How to Stop Fidgeting in Bedtime?

Tossing, turning, and fidgeting throughout the night can leave anyone feeling exhausted the next day. But for those living with anxiety disorders, restlessness at bedtime can be even more debilitating. We spoke to three anxiety patients about their nighttime fidgeting and the strategies they’ve found most effective for achieving calmer, more restful sleep.

Choose Comfortable, Breathable Fabrics

Sarah, age 29, has always been a fitful sleeper due to generalized anxiety disorder. “I would toss and turn constantly, kicking off my covers and never getting comfortable,” she explains. On the advice of her therapist, she tried switching to lightweight blankets and bed sheets instead of thicker, warmer bedding. “The cooler, more breathable fabrics help regulate my temperature so I don’t get hot and restless during the night.”

Cultivate a Relaxing Nightly Routine

For 27-year-old James, who struggles with anxiety and insomnia, establishing a consistent calming bedtime ritual has been key. “I take a warm bath, put on comfy pajamas, sip herbal tea, do light yoga stretches, meditate, and read before turning off the lights. Just walking through the same sequence each night helps relax my worried mind.” He also keeps the bedroom cool, dark, and electronics-free. “The regular routine signals to my body that it’s time to unwind.”

Use Fidget Tools to Keep Hands Occupied

Rebecca is a 32-year-old grad student who has had anxiety since childhood. Her nighttime fidgeting includes picking at her skin and the hem of her shirt. “I’ve found that having something in my hands to fidget with instead helps calm my restless urges,” she says. Her favorite fidget tools include stretchy putty, fidget cubes, and infinity stones made of soft silicone that she can rub between her fingers. “It gives my hands a’mindless’ activity to focus on so I’m less likely to pick and scratch.”

Try Weighted Blankets for a Soothing sensation

Some anxiety sufferers find deep pressure soothing. Emma, age 42, discovered weighted blankets help her restless legs at night. “The gentle, even pressure across my entire body provides comfort that relaxes me. It’s like getting a big hug!” The 10-pound blanket helps curb her fidgeting without making her hot. “I fall asleep faster and wake up less throughout the night.”

Read or Listen to an Audiobook

Having an engaging but calming activity can distract an anxious mind and restless body from fidgeting. James discovered reading fiction 30 minutes before bed quiets his thoughts. “It gives my brain something to focus on besides worrying.” Emma prefers listening to an audiobook. “The narrator’s voice occupies my thoughts and helps drown out anxious ruminations. I concentrate on the story instead of my constant internal monologue.”

For anxious nighttime fidgeters, relaxation techniques, sensory tools, and pre-bedtime routines can help pave the path to more peaceful nights. Always consult your doctor as well, since medications or therapy may be needed for severe anxiety or insomnia. With patience and perseverance, restful sleep is within your reach.