exercising, and getting treatments from a professional.
An anxiety disorder can significantly interfere with your well-being and daily affairs.2 Most people with this condition panic or worry about certain situations, triggering a panic attack and worsening anxiety.
Still, reports show that anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S as it affects 40 million adults annually.3 While this disorder is treatable, only 36% of patients with this mental illness are receiving treatments.
With many people suffering from this condition, it’s crucial to find strategies to calm or ease anxiety. Luckily, there are numerous ways experts have suggested to eliminate or reduce this mental illness.
One of the most important ways to curb anxiety is by eating the right kind of food.4 Food is an essential part of life. We eat food to survive, grow and build up immunity to fight diseases.
Our diet is also crucial in combating mental and psychological illnesses. Generally, experts suggest eating a balanced diet and also avoiding caffeinated beverages to minimize this condition.
However, other studies also suggest that certain kinds of food may ease anxiety due to their nutritional values.
Similarly, a study asserted that magnesium deficiency might cause anxiety.5 In the study, the investigator used mice to determine the importance of magnesium in controlling an anxiety disorder.
Finally, the investigator observed that deficient mice showed anxiety-related behaviors, establishing the importance of magnesium in food. Foods rich in magnesium include nuts, almonds, cashew, amongst others.
In addition, eating foods with omega-3 also helps you manage your anxiety.6 Besides helping with this medical condition, omega-3 reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases, which is crucial in maintaining good health.7
It is also essential to eat lots of vegetables and fruits. While most studies cannot establish a correlation between these foods and improved anxiety, they offer many nutritional benefits.
Why Do You Get Anxiety At Night?
Nighttime anxiety is a common occurrence for people suffering from an anxiety disorder.8 Oftentimes, people with this condition struggle to sleep due to numerous thoughts of worry.
Because anxiety is characterized by fear or worry, it’s not surprising that patients find it challenging to get extended, quality sleep.9
There are fewer distractions, noise, or tasks during the nighttime, which may distract you from thinking about certain things. This, in turn, could trigger a panic attack when your mind worries about situations that may seem impossible or exaggerated.
Many times, nighttime anxiety affects a person’s sleep. When you are anxious, you would become restless and lose sleep.
Sleep deprivation and insomnia could also worsen anxiety because the body has not gotten enough sleep to function properly. It’s also safe to state that your diet may also contribute to your sleep deprivation.
Caffeinated beverages, such as soda and coffee are culprits of insomnia. Because caffeine is responsible for sleep deprivation, taking coffee during the daytime may result in insomnia at night.
Still, you can find techniques to relieve the condition:
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol: If you want to reduce your nighttime anxiety, you must watch what you consume. Consuming caffeine or alcohol may jeopardize your chances of getting quality sleep.10
- Exercise: Exercising is an excellent way to reduce tension. When you exercise regularly, you may notice improved anxiety and also better sleep.
- Showers: Taking a shower before bed can help you sleep better, especially after a busy day at work. It would be best if you had the bath immediately before bedtime to help you enjoy better sleep.
Put Your Phone To Bed
Your phone might be the cause of your inability to sleep early.11 Before sleeping, many people use their phones to check the news or even their social media pages.
However, it’s best to stay away from online news, especially before going to bed. This is because bad news may disturb you and also trigger your anxiety.
While it's also tempting to wake up at midnight to check your social media app, you should avoid this to get better sleep. Schedule a time to put your phone to bed every night, ensuring that it’s hours before your bedtime.
Smartphones are essential devices; they help us stay updated on the latest trends and news while organizing our days to maximize productivity. However, late-night texting can keep our minds engaged, thereby causing insomnia.
For one, the blue light from smartphones may suppress melatonin, a study suggests.12 The blue light is an artificial light emitting from phones, which mimics sunlight.
When working to improve nighttime anxiety, it’s best to work on habits that cause insomnia. If you are getting good and extended sleep at night, it will be unlikely for you to be anxious at night.
If You Can’t Sleep…
At some point, everyone struggles to sleep, which is usually caused by several factors. To get better sleep, you can work on avoiding or reducing habits that cause insomnia.
While there are numerous sleep disorders, insomnia is one of the most prevalent. This medical concern may also worsen other health conditions, especially when it’s consistent.
Still, you can try out these tips to improve your sleep length and quality:
- Create a sleep schedule: If you find it challenging to sleep, you should create a schedule for sleeping. When you have a specific bedtime, your body adapts to it, helping you get better sleep at night. Even if you can’t sleep with this technique, you can read a book to assist the process.13
- Avoid foods or drinks that cause insomnia: While coffee or any other caffeinated beverage helps you stay alert, it may also affect your body's ability to fall asleep. If you cannot completely avoid coffee, it would be best to reduce your intake for better sleep quality.
- Write down your worries: Anxiety can disrupt your body from sleeping early. It's not uncommon to start thinking about things bothering you. However, if it persists, you will not get adequate sleep. An adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep daily, and you can only get this if you silence your thoughts. Write everything bothering you to help you focus on sleeping.
Healthy Techniques To Sleep Better
If you struggle with nighttime anxiety and sleep deprivation, you need to incorporate new strategies to manage this condition. While these techniques cannot replace medical treatments, they can complement them to assure better results.
It’s safe to state that humans need adequate sleep to function properly. When you are not getting good sleep, you may fall ill easily or even worsen existing mental health conditions. Luckily, you can use these tips to enjoy better sleep:
- Keep your bed comfortable: Your bed should be a place for sleeping and not for taking late-night calls. Make your bed comfortable to induce sound sleep. You can change your bedsheet and also use sleep-inducing light to help your nighttime.14
- Don't overeat: While it's essential to eat before sleeping, you should avoid stuffing your face before bed. If you overeat, you might struggle to sleep.
- Work on your sleep disorders: If you can’t seem to sleep well, you might have a sleep disorder, so you need to check with a trained professional. Doing this gives you more structured advice on your medical condition, helping you get the required help.
You can treat anxiety in two ways, which are through medication or psychotherapy.15 You can also choose to combine both treatments. This helps you find the one that works for you best. Here are the treatments available for anxiety:
This treatment is a form of counseling that helps you recognize anxiety triggers. The therapist will also recommend ways to manage the condition.
One of the techniques in managing anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This treatment focuses on teaching you skills to improve your condition. When you notice a pattern causing your disorder, you can work towards reducing the incidence.
There are numerous kinds of medications you can use to manage your condition. Some of the most used drugs are below:
- Antidepressants: Some antidepressants may help you improve your anxiety. Antidepressants improve moods, and this could help manage your condition. However, it’s best to speak to your doctor about the medication.16
- Antianxiety drugs: You can also use antianxiety drugs like buspirone or benzodiazepines for faster relief from anxiety-related conditions, such as panic attacks, racing pulses, shaking or insomnia. However, it may be a short-term solution, especially if your body becomes tolerant to them.
- You can also use sedatives, beta-blockers and other treatments recommended by your provider.
Finally, before using these medications, you should talk to your doctor. This helps you weigh the possible risks and advantages that you may derive from these treatments.
Anxiety is a condition that may affect or interfere with your daily life. Thankfully, you can calm the state by consuming foods known to improve anxiety. Additionally, you can manage your nighttime anxiety by avoiding habits that may trigger them, exercising, and getting recommended treatments.