How to Cope With Being Alone at Night

Whether your family is out of town, your partner is gone for the night, or you live on your own, nighttime can be a little nerve-wracking. Feeling lonely or frightened while you’re alone is normal, especially after the sun goes down. However, there are tons of ways you can make your nighttime experience by yourself much better (and even get a full night’s sleep).

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Practicing Self-Care

  1. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. If you’re worried about being alone at night, you might be feeling scared, anxious, or nervous. Acknowledge what you’re feeling by writing it down in a journal to work through your emotions.[1]
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    • Making a bullet journal is a great way to track your thoughts and feelings over a long period of time.
  2. Turn on some soothing music. When you’re home alone, you can listen to anything you want! Pick your favorite song and play it on a speaker or through headphones to dance and sing along.[2]
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    • If it’s late and your neighbors live close to you, headphones are the way to go.
  3. Practice muscle relaxation to reduce anxiety. Pick a muscle group to start with, like your hands or your feet. Breathe in and clench your muscle group as hard as you can, then hold it for 5 to 10 seconds. Breathe out as you relax your muscles, then wait 10 to 20 seconds before moving onto the next muscle group.[3]
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    • Eventually, you can work through your entire body to relax yourself and reduce anxious thoughts.
    • When you’re finished with your entire body, count backwards from 5 to ground yourself again.
  4. Distract yourself from negative thoughts. It can be easy to get stuck in a negative thought pattern when you’re alone. To avoid those thoughts, try doing something you enjoy, like:[4]
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    • Reading a good book
    • Trying a new art or craft
    • Meditating
    • Cooking or baking
  5. Do something productive. If you don’t feel like a relaxing activity will distract you enough, jump into a project that will occupy your mind. You could do some chores around the house, catch up on your to-do list, or dive into a hobby.[5]
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    • If you’re not sure what to try, some moderate exercise can make you feel really productive. Just make sure you’re not exercising too close to bedtime, or you could keep yourself awake.

[Edit]Feeling Safe

  1. Lock all of your doors and windows before bed. Take a few minutes to walk around your home and check that everything is locked up. That way, you can head to sleep without worrying about intruders.[6]
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    • If you’d like some extra security, set up a camera outside of your home.
  2. Get to know your neighbors so they can keep an eye out for you. It’s always nice to feel like you have someone to turn to in case of an emergency. Introduce yourself to the people who live around you and exchange phone numbers if you’d like to.[7]
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    • This is also a great way to make new friends.
  3. Charge your phone and keep it nearby. Putting it on your nightstand is a great way to keep it with you while you sleep. Make sure it’s charged (or charging) and within arm’s reach in case you need it.[8]
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    • Having your phone nearby can also make you feel safer as you fall asleep.
  4. Plan an escape route in case of an emergency. While it’s not likely that anything will happen, planning out your route can make you feel less anxious. Make sure you know how to leave your home in case of a fire or an emergency.[9]
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    • You should know where the fire escapes are in your building if you have them, too.

[Edit]Sleeping Well

  1. Turn off your technology 1 hour before bed. Phones, computers, and tablets can trick our brains into thinking that it’s day time. Try to unplug yourself from technology about an hour before you want to go to sleep.[10]
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    • You can read a book, do a crossword puzzle, or try crafting as you wind down for bedtime.
  2. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed. Both of these substances can keep you awake, even if you’re tired. If you’d like a hot drink before bed, try herbal tea without caffeine.[11]
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    • Chocolate can also keep you awake, so you may want to stick to savory snacks before bed.
  3. Relax with a warm bath or a good book. Anything that winds you down and gets you into a calm mood is perfect. Set aside about 30 minutes to chill out before you head to bed.[12]
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    • A hot shower, a face mask, or a fun skincare routine are also options!
  4. Make your bedroom comfortable. Turn the lights down, wear your favorite pajamas, and put your softest sheets on the bed. Use an ambient noise generator or a fan if you don’t want to sleep in silence, or wear earplugs if you don’t like noise. Make sure the temperature stays cool but not cold to help you get to sleep.[13]
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    • If you find yourself tossing and turning, get out of bed and go do something else, like reading, until you feel sleepy.
  5. Go to sleep around the same time every night. This will help your body fall into a bedtime routine on its own. If you can, try to keep a regular sleep schedule so it’s easier to fall and stay asleep.[14]
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    • It’s okay to deviate from your schedule a little bit, so don’t beat yourself up if you end up going to bed an hour later than usual.

[Edit]Connecting with Others

  1. Socialize regularly during the day. Schedule regular social activities with friends throughout the week. This will give you structure, keep you connected to others, and help improve your mood. If you stay busy enough interacting with others during the weekday hours, chances are you’ll be less likely to notice feeling alone at night.[15]
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    • If you and your friends have busy schedules, it could be hard to find times to meet up. Try scheduling a weekly or monthly hangout time to get it on the schedule before everyone gets too busy.
  2. Connect with friends or family online or on the phone. If you have friends who live far away, consider keeping in touch with them through email, Facebook, Twitter, or Skype. Schedule regular phone calls or text messages with friends for when you come home at night.[16]
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    • Texts and calls are nice, but face-to-face interaction can’t be beat. Try video chatting or FaceTiming with your loved ones for a stronger connection.
  3. Volunteer, take a class, or join a club in your community. This could help keep you from feeling too lonely, give you more structure, shift your mood, give you increased self-confidence, and help you meet more diverse people in your community. By the time you get home at night, you’ll feel tired and less alone because you’ve spent the day meaningfully connecting with others.[17]
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    • This may feel uncomfortable at first, and you might have to try several different clubs or organizations before you find one where you feel more at home.
  4. Adopt a pet if you have the means to. A furry companion can help keep you company at night and make you feel safer. Dogs, cats, hamsters, lizards, bunnies, and guinea pigs are all great options to choose from.[18]
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    • Puppies and kittens can be a little tough to deal with. Consider adopting an older pet from your local shelter instead.

[Edit]Video

[Edit]Tips

  • When you’re alone, you can do whatever you want without distracting or annoying someone else!
  • While you can cope with loneliness on your own, if it feels overwhelming, seek out a mental health professional.[19]

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

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