Ever had a case of anxiety? You will know that anxiety is utterly exhausting and can certainly take a toll on your mind and body. It can make you physically exhausted to the point where you feel too tired to even get out of bed. Better sleep is not too far away.

However; at the same time, you seem to have a hard time falling asleep, because night time when you are by yourself appears to be the perfect time for your brain tends to think of all the thoughts, and they are racing through them a mile a minute. Quiet gives your mind a chance to work in overtime, and think about all the anxious thoughts that it can. This can keep you awake ALL NIGHT!

Let me tell you, exhaustion and irritability only make anxiety worse. It's a vicious cycle that is terrible to fall into. However; some strategies can help with these types of stress relief activities.

There is a reason why babies and children have a routine, and there is a reason why we, as adults, should have a method as well. Going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day lets the body's internal clockwork better. 

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Take A Bath

Some people will say taking a bath before bedtime is a no-no, and to that, I say bye bye! The feeling of warmth is comforting to those who need to relax. Read a book, throw on some music, and sit back and relax. Sometimes closing your eyes is the best way to get your body ready for bedtime.

Meditate 

If you don't practice meditation, I highly suggest you read up on the beginner's guide to meditation. Focusing on breathing has helped myself fall asleep when I am in one of my anxiety episodes. It helps remove the thoughts and slows me down so I can have a peaceful sleep.

Drink Tea

Do you remember when you were a kid, your mom always had a cup of tea before bed? And you looked at her like a crazy person? Well, there was a method to her madness. Chamomile tea is an excellent option for a pre-sleep drink, make sure you do your research on types of tea, and don't go for something that has caffeine, cause that genuinely defeats the purpose.

Journal

Journaling is an excellent addition to your bedtime routine. Getting out the daily frustrations, good moments, or just a brain dump is the perfect option to help get your mind free from all the clutter that accumulated throughout the day.

Stay Off Your Phone

If you need to, shut your phone down, put it on do not disturb, put it across the room if you have to. Phones are one of the biggest distractions that without knowing it can keep you up, even when you are exhausted. We are all guilty of spending countless hours on our phone when we could have just put it down and got some well-needed rest. Give yourself a phone-use curfew if you have to.

There is a reason why babies and children have a routine, and there is a reason why we, as adults, should have a method as well. Going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day lets the body's internal clockwork better. Getting up at odd hours can send your bodies rhythm out of whack.

Work Out Before Bed

This is just one of those suggestions based on personal justification. Some people find working out energizing. If that's your case, please don't work out. If you are anything like me, you find exercising mentally and physically draining. Often when I work out before bed, I end up sleeping like a log, and my mind is too tired to feel anxious.

Things To Avoid Before Going To Bed

Don't Watch The News

News is food for anxiety. Anxiety feeds on negativity, and it makes you imagine all of these catastrophes. Often times news outlets don't filter well, and they throw 207296050 things your way in a matter of minutes, I suggest opting for a news feed on your phone, where you can pick and choose what you want or don't want to read.

Don't Eat Heavy Dinners or Too Late At Night

Try not to eat heavy foods 3 hours before bedtime. Some foods contain nutrients that can keep you awake at night. Also, avoid drinking too many liquids, or you'll have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

Don't Force Yourself To Sleep

If you can't sleep, don't force yourself. This will only cause more anxiety. Make the 20-minute rule, if you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up, walk around the house, step outside for some fresh air, read a page of your book, or listen to a song, and then attempt to go back to sleep. The critical thing here is don't stay in bed, get up and any sleep-inducing activity, or do something you enjoy.

Don't Take Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills can be useful for the first few days while you take them, but they will ultimately or partially lose their effectiveness after 3 or 4 weeks. They can also create dependence issues.

Things To Remember

Quality Over Quantity

Don't stress out if you're not sleeping the recommended 8 hours. Everyone is different, and your body may not need that much time to recuperate. Some people function great on 4-6 hours of sleep, with a nap thrown in the middle of the day. Focus on getting some quality sleep rather than staying in bed only getting low quality sleep.

Medication

Ask your doctor if there is any medication you are taking that could be causing your insomnia.

Visit A Specialist

If you have exhausted all options, and there is still no sleep, or you can't control your anxiety, visit a specialist. Remember, anxiety will roam free if we give it the go-ahead to do so. Keep it in control by learning to recognize the first signals.

Remember that ultimately, you are the one who controls your thoughts and feelings. Learning to cope and deal with your anxiety will benefit you in the long run. Don't think you are alone in any of this, some so many people are going through what you are, so take comfort in knowing that you aren't alone in any of this.

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JJ. Burns

About the author

Strength and conditioning coach with a focus on developing young offensive line athletes. Developing all aspects of athletic performance from the physical to the mental. Helping them develop the habits to get them to the next level.

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