What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening

Living with an anxiety disorder makes coping with day-to-day life very difficult and can have a huge negative impact on your work, social and personal life. For some people, the symptoms of anxiety which include excessive fear and worrying, panic attacks, feeling tense and restlessness can get worse in the evening.

The reason that anxiety gets worse in the evening for some people may be due to the lack of daytime distractions. Our days are often busy with work and all of the things that we need to get done, while at night, our activity slows down and we’re left alone to confront our thoughts.

For those people who find that their anxiety intensifies in the evening, there are a number of things you can do help ease the symptoms and set yourself up for a good night of sleep.

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Cut Out Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bed

Avoid drinks that contain caffeine as these possess stimulant properties that will prevent you from switching off your mind and falling asleep – try not to have any caffeinated drinks or food after 2pm.

While having an alcoholic drink may relax you and help you sleep at first, you don’t get the same good quality sleep and you may find yourself awake in an hour or two, not being able to turn off your thoughts.

Instead try to have a cup of herbal tea that will relax your mind and prepare you for a deep, restful sleep.

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening Cut Out Caffeine

Exercise Daily

Exercise helps reduce anxiety and depression and improves sleep quality. You should exercise early in the day or, at the latest, 3 to 4 hours before your bedtime, as exercising too close to bedtime will make it harder for you to wind down due to an increase in adrenaline levels.

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening Exercise Daily

Practice Mindfulness

Practising yoga or meditation is a great way to help you to unwind your body and mind. Focusing on your breathing and yoga movements takes you out of your head, away from your thoughts and into the present moment.

Having a warm bath with calming essential oils such as lavender and listening to some calming music can also be very relaxing and a great way to set yourself up for a peaceful sleep.

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening Practice Mindfulness

Distract Yourself

Staying busy in the evening will help to prevent you from getting swept up in the negative and worrying thoughts in your head. Going for a walk with a friend, reading a book or doing some art will keep you distracted and help reduce your anxiety.

Setting goals for yourself that you can work on each evening not only helps to keep you distracted from any negative thoughts but it allows you to focus on the future in a positive way. The goal could be as simple as finishing a jigsaw puzzle, as long as you’re working on achieving something you’ll improve your ability to cope with anxiety.

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening Distract Yourself

Turn Off Electronic Devices At Least 30 Minutes Before Your Set Bedtime

If you find yourself lying in bed worrying and getting anxious, unable to fall asleep, try turning off all electronic devices at least half an hour before bedtime.

Besides keeping your mind stimulated, the lights from an iPad, mobile phone or other electronic devices can make your mind believe it is still daytime. Make sure to keep these devices in another room, turn them off or cover up the blue displays. This includes digital clocks and televisions.

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening Turn Off Electronic Devices

Write Down Your Worries

When you feel your anxiety start to intensify, get your journal out and write down your thoughts and feelings. Be sure to include all your fears and worries and then shut the journal to say goodnight to your worries. This will allow yourself to put them aside for the rest of the night and relax.

What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening Write Down Your Worries

All of these techniques are extremely helpful to ease the symptoms of anxiety that may get worse in the evening. However, they are not a substitute for professional help and should be used in partnership with ongoing therapy in order to fully overcome the anxiety.

22 comments on “What To Do When Anxiety Gets Worse In The Evening

  1. Robert Evans on

    I feel terribly stressed with anxiety! My feet feel like they are burning! My heart rate goes over a hundred beats per minute!

  2. V on

    My mother (age 62) has the same problem- her levels of anxiety shoot up in the evening – she sweats , says her heart rate is high and feels as though blood gushing into her head.

  3. Marissa Salatin on

    My anxiety is extremely high in the evenings especially weekdays when my kids and husband go to sleep and I’m alone with my thoughts that alone scares me don’t know why. The anxiety is so overwhelming I end up crying myself to sleep

    • Kimi on

      Marissa I’m right there with you. My husband and I are empty nesters and he falls asleep early and easily. I find myself stressing whenever he starts to doze because that means ill be alone with my thoughts, many of which are sad because I’m a little obsessed with mortality since I turned 60. Mostly sad thoughts and feelings. I’ll have to look at this more closely. I’ve never thought of it that way until you worded it so well. Thank you.!

    • Heather on

      This happens to me too! Have you found anything that has helped? I’m desperate! I can’t keep feeling like this!

