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17 'Anxiety Thoughts' People Have Right Before Going to Bed

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

If you live with anxiety, you might know the struggle of overthinking. These kinds of “anxiety thoughts” can happen at any time during the day, but are often the worst right before bed.

As you’re winding down for bed, you might replay the day’s events and think about how you could have handled them better. Or maybe you think about the next day and the tasks you have on your plate. Or maybe your anxiety thoughts are more intrusive — ones about something bad happening to your loved ones.

If you experience similar anxiety thoughts before you go to bed, you’re not alone. We reached out to our mental health community and asked them what anxiety-filled thoughts they deal with when they’re trying to go to sleep.

Sometimes our anxiety thoughts take us to dark places. It’s important to remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are not the sum of your thoughts. If you’re struggling, there is support within our Mighty community. You can always post a Thought or Question using the hashtag #CheckInWithMe. We’re here for you.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Tomorrow I have to…”

“My anxious thoughts are about the next day. Will I make it through the workday without losing my cool?” — Corinne S.

“Anxious thoughts I have before bed always have to do with the next day. I wonder if I’ll get up on time or if I’ll sleep through my alarm. I go through every step of what I need to do the next day, planning everything out and going over and over it to make sure I’m thinking of everything that could possibly go wrong and plan Bs. Then, when I have that set, I start worrying about future stuff. It takes me hours to get to sleep because my brain just never stops.” — Sabrina H.

2. “What if a loved one dies tonight?”

“What if my parents die tonight? I live with them, and my dad helps me a lot. My mom’s in just as bad a position I’m in. I would not be able to function if I lost them. I love them way too much to not believe I’d not break down. Problem is, I have this thought every day, multiple times a day.” — Angel H.

“What if someone I love dies and I never got to say goodbye/didn’t want my last words to be what I last said to them?” — Katherine H.

3. “Did I forget to do something that’s due tomorrow?”

“What if I didn’t finish my homework? Did I forget that something is due tomorrow? Isn’t that project due tomorrow? Will I be able to finish all of my work tomorrow?” — Amanda T.

4. “Will I ever get better?”

“Am I failing my son because of my mental health? Will I ever get better? Money worries all the time because I cannot work at this present time due to my mental health.” — Laura M.

5. “I wish I could change who I am.”

“I think about the parts of my personality I wish were different. I wish I could change who I am as a person. I also worry about my physical health and financial situation.” — Autumn M.

6. “Did I do things correctly at work today?”

“I worry about whether I did things correctly at work that day and make lists in my mind of everything I need to double-check the next day.” — Christy D.

7. “Will I sleep through my alarm?”

“Will I get enough sleep? Will I sleep through my alarm and miss work? What tasks do I need to achieve tomorrow?” — Stacy G.

“I’m going to oversleep and miss work or be late to work. Even if I set an alarm.” — Lisa K.

8. “Will have the energy to face the day tomorrow?”

“Will I get up in the morning, have the energy and enthusiasm to face the day? Be able to put on a brave face and cover up the feeling of sorrow and despair?” — Samantha T.

9. “Why am I such a failure?”

“‘I didn’t accomplish anything I needed to today, am I going to have the energy to do it tomorrow? Why am I such a failure?’” — Nikhol F.

“What if I’ll never be good enough and all my family and friends will leave me? Am I letting everyone down? What if I disappoint them? I’m a failure.” — Shaun B.

10. “What if I don’t wake up in the morning?”

“What if I’m never going to wake up in the morning? My loved ones will be devastated and broken.” — Emilia K.

“What if I don’t wake up? Who will take care of my children? No one will love them and take care of them the way I do (For some reason my biggest fear is leaving my kids too soon).” — Jo A.

11. “Everyone will leave me.”

“I always think everyone will leave me. Just a few days without hearing from someone causes so much anxiety. I always think, ‘Maybe I did something wrong… but what?’” — Lala T.

12. “Will I be able to get sleep tonight?”

“Am I ever going to get any sleep? Will I be dealing with this TMJ, muscle spasms and headaches for the rest of my life? Will I ever be good enough for my family? Can I ever connect more closely with my family? Is tomorrow going to be pleasant or stressful throughout?” — Mary B.

“Am I gonna sleep? I never sleep. Is tonight the night I can sleep? Then poof! It’s time to get up.” — Lisa C.

13. “It’s all my fault.”

“My anxiety tells me every little thing rests on my shoulders and everything that goes wrong is all my fault.” — Stacey M.

14. “I could have responded to this situation better.”

“I replay my entire day through my head and change how I could’ve made the scenario better.” — Kaitlyn A.

15. “Does my partner really love me?”

“For some reason every night I wonder if my husband really does love me and if I love him or if we’re just lying to ourselves.” — Katherine K.

16. “What if someone breaks in?”

“What if someone breaks in when I’m trying to sleep? Are both doors locked? I should go check them again. The second one is a constant thing for me when I’m trying to sleep. I’ll be comfy in bed, trying to sleep and I’ll open my eyes and be like, ‘Oh I need to go double-check the doors.’ I won’t feel relaxed until I know they are locked.” — Brianna C.

17. “I ruined another day.”

“That I ruined another day by being my weird and awkward self and that any mishaps that happened [are of] my own doing.” — John B.

Dealing with these types of thoughts can be exhausting, but we hope that knowing that you’re not the only one who goes through them brings you a little bit of comfort on tough nights. If your anxiety thoughts become overwhelming and you need support, you can always post using the hashtag #CheckInWithMe. You will be met with nothing but support.

If you’re dealing with these kinds of thoughts before bed, the suggestions in these stories might help:

And if you need a distraction from your anxiety thoughts, you can make a post using the hashtag #DistractMe. We’re here to help you through this.

Originally published: July 31, 2019
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