Loneliness can hit any time of the day. However, many people experience an amount of loneliness during the night hours.
Returning to an empty home or going to sleep alone can sometimes feel very lonely, even if your days are filled with joyful connections and interactions.
During the day, you can find creative ways to appease your loneliness. However, as you wind down from a tiring day, you may be more vulnerable to negative emotions, while there are fewer things you can do to distract yourself.
Even if it feels like an unescapable situation, there are strategies that can help you cope. In this article, we will explore why this feeling becomes fiercer after dark and share some insights on how to stop feeling lonely at night.
If you feel lonely at night, you are not alone. Loneliness is a very common experience that affects people of all ages and walks of life. Surveys show that we could even describe it as the disease of the modern world.
But in order to learn how to stop feeling lonely at night, you need to understand the basis of this emotion. According to the American Psychological Association, loneliness is the distressing feeling that arises when your social needs are not being met, either due to a lack of connections or a lack of meaningful interactions.
This means that loneliness is different for everyone. You could be enjoying a social day and still be plagued by loneliness at night. Or you could be spending your evenings with someone and still get lonely in their presence.
It is essential to spot these negative emotions and address them at their root instead of neglecting them. You do not have to accept loneliness as your new default!
Why Is Loneliness Harder At Night?
For many, loneliness is a bitter companion that visits at night. While there is no logic behind this, there are actually plenty of reasons.
If you are an extroverted individual, you thrive off the joy and fulfillment you derive from socializing. After staying occupied throughout the day, you may experience a stark contrast to returning to a quiet and empty home at night. This contrast can magnify the sense of isolation and longing for companionship.
As the noise and worries of the day gradually quiet down, there is space for inner thoughts and insecurities to take center stage. In the absence of external distractions, our minds may wander to the aspects of ourselves and our lives that evoke feelings of loneliness.
Also, nighttime can be particularly challenging because there are fewer opportunities to engage in activities that bring joy and satisfy our emotional needs. This makes it more difficult to ward off feelings of loneliness.
Finally, societal expectations play a significant role. We often compare our lives to the social norm of returning home to a partner or a family, which is considered the peak of personal success.
The contrast between our reality and society’s expectations can intensify feelings of loneliness and inadequacy.
How To Stop Feeling Lonely At Night: 16 Ways To Chase The Nighttime Blues
Change The Way You Think
1. Don’t Blame Yourself
When you are in a tough emotional state, it’s more likely to experience low self-esteem and self-doubt. During these vulnerable moments, you become more susceptible to engaging in negative self-talk.
While it’s essential to take responsibility for your mistakes, it’s equally important not to blame yourself constantly. Evaluating your actions to identify what may have contributed to your feelings of loneliness is a mature process that can lead to self-improvement.
However, when you’re in a negative mood, this self-assessment can sometimes backfire. Instead, consider practicing self-compassion and actively regulating your inner dialogue.
Another helpful approach is to recite or write down positive affirmations, which can help you refocus on self-love and self-acceptance.
2. Don’t Force Yourself To Sleep Through The Negative Emotions
While going to sleep to escape loneliness might seem like a tempting solution, avoidance is not a sustainable way to address this issue. Avoiding how you feel will only allow the situation to worsen over time.
What you initially hoped to suppress may resurface later, potentially causing more emotional distress. Moreover, attempting to sleep with a clouded mind can lead to insomnia and disrupt your sleep schedule, ultimately affecting the quality of your rest.
It’s essential to try to process your emotions and alleviate the burden of loneliness before you lay your head on the pillow.
3. Reframe Your Mindset Around Loneliness
What if I told you that learning how to stop feeling lonely at night might require a simple shift in your perception of loneliness itself?
The idea of spending your nights alone can sometimes bring feelings of failure or a sense that you’re doing something wrong.
However, it’s essential to recognize that being by yourself is not inherently negative. In fact, it can be an opportunity for self-care and personal growth.
Reframe your mindset to view solitary nights as a chance to pamper yourself, indulge in hobbies, or dive into deep self-reflection.
Pro tip: It’s important to remember that loneliness is never an inescapable situation. When you feel suffocated by it, there’s always someone you can reach out to, whether it’s a caring family member, a supportive friend, a therapist, or a hotline.
