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Anxiety at night

  • 10-01-2023 5:39pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    Not sure if this is rare or not, but I am usually content, confident at work and at home, but for some reason at night, I start worrying about work related topics.

    This can delay me going to sleep or even cause me to wake in the middle of the night and stay awake for an hour or two. This normally happens 2-3 times per week.

    This anxiety can continue while getting up, showered, breakfast, driving to work etc. Only when I get into work and realise that any issues can be resolved either by me or help from colleagues, does the anxiety stop.

    I feel like I need to consciously "park" these thoughts until I get into work but I can't seem to do that.

    As I said at the start, I am then fine during the day, feel like I'm in control and can think clearly. Until it comes to bed time again.

    I remember being a worrier when i was a young kid, worrying that i had my homework done etc, but as a teenager i was fine dealing with second level and college exams/workload.

    Any tips or suggestions on how to tackle this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,307 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    Cut back on tea/coffee if you're a drinker of those to start.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,705 ✭✭✭I see sheep

    It's fairly common I think.

    Something that's always suggested is to make a list of all your 'to do' work related stuff before you go to bed. (Or anything else that's on your mind).

  • Registered Users Posts: 512 ✭✭✭Hungry Burger

    In varying degrees of severity, I’ve dealt with this my entire life. Like you, even as a kid I used to worry about my homework or exams etc. I think everyone done this and its normal, unless you are lucky enough to work in a very low stress job.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,740 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Exercise, cut out caffeine, alcohol.

    Read, watch, do, something very relaxing and completely unrelated to work at night time.

    Mentally say **** it re work. You have other stuff to do, enjoyable, not enjoyable to focus your mental energy on after work.

    You are not being paid to think about this stuff after work. Maybe for urgent stuff. But most stuff is not urgent.

    Maybe if you are being compensated greatly for it ??? And it's part of your informal contract ???

    If not, just get out of this bad habit.

    I suffer same. Not worth it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    It is normal and actually quite healthy to develop apprehensions about your work performance. But you should address them if they are causing you issues in your personal time.

    It is impossible to verify what is triggering your worry, but if you get a chance you should try to evaluate which problems in work are causing you the most issues.

    Everyone has worries, you should try to address them. They are generated by you, so it is up to you to deal with them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,827 ✭✭✭Alkers

    Two to three times per week is too often for you to be experiencing this each week unless you've a particularly demanding job or a really busy period or something.

    Has this been the case in all your roles / companies or is it a new development?

    Are you working from home or the office? If working from home, I've found having a dedicated work space crucial, and I dont use that for anything else or work from anywhere else so I feel like I have left work when I finish each day

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,778 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    I am the exact same. Not all the time, but very often. I don’t lie there thinking about work on purpose, my mind just goes there. Often it’s not exactly worrying, but actually problem solving and running though possible solutions - I do great thinking when lying down to sleep, but it keeps me awake and I’d rather be day dreaming about sunning myself or a hot date!

    Reading helps to make me sleepy and if I can keep thinking about the book then rather than letting the mind wander sometimes that helps

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,849 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    OP, I think you should ask you GP for a check-up (to rule out any physical causes) and a referral to a counsellor / therapist. Of if your job has an EAP programme, use that to get assistance.

    What you have described is wayyyy beyond the normal thinking-about-work. And unless you nip it in the bud, could cause some real health problems due to sleep disruption.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4 fullasanegg

    Thanks for all the replies.

    My job is site based and very hands on problem solving, hopping from task to task throughout the day. Very reactive and hard to get things knocked off my planned to-do list. The strange thing is that I can normally deal with the tasks/problems in a rational way during the day, but it's like I lose that confidence while resting and without distractions, and start irrationally trying to problem solve at 2am!

    I have cutout caffeine in the evenings, and have started writing down my key tasks before leaving work. Early days but seems to be making a difference.

    Unfortunately it turns me off taking holidays (especially short breaks of 1,2,3 days) as I know I will be awake all night before I go back to work, thinking about what's going to be ahead of me when I go in the next morning. I seem to need to take longer holidays (2 weeks) to properly switch off mentally.

    My workload is excessive for the last few months so I need to raise that as an issue and to see how it can ge reduced.

    I like being busy and feeling like I have achieved something when leaving office each day but I need to balance that out to ensure it doesn't go too far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭ax530

    I experience this at times too. Do find it helps when I've eaten well during the day, some reason hungry or having eaten unhealthy during day makes the night anxiety bad.

    Some exercise in evenings always helps with detaching thoughts and improving sleep.

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