Having trouble sleeping due to constantly worrying about something? Sometimes, sleep will be the most frightening specter, no matter how tired your body and mind are at the time. This situation is usually experienced by children who have difficulty falling asleep due to being constantly disturbed by nightmares at night. So, can the fears and worries associated with sleep be eliminated? Of course, I can! First of all, you need to first evaluate the source of the fear or concern. Then, try to create a comfortable sleep environment and routine to ease the process of falling asleep when your mind is overwhelmed by excessive fear.
Method 1 of 3: Overcoming Fear at Night
Step 1. Deal with any anxiety you have about sleep
One source of anxiety that your brain might interpret as fear is worrying about not getting enough sleep at night.
- In fact, sleep-related anxiety and fear is a form of stage fright.
- Don't allow your brain to constantly think "what time is it?", "what time should I wake up tomorrow?", or anything else that has to do with the quality of your sleep.
- When such thoughts arise, immediately put them aside by thinking of other figures or objects that you like.
- Understand that the fear of sleep, like other anxiety disorders, is rooted in your perspective.
Step 2. Calm yourself while lying in bed
If your life is filled with anxiety, chances are your brain will translate your body and mind's inability to relax as a fear of sleep. To fix this, try closing your eyes and breathing deeply.
- Taking deep breaths can help calm and focus your mind. As a result, feelings of anxiety and fear will slowly disappear.
- Remind yourself that doubts and fears are normal. Plus, there will always be times when you find it harder to sleep than usual. This is normal too!
- If you're worried about having trouble sleeping at night, try to prepare yourself mentally beforehand.
- As you go to sleep, try to imagine yourself waking up, changing positions, and going back to sleep afterward.
Step 3. Do mindfulness exercises or meditation
One of the ancient ways to do mindfulness practice or meditation is to count from 100 with your eyes closed, all the way to the lowest number you can.
- Imagine an outdoor scene that you have or would like to see. Also imagine the sounds and smells associated with the scene. Then, feel the gust of air brushing against your skin.
- Imagine yourself sitting quietly in your favorite fantasy realm.
- Try playing audio that matches your imagination. Avoid audio that contains distracting words or other elements. Instead, look for audio that plays ambient sounds (background sounds with no pitch) or other soothing sounds, such as waves crashing against a rock or raindrops.
- If you want, you can also play some relaxing music. In particular, sounds and music can take your mind off horrific images.
- Try journaling before bed. Writing can help clear your mind, manage what comes to your mind, and express your feelings externally.
Step 4. Fight your nightmare
Although children experience nightmares more often, adults are not free from this possibility! To take your mind off your nightmares, try to focus more on doing the things you enjoy.
- Fill your mind with positive emotions to prevent the fear from creeping in while you sleep.
- After 6 p.m., make sure you only watch or read positive, fun media.
Step 5. Don't watch movies, read books, or watch television shows that are too intense and/or terrifying
Even if you enjoy watching or reading such stories, don't do them before bed! In fact, the activity was more closely related to feeling "excited," not fear.
- Movies that are too intense can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, regardless of whether or not you have any fear after watching them. In particular, one of the factors that gives rise to such sensations is the “newness” of the experience, especially since the human mind has a greater affinity for (and is more attached to) things they do not normally see.
- Even the most intrepid movie connoisseur will still feel the psychological turmoil in his brain after watching a very intense film.
- Even if you don't feel scared, the intensity of your energy and emotional levels will definitely increase. If the fear does arise, of course your desire to sleep well at night will be even more difficult to realize!
- Read this wikiHow article on how to get a good night's sleep after watching a horror movie.
Step 6. Calm the child who often has nightmares
In fact, the increased imagination of children at preschool age, accompanied by an increased understanding of the bad things that might happen to humans, are prone to making children have nightmares when sleeping at night. To make your child sleep more soundly, there are several steps you can practice.
- Let your child sleep with objects that increase their comfort, such as a doll or blanket.
- Read a book that contains fun and positive stories before the child goes to bed. If possible, choose books that are really liked by children.
