10 Nighttime Rituals To Help Reduce Anxiety and Improve Your Sleep

Morgan Casavant
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If you’ve ever had anxiety about anything, you know it’s a beast. Anxiety is basically your mind telling you lies about yourself until you start to believe them. Especially right before bed, anxiety can decrease the quality of your sleep . . . but, thankfully, we have ways to reduce anxiety before bed.

Here are 10 Nighttime Rituals That Will Help Reduce Anxiety

Try adding any combination of these 10 relatively simple nighttime rituals to your bedtime routine to help reduce anxiety.

1. Talk to Someone You Love

Whether it’s your significant other, a family member, or a friend, talking to someone you love as you unwind from your day will fill you with feelings of comfort. It doesn’t even matter what you talk about! It can be about your days, what you’re anxious about, or about a funny meme you saw. And if the person you love isn’t nearby at the moment, give them a call!

2. Turn Off Your Devices

It’s no secret that most of us need a serious tech detox, but that’s especially true before bed. Turning off your devices will take away the temptation of scrolling, comparing, over-thinking, and all the mental mess that can come from having too much screen time. Harvard Health even recommends shutting down screens two to three hours before bedtime.

3. Read a Great Book

Choose a novel from your favorite genre, or dive into an inspirational self-help book before bed. This will take your mind off of whatever is causing your anxiety, and help you to focus on something else. As long as you’re digging the book, it doesn’t matter what it’s about!

4. Take Time For Yourself

We often overcommit ourselves to other people, and don’t schedule in time for ourselves. Take time each night – even if you only have a minute – to something for yourself. Do something you love! Go for a walk, play with your dog, go to yoga, meditate, or adopt a new self-care routine like a new face mask or taking a bath.

Try this Calming Yoga CLass

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5. Listen to Calming Music

Music is powerful. It can evoke all sorts of feelings, and even invite a sense of calm when our minds are everything but. Choose a playlist that makes you feel good, and addresses how you’re feeling at night. Does your anxiety need to be shaken off with a badass solo dance session, or do you need instrumental music to clear your mind?


6. Journal About It

A journal can be used for a wide variety of things from gratitude journaling to expressing your emotions to a simple log of personal goals. Take a moment each night to focus in and determine the cause of your anxiety at the moment, and write it down in a journal. This relatively simple practice allows your mind to release what it has been holding onto, and move on.

7. Stick to a Routine

Your mind and body are built for routine – especially when it comes to sleep. Pick a reasonable bedtime, and try to stick to it in order to create a sense of peace and order in your day. Remember to incorporate your bedtime necessities into this routine – like a refreshing shower, brushing your teeth, and giving your dog a goodnight kiss.

8. Use Essential Oils For Relaxation

Essential oils can be used for tons of ailments, including anxiety. Scents like lavender, bergamot, rose, and chamomile all help to calm the mind. You can use a couple drops of your favorite scent behind your ears, or in an essential oil diffuser to fill a room.
Want to know how essential oils can help with other ailments? Read Best Uses For the 7 Most Popular Essential Oils.

9. Use a Noise Machine

When anxiety gets the better of us, our thoughts can become pretty loud and difficult to ignore. Turning on a noise machine before bed can help to drown out those thoughts and replace them with a constant, steady noise. Extra plus: if you’re a light sleeper, a noise machine will also drown out any night noises that might wake you up!


10. Drink a Cup of Tea

In the interest of finding comfort and unwinding from the day, a cup of tea can also do the trick. An anxious mind can often be combated with your favorite hot tea in your favorite mug. Especially if you combine this ritual with calling someone you love or reading a book, you’ve got a real winner.

Bedtime Rituals to Reduce Anxiety: The Takeaway

Anxiety is no joke. And, unfortunately, can keep us up at night for hours after we hit the hay. This affects our lives in so many ways, including causing us to be groggy, cranky, or aloof. Try some of these nighttime rituals to help reduce anxiety before bed. You’ll go to sleep with a clearer mind, and sleep better for longer!
What are some of your favorite bedtime rituals?

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Morgan Casavant

Morgan is a graphic designer and yoga instructor committed to inspiring compassion, balance, and centeredness - on and off the mat. She loves minimalism, the zero waste movement, and all the things working to protect the environment.


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