Anxiety at Night: What You Need to Know

Anxiety, while a normal part of life, can become overwhelming and interfere with daily functioning. Anxiety at night can be especially difficult to manage, as it can prevent restful sleep and lead to fatigue and other health issues. In this article, we will look at what anxiety at night is, the causes, the symptoms, and how to manage it.

What Is Anxiety at Night?

Anxiety at night is a form of anxiety disorder that causes intense feelings of fear, worry, and panic. It often occurs in the evening and can last through the night, preventing restful sleep. Anxiety at night is often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as an increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, and an inability to focus.

Causes of Anxiety at Night

Anxiety at night can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, fear, and trauma. It can also be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Stress is a major cause of anxiety at night. Stressful events, such as a job loss or the death of a loved one, can trigger anxiety. Other causes of stress include financial problems, relationship issues, and physical or mental health issues.

Fear is another major cause of anxiety at night. Fear can be triggered by a traumatic event, such as a car accident or natural disaster. It can also be caused by a fear of the unknown, such as a fear of the dark or fear of the future.

Symptoms of Anxiety at Night

The symptoms of anxiety at night can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:

• Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
• Waking up frequently during the night
• Racing thoughts
• Intrusive thoughts
• Restlessness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Irritability
• Muscle tension
• Sweating
• Rapid heart rate
• Shortness of breath

How to Manage Anxiety at Night

Anxiety at night can be managed with lifestyle changes and professional help. Here are some tips for managing anxiety at night:

• Establish a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
• Exercise regularly. Exercise can help reduce stress and promote restful sleep.
• Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. These substances can interfere with sleep.
• Avoid screens before bed. The blue light from screens can disrupt sleep.
• Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation can help reduce anxiety.
• Seek professional help. If anxiety at night is interfering with your life, talk to a mental health professional.


Anxiety at night can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. It is important to understand the causes of anxiety at night and to take steps to manage it. Lifestyle changes, such as establishing a regular sleep schedule and practicing relaxation techniques, can help reduce anxiety. If anxiety at night is interfering with your life, seek professional help.


What are some common symptoms of anxiety at night?

Common symptoms of anxiety at night include difficulty sleeping, restlessness, racing thoughts, feeling tense, and difficulty concentrating.

What can I do to help reduce anxiety at night?

There are several strategies that can help reduce anxiety at night, such as relaxation techniques, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, exercising regularly, and having a regular sleep routine.

What should I do if my anxiety at night is severe and persistent?

If your anxiety at night is severe and persistent, it is important to seek professional help. Speak to your GP or a mental health professional who can provide advice and support to help you manage your anxiety.


Gross, R. A., & Muñoz, R. F. (1995). The assessment of sleep disturbances associated with anxiety disorders. Behavior modification, 19(3), 290-306.

Fernandez-Mendoza, J., Vgontzas, A. N., & Bixler, E. O. (2011). Clinical correlates of nocturnal awakenings: results from the Penn State Cohort. Sleep medicine, 12(3), 287-294.

Krystal, A. D., Edinger, J. D., Wohlgemuth, W. K., & Marsh, G. R. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of insomnia comorbid with anxiety disorders. Behavior therapy, 32(2), 187-205.