    • Margaret Miller on

      I went to the health food store today to get something for energy level. I cannot complete a job, can barely get started. Yet I have this anxious feeling. I go from one chair to another or just go to bed and sleep most of the day. The lady who works there said ” when you get up in age, your Adrenalin Glands get thin and worn… She gave me a natural vitamin called Adrenal Health by Gaia . I’ve just started it, so I don’t know if it works yet. It would be worth looking up information on this. The questions she ask were 1. Do you feel tired 2. Do you feel anxious
      3 Do you have restless sleep. 4. while just sitting do you feel jittery. I have all those symptoms.

  4. Penny Ann on

    I have just resolved my evening anxiety with CBD oil, the legal form of Hemp. It has resulted in a feeling of just being of normal mood, as per most of my day; I sleep soundly and any arthritic pain has gone.

  5. Mel on

    Honestly I would stay away from cannabis all together. Depending on how severe your anxiety is cannabis is not for everyone and that includes CBD. In my case someone had given me CBD oil and it gave me such a body buzz and sedative effect that it triggered my anxiety for feeling out of control of my body. There are studies that people who already have an anxiety disorder should stay away from cannabis. Don’t get me wrong I used to love smoking weed but that was before I started having panic attacks. Now I can’t even touch it because it will trigger my anxiety.

  6. Julie on

    I was diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder and Depressive disorder a few years ago. I’m 25, and every night I struggle with this. My anxiety can get so bad, it will force me to pull all nighters, or just spiral into a midnight panic attack. I’ve started practicing Yoga and Deep breathing techniques, which do help a little. I find that CBD helps sometimes, but not always. I’ve found that there are many medications and natural herbs out there, but anxiety is all in the head. Which is why I stick to deep breathing and just reading at night. Taking anything is my last option, unless it’s pretty bad. I hope this can help someone.

    • Fiona shaw on

      Hi Kimi
      I feel like you do about mortality I am also 62 just feels that little bit closers!! Silly really as we should be enjoying every day we have! Not that easy when your head has negative thoughts ?‍♀️

        • Karen on

          Hi, I have bad anxiety and this covid is not helping, I always think I am about to die and that is when my anxiety goes through the roof. I try to distract myself it works sometimes.

  7. John on

    I suffer from pretty severe anxiety with feelings of being dissociated from my body and reality. Like a lot of people in this thread it definitely gets worse at night. I don’t do well with psychoactive medications or sedatives and I don’t want to try CBD for reasons mentioned in other postings. A few years ago my PCP recommended a beta blocker, in my case propranolol. Usually used for hypertension and also for performance anxiety/social phobia I have found it also helps with my general anxiety. The stress that the initial onset of anxiety brings on activates our fight/flight system and makes the anxiety worse, a snowball effect. A beta blocker acts to reduce our circulating stress hormones such as adrenaline(epinephrine) and noradrenaline(norepinephrine). Although propranolol doesn’t act directly(psycho-actively) on the emotions/thoughts associated with anxiety, it does reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, breathing rate, etc., associated with anxiety which significantly reduces the feelings associated with anxiety. I still wake at night but am able to get back to sleep pretty fast. Propranolol is not a fast acting medication like benzodiazepines so must be taken 1-2 hours before the anxiety precipitating event, like going to bed. Beta blockers are not habit forming and have relatively few side effects. There are some medication interactions and they are not for everyone and as it is a prescription medication you need to consult with your primary care physician. It has really worked for me.

    • Rob on

      My anxiety started from January and i strongly believe it was caused by use of blood pressure medication called Amlodipine 10mg, after 2.5years of use of this medication something changed in my neuro system, because i didnt have anxiety problems before that. My anxiety starts around 5pm, why at that time???it start slowly with shaking and tremors, cold hands, difficulties to swallow, then fear and bp spikes and health anxiety , slow breathing under heavy duvet helps a little, i was prescribed with propranolol which removed some physical parts of anxiety like tremors and rapid heart rate , but psychological side of anxiety is still there. I dont know what to do, its a horrible to live like this its disturbing my daily life, especially with my family, children i feel horrible for that.

  8. Kara on

    My anxiety gets worse in the late afternoon. If I’m distracted from myself by some activity or with someone else, I don’t get anxious. I don’t have a problem with feeling out of control of my body or fear of dying or being ill. I have a fear of growing old alone with no one to have fun with or have a long conversation with, etc. I have a fear of outliving all my relatives and few friends, since it gets harder to make good friends as I get older and am not out as much. And then there’s the whole thing about looking older and feeling people look at you as if you’re mean, when all you’ve got is RBF. And sometimes my ambitions for the day are too much for the level of energy available, or I run into an obstacle in a project and it’s so frustrating when I have to quit. Not getting things done makes me despondent and hopeless in the evening sometimes.


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