- When your child wakes up from a bad dream, immediately reassure him that he is okay.
- Create funny and interesting stories about the shadows in the child's bedroom. This method can increase the comfort of the child in the room he is sleeping in.
- If your child continues to harbor negative thoughts after a bad dream, try asking him to discuss the issue in the morning or afternoon.
- Do not constantly allow children to sleep in your bed so that he does not experience dependence.
- For more specific tips, try reading this wikiHow article on how to deal with nightmares that can also be applied to children.
Step 7. Get professional help
Both children and adults should see a health professional if difficulty sleeping due to excessive fear does not subside. Today, there are doctors specifically devoted to treating sleep disorders, and some hospitals even have specialized laboratories to evaluate sleep problems.
- In particular, a mental health professional can help develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.
- Fear and sadness are two very different things. Therefore, communicating the two to someone will not only improve the quality of your sleep, but will also make your body more energetic the next day!
- Sometimes, the discomfort you feel is purely due to a physical disturbance (and perhaps a fear of the feeling that arises). In such cases, the doctor can help restore the lost sleep.
Method 2 of 3: Creating a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Step 1. Have a special ritual before you go to sleep
Get used to doing a routine before bed that can relax your body. Thus, the body will receive a signal to rest when the routine is done.
- For example, you can take a shower first. Then, dim the lamp before you lay down in bed. After that, read a book for 20 minutes. The order of activities can be adjusted according to your preferences because the most important thing is consistency.
- Lower the temperature in the room. This method can work more effectively to "sleep" the body and mind after you have previously taken a warm bath.
Step 2. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
Adjust the temperature and lighting shades in the room to make your sleeping environment more comfortable. In particular, dim the room lights at night, cool the room temperature, and make sure it's quiet when you sleep.
- Turn on the little night light. If being in the dark makes you uncomfortable, fix the problem by turning on a small night light. However, make sure that the light is not too bright and that it is kept away from your face.
- Try covering the surface of the lamp with a bluish or greenish covering, then place the lamp on the wall opposite your head when you sleep.
- Dim the lighting in the room as comfortable as possible. Light is a natural signal that will wake your body up. Therefore, keep the lighting in the room not too bright so that the body can still sleep soundly without having to feel afraid.
- Instead of turning on the light, place a flashlight by the side of the bed so you can quickly turn it on when needed.
Step 3. Avoid exposure to light from the screen before going to bed
In other words, turn off all electronic devices in the room, including televisions, video games, computers, and cell phones, at least an hour before your desired bedtime.
In addition to the light that radiates, the process of operating the screen can also make the subconscious bond with the world outside your bedroom
Step 4. Lie down early in bed
You may find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep if you apply this method. However, the fear you feel will actually decrease, you know! For example, you no longer have to worry about the total amount of sleep at night because you are lying down earlier than usual.
- In addition, you also no longer need to be afraid to sleep alone because you can still hear the voices of people who wake up outside the room.
- Try to get up early. In fact, waking up before the sun rises can be really beneficial for your body and mind, you know! In addition, you will also feel the extraordinary privilege when you can watch the process of the rising of the sun.
- Don't take a nap. Napping is one of the factors that make it difficult for someone to sleep at night. As a result, the anxiety you feel can increase because you feel you can't get enough rest at night.
Step 5. Do light exercise before bed
In particular, doing light stretching or restorative yoga can help calm your body and mind, and prepare your body for rest.
- Sign up for weekly yoga classes, or watch yoga videos to learn important poses.
- In particular, the forward fold pose with any variation is very powerful to help calm yourself down.
- Breathe with purpose. Whatever the pose, breathing is a very important aspect of yoga. Instead, use the 1:2 pattern to maximize the body's relaxation process, which is to exhale in a matter of 2 times more than when you inhale. For example, if you inhale for a count of 3, exhale for a count of 6. After that, increase the count gradually so that the body feels more relaxed. Although not accompanied by any poses, this simple breathing exercise is also effective in calming your body and mind, you know.