4. Understand What Lies Behind Loneliness
Some common advice for escaping loneliness at night is to distract yourself from it. However, that is not a practical and healthy approach. On the contrary, I urge you to investigate it.
During moments of mental calm and clarity, take the opportunity to explore the root of your loneliness. Consider why you feel uncomfortable being alone at night.
What is it about solitude that makes you seek the company of others?
Delve deep into your emotions and needs. Identify your deepest desires and find ways to satisfy them. For instance, if you’re craving entertainment, you can immerse yourself in a captivating book or lose yourself in a compelling movie.
If you long for someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to make a late-night phone call to a friend or express your feelings in a heartfelt message to a loved one.
By addressing your core needs directly, you will be less likely to experience nighttime loneliness.
5. Journal Your Thoughts Before You Go To Bed
Our thoughts and emotions share an intricate relationship. Loneliness has the power to stir up a whirlwind of thoughts, and this, in turn, can fuel negative emotions.
If you’re wondering how to stop feeling lonely at night, one crucial step is learning to regulate your thoughts.
Allowing your mind to wander aimlessly from one concern to another can lead to increased worry, making it challenging to unwind and relax at night.
One way to diminish this is to establish a habit of recording your thoughts in a journal before bedtime. By externalizing your thoughts onto paper, you have the opportunity to examine them with greater clarity and objectivity.
This simple act of transferring your thoughts from mind to pen can leave you feeling calmer and more prepared for a restful night’s sleep.
6. Practice Gratitude
Establishing a quick gratitude practice can help you ground yourself in reality and take your mind off of loneliness. It allows you to zoom out from what you may perceive as lacking in your life and instead direct your focus toward the abundance that surrounds you.
It is another way of counting your blessings and shining the spotlight on things you may generally take for granted. This practice will gradually train your mind to gravitate towards the positive aspects of life naturally.
It will teach you to behold the entire forest instead of focusing on just one tree. This will help you place your feelings of loneliness into a broader and more balanced perspective.
You can write the things you are grateful for in your journal or recite them in your head before you go to bed or every time you need an emotional boost.
7. Establish A Nourishing Night Routine
This particular tip on how to stop feeling lonely at night is more on the practical side, making it handy for an effective fix.
Building a personally nourishing night routine offers a dual benefit: it not only keeps you engaged and entertained but also fuels your body and soul with essential energy.
The alternative, returning home and aimlessly scrolling through social media, may create a sense of idleness and lack of purpose, which can exacerbate feelings of loneliness.
In contrast, when you thoughtfully structure your evenings around activities you genuinely enjoy, you create a routine that not only satisfies your immediate needs but also provides a sense of direction and fulfillment.
8. Build A Healthy Sleep Schedule
As I have talked about above, loneliness can stir endless thoughts that eventually deprive you of your sleep. However, a good night’s sleep is essential for fortifying your mental and emotional resilience, equipping you to process negative emotions better.
By establishing a healthy sleep schedule, you will automatically begin to drift off around a specific time every day. This can ensure that you will have no more lonely, sleepless nights.
There are many science-backed techniques you can employ to improve the quality of your sleep. Some of them include limiting screen time before bed and practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
9. Fill The House With Music
Loneliness at night can be loud. However, you can shut it down by employing the healing nature of music. Score your daily night routine as if you created the soundtrack for your favorite music.
The music will take the place of your background thoughts, allowing no space for loneliness. Getting to sing along or even dance a little will lift your spirits and help you enjoy your night by yourself.
The music doesn’t have to stop when you get under the blankets, though. Silence will allow loneliness to creep back into your thoughts. One study has proven that listening to relaxing classical music can significantly improve insomnia and sleep quality.
The researchers cite that music can reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, decrease anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate, and may have positive effects on sleep via muscle relaxation and distraction from thoughts.
Choose calming and comforting melodies that resonate with you. Soft instrumental music, acoustic ballads, or gentle nature sounds can provide a sense of companionship and a source of comfort, making it easier to fall asleep peacefully.
10. Do A Yoga Nidra Practice Before Sleep
Yoga Nidra, often referred to as “yogic sleep,” is a deep relaxation practice that can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with nighttime loneliness. It combines guided meditation with progressive muscle relaxation to induce a state of profound restfulness.
