For some people, chronic anxiety becomes most difficult during the night. Although this anxiety may be related to anxiety about insomnia, for others it may simply be the fading of sunlight and the feeling of loneliness or solitude that provokes the anxiety. If this sounds like you, here are some tips for managing your evening anxiety.
1. If you know the evening makes you anxious, get your work done during the day so that you can focus on something more pleasant in the evening. If you have a hard time cooking at night, plan to put something simple in the crockpot so that you don't have to worry about it.
2. Invest in a small nightlight or lamp that you can leave on in your living room or bedroom. Sometimes, seeing just a little bit of light can add comfort to the evening.
3. Even if you are an adult, consider buying a stuffed animal or something similar that you can snuggle on the couch or in bed. Sometimes, the feeling of something soft and warm can ease nighttime anxiety.
4. If you can, arrange to call relatives or friends for a quick chat in the evenings. Making a few minutes to reconnect can help to overcome the fear. If you end up coming home after dark with a friend, invite him or her in to visit for a few minutes.
5. Develop your own nighttime ritual so that you feel like you have something to do. For example, maybe at eight in the evening you are going to read a book for half an hour, then take a hot bath with some essential oils, then have a cup of chamomile tea, then climb into bed and watch TV until you fall asleep. If TV overstimulates you and makes it hard to sleep, consider playing some lullabies on your iPod or buying a small indoor fountain so that you hear water as you drift off.
6. Buy a very comfortable mattress or a mattress topper and some good bedding. Changes in temperature might make you wake up, which could increase anxiety. Buying a comfortable bed and decorating it with some beautiful and temperature appropriate bedding can make it easier to stay asleep.
7. If the evening is especially hard, consider this unorthodox approach. Go to bed very early, like seven, and plan to get up very early, at 4 a.m. Spend all of your extra time in the morning, and then escape into sleep before the nighttime jitters can get to you.
Although nighttime anxiety can be difficult to cope with since many people equate it to a child's fear of the dark, acknowledging the fear and then taking steps to handle it can really help you to manage the fear successfully.