Ask Amy: My anxiety is high at night, but it’s fine during the day



dear Amy: This question may seem childish, but I am a 61 year old adult.

Why does everything seem so bad at night? For the past year or so, I’ve found myself waking up from bad dreams almost every night. I start to think about day-to-day issues regarding family, work, health, etc., and it all feels so overwhelming and urgent.

I got into panicky ruminations about these issues. When the sun comes up, I inevitably realize that whatever worried me during the night is actually manageable during the day.

Bad thoughts in the middle of the night are so bad that I can’t or won’t go back to sleep, so I turn on the TV, I usually tune to a happy, bright old Hollywood musical, which doesn’t eliminate the thoughts, but also eliminates sleep.

Do you know why things seem so bad at night when they aren’t during the day? Also, do you know of anything that could help me stop doing this?

Fear: I suspect your problem really starts with your sleeping problem. If you could sleep through the night, you wouldn’t have those anxious hours.

Your disordered sleep and nightmares may be caused by anxiety, depression, or taking medication. You should review any changes in your routine, diet, or medical condition that may be causing this sleep disruption.

There are many holistic remedies for better sleep and some medications that might help. I (a lifelong insomniac) recently had success using a CBD product, as well as breathing deeply during times when I’m awake. (If you focus on your breathing, you can keep those intrusive thoughts at bay.) I also usually make a bedtime to-do list. The magic of the list is that it helps organize tomorrow’s tasks into manageable portions.

This is from an article titled “Nightmares and the Brainpublished by Harvard Medical School (

“Psychological therapy for nightmares is called Image Repetition Therapy, or IRT. In this form of cognitive therapy, individuals, especially those who repeatedly experience a given type of nightmare, are asked to recall and write their nightmares, then to rewrite the nightmare and give it a positive ending.The individual then repeats the rewritten version before falling asleep in an attempt to displace unwanted content during sleep.

I like the idea of ​​rewriting dreams. I hope you can give your own dreams a happier ending.

dear Amy: My wife and I got married last year. It was the first marriage for both of us, even though I am in her sixties and my wife is in her fifties. Our friends and loved ones know that we are financially secure.

A relative of mine and his wife gave us a wedding gift consisting of charitable recognition of a donation made in our name. No donation amount was listed, but I called and was told the amount was $100.

My wife and I are not opposed to this charity, but I’m not sure we would choose to contribute to it, although we have attended some of their functions in the past (my relative is aware of this).

Is it a good wedding gift? My relative did not check with us ahead of time to make sure we would approve this donation.

Perplexed: One of the benefits of being an older newlywed is definitely that you have the financial stability, common sense, perspective and maturity to not create trouble where there is none.

Your relative knew that you had shown interest in this charity. You are not reporting any issues created by this donation. Yes, it was a thoughtful and appropriate gift. I hope you will express your gratitude to him.

(And – not that you asked, but calling the charity to find out the amount of money donated was stickier than a wedding fight on the dance floor.)

dear Amy: “upsetsaid a couple had moved their campervan onto their property and are now living there, surrounded by their abandoned cars.

My city has regulations against that; Upset should ask the city for help removing them.

upset: Regulations aside – this is an intrusion. (They were also stealing his electricity.) I think it’s time to call the sheriff.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency


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