By practicing Yoga Nidra before sleep, you can release built-up tension, calm your mind, and enter a state of deep relaxation. This practice not only promotes better sleep quality but also offers a sense of inner peace and tranquility.
Many guided Yoga Nidra sessions are available online for free and in various meditation apps. Find a comfortable space, lie down, put on your headphones, and let the soothing voice of the guide lead you into a state of peace.
11. Adopt A Pet
Pets can be the sweetest, most devoted companion. Whether dogs, cats, or other animals, pets can offer unwavering emotional support and unconditional love.
If you are wondering how to stop feeling lonely at night on a permanent basis, adopting a pet friend can be the answer. Their presence can fill your home with warmth and affection, providing a comforting presence during lonely nights.
The act of caring for a pet also gives you a sense of purpose and responsibility. Loneliness can decrease your motivation to care for yourself. However, by tending to your pet’s needs, you develop the consistency of being present for yourself as well.
Moreover, pets often have an innate ability to sense their owners’ emotions and provide emotional support. The simple act of petting, playing with, or cuddling your pet can be incredibly soothing and reassuring.
Before adopting a pet, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle, living situation, and the time and resources you can dedicate to their care. Ensure that you’re prepared for the responsibilities, as it’s a long-term commitment.
12. Have An Emotional Support Item Around
Sometimes, all it takes to ease nighttime loneliness is having a comforting object or item nearby. An emotional support item can be anything that holds sentimental value or provides a sense of security.
This item could be a favorite childhood stuffed animal, a cozy blanket, a cherished book, or a sentimental piece of jewelry. When feelings of loneliness creep in, holding or interacting with your emotional support item can provide essential comfort and company.
Connect With People
13. Have A Night Chat With A Loved One
One of the most powerful antidotes to nighttime loneliness is connecting with someone you care about. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with a loved one can provide support and companionship, even when you’re physically alone.
Consider reaching out for a night chat with a close friend, family member, or significant other. Use technology to your advantage to demolish the boundaries of long distances.
Simply delving into a conversation, whether over the phone or through a video call, can help alleviate nighttime loneliness.
14. Invite People Over
If you cannot combat nighttime loneliness by yourself, you can always invite friends or family over for an evening gathering. You can plan a casual dinner, movie night, a board game marathon, or even a sleepover.
By hosting social events in your own space, you will train your mind to break down the subconscious association between your home and the feelings of loneliness.
Even if inviting people over on a regular basis isn’t possible, occasional social gatherings can be a valuable remedy for nighttime loneliness. The heartwarming feelings you get from intimate interactions can linger long after your guests have departed.
15. Get A Roommate
For those who struggle with chronic nighttime loneliness, exploring the possibility of getting a roommate might be a possible solution.
Roommates can offer emotional support, shared activities, and the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone in your living space. You can choose to live with a close friend, a family member, or someone you’ve carefully selected as a compatible roommate.
This arrangement can significantly reduce feelings of isolation during the night. Of course, living with a roommate requires open communication, mutual respect, and a clear understanding of boundaries.
16. Ask For Professional Help
Employing strategies on how to stop feeling lonely at night is sometimes not enough to resolve the issue. If the feeling persists and begins to interfere with your overall well-being and mental health, seeking professional help is a crucial step.
Loneliness can be a complex and deeply rooted emotion, and there’s no shame in reaching out to a therapist or counselor for support.
Professional therapists are trained to help individuals navigate their emotions, develop coping strategies, and address underlying issues that may contribute to loneliness.
Through therapy, you can explore the root causes of your nighttime loneliness and work on building resilience and emotional strength.
Whether through individual therapy, group therapy, or support groups, professional help can offer invaluable guidance on your journey to stop feeling lonely at night.
Final Thoughts On How To Stop Feeling Lonely At Night
Feeling lonely during the night can be challenging, but remember, you’re not the only one facing this. Many people experience nighttime solitude, and there are strategies to make it more manageable.
By applying the tips we’ve discussed and connecting with others, you can transform your evenings into opportunities for growth, self-discovery, and fun.
Know that you possess the ability to overcome loneliness at night and create brighter, more enjoyable nights for yourself.