Thursday, January 5, 2012

Night Time Anxieties

Often at night, when I first lay down for sleep, I start to run through the entire day, recalling conversations and situations from the day. This is not the most helpful of things. Some of my anxiety centres on 'getting stuck' in a memory - usually not a positive one - and going over and over the details in my mind, twisting the words or actions to see if I can change the actual outcome. This is a process that keeps me awake, or sometimes leads to nightmares. Its not a helpful thing. Other times I remember in a feeling of shock, something I forgot to do and then I can't sleep as I worry I won't remember in the morning. Dumb brain.

I have tried a few different techniques. Nothing seems to work all the time, but these things have been successful at times.

  • Turn the pillow over so its cool and take the blanket off. My nightmares and panics are often because I'm too hot.
  • Get up and get a drink (keep the lights off so I can go back to sleep, just leave a plastic cup by the sink). 
  • Wash my face (its the too hot thing again) 
  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy in my top drawer. My Grandma swears by the stuff. I'm sure its like 80% alcohol and that's what calms you!
  • Predictably, a notepad by my bed is helpful for midnight rememberings of things that should have been done the day before. 
  • No caffeinated drinks, ever. I find it sooooo hard to wind down with even one cola in my system. So I don't drink them. Not everyone has that reaction obviously, but I do, so its no caffeine for me. 
Most of the time I can do one of these things and get back to sleep. But not always. What are your go-to's for sleepless nights?


  1. Writing post-its and setting phone reminders help me when I think of stuff in the middle of the night. I'm probably in the same boat with caffeine, but I am not ready to stop drinking it yet hehe.

  2. I get stuck in memories too. It's funny, it can take me hours/weeks/days to finishing dealing with a "bad" memory - I just keep replaying it in my head - but the other day after J & I had had the same experience I asked him "Are you going over that comment in your head?" and he hadn't even thought about it!

    Definitely not helpful for getting to sleep. Glad you have some good strategies to help.