- Do a forward fold. First of all, stand up straight and make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor. Then, bend over and bend your legs forward as far as you can while exhaling and extending your spine. After that, lower both hands to the floor and wrap them around the area behind the feet. As you inhale, straighten your back in a horizontal position, then slide your palms toward the back of your knees. Push your chest as far as you can, then exhale as you bend back down without removing your hands from behind your feet. Make sure your knees are slightly flexed during the forward fold, and allow your head to hang without stress when bending over. After repeating the above process six times, hold the final forward fold for ten breaths.
- Throughout the day, make time to jog, do recreational sports, or work out at the fitness center. Exercising regularly can make you fall asleep faster at night.
- Do not do activities that are too intense, at least a few hours before you go to bed.
Step 6. Control the food and drink that enters your body
A healthy diet is the key to getting a quality of life, as well as quality of sleep, which is also healthy. Therefore, stop eating heavy meals at least two hours before bedtime. Eating a heavy meal just before bed can reduce your comfort and disturb your sleep.
- Don't forget to eat breakfast. Instead, choose a healthy and nutritious breakfast menu such as fruits and whole grains. Start the day with an energizing meal so you won't be tempted to overeat for the rest of the day.
- Do not consume caffeine at night. In particular, do not consume foods or drinks containing caffeine (including coffee, tea, or chocolate) after 4 pm.
- Do not allow children to consume caffeine (including soda) after 3 pm.
Step 7. Have a snack before bed
In fact, eating small snacks at night can make you fall asleep faster, you know! For example, try drinking a glass of milk, eating a small bowl of rice or whole grain cereal, or eating a handful of nuts.
If you want, you can also drink caffeine-free tea. This type of tea is not only free of calories, but is also very effective at bringing your body and mind into sleep
Step 8. Try raising an animal
If you think the presence of a pet can reduce your fear of sleeping at night, try petting one. On the other hand, if you've slept with your pet but keep waking up periodically during the night, try letting them have their own bed.
- Although you may not wake up because of it, understand that lying in the same place as your pet can reduce the quality of your sleep. Therefore, try sleeping alone for a few days and observe the results.
- Having a dog will not only make your life more comfortable, but also safer. In addition, dogs can also be trained to sleep in any location that is comfortable for you, such as at the foot of the bed.
Step 9. Try setting an alarm in the house
Having an alarm will certainly increase security in your home, and that sense of security can reduce the fears that arise in the minds of you and other family members at night.
Method 3 of 3: Ensuring Safety in Chaotic Situations
Step 1. Read, listen or watch the news
If something negative happens near where you live, and you can't find yourself somewhere else, don't forget to watch or read the news to monitor the situation and stay safe. Both natural disasters and human-to-human conflicts can quickly worsen, so you should always be vigilant to stay safe.
- Knowing that the storm has passed or the mass demonstrations have died down through the news will undoubtedly make you feel safer when you have to sleep at night.
- If a dangerous event occurs in your vicinity, it never hurts to take extra precautions to ensure your safety at night is well maintained.
- If you're unsure about the safety of your building or where you sleep in inclement weather, try finding another sleeping location or staying in a sturdier room, such as a cabin.
- Place a flashlight or other light source near you when you sleep.
Step 2. Check the condition of all accesses into the room or building
Make sure all doors and windows are locked properly. If the weather outside is very extreme, try closing or removing the glass to increase the potential safety of people in the room or building.
Ask everyone for help to take turns keeping watch. In other words, there had to be one person awake to oversee the situation. Then, the person can wake up others if a situation is troubling or warrants attention
Step 3. Make sure other people can sleep safely and comfortably
Knowing that those around you can sleep safely and comfortably can help convince you to do the same. If they can get a good night's sleep, that means they know they (and sooner or later, you) are capable of handling any unforeseen situation that might follow, right?
- If the people around you are also still awake, help reassure them that everything will be okay. Invite them to share stories and reminiscences to ease tension with each other and reduce any fears that may arise.
- Invite them to sleep with each other. Keep each other's bodies warm, and stay close to each other to reassure each other that everything will be okay.