9 Ways to Relieve Stress and Get Some Sleep
Has bedtime become more of a nightmare than a chance to dream? Many of us are suffering with an inability to get to sleep, and according to health experts, it is causing some pretty alarming health concerns. Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity have all been linked to lack of sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for maintaining your health and well-being, but it you’re having trouble falling asleep, it might be time to adopt some of these tips for ditching stress and anxiety before bed, and getting the sleep that you need and deserve.
1. Set a sleep schedule
Your circadian rhythm is the biggest key to getting the best night sleep possible. This means that your body needs to develop a sleep pattern – help yourself to hit your sleep stride by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Your body will thank you!
2. Create (and keep!) a bedtime routine
While you’re perfecting your sleep schedule, you can help things along by creating a regular routine to be performed each night before bed. This can be laying out your clothes for the next day, pulling back the sheets, taking a warm bath, or any other task that will help your body to recognize that bedtime is approaching.
3. Keep track of your worries – before bed
If you find yourself lying awake worrying about certain parts of your life, try addressing them before bedtime. Make a list of the things that go through your mind while you can’t seem to fall asleep. You can do this at any time of the day except right before bed. Writing your concerns down will help trick your mind into thinking that they have been “checked off” your mental to-do list, and keep them from running through your mind while you’re trying to catch some Zs.
4. Make your room all about sleep
Your bed should be used for nothing but sleep and quality time with your partner. This means no watching TV, checking your email, or even reading while in bed. Your body needs to have a clear connection between your bed and sleeping.
5. Set the mood – create an optimal sleep environment
Along the same lines, your bedroom needs to be dedicated to relaxation and sleep. Keep the lights dim, use calming colors in your décor, and maintain a moderate temperature in your room.
6. Busy your brain to keep it clear
Being able to keep your mind clear of worries can help you to fall asleep. Try focusing on items that you find pleasing and relaxing (such as fluffy clouds or your favorite fruit) or even reciting the lyrics to a calming song to help clear your mind.
7. In with the positive, out with the negative
You can also try simple meditation and relaxation techniques, such as focusing on the in-and-out rhythm of your breathing or progressive muscle relaxation (tightening and then relaxing muscle groups from your head to your toes). These techniques can help remove negative thinking, making way for positive, relaxing thoughts.
8. Pinpoint what’s stealing your sleep
Ask yourself what foods or beverages that you’re consuming that could possibly be keeping you from getting to sleep. Make a list of possible culprits, such as caffeine, chocolate, or alcohol. Then go down the list and remove them from your pre-sleep snacking. Keep in mind that the effects of caffeine can last for up to seven hours!
9. Get physical to get sleepy
Exercising can keep you fit, boost your mood, and even help you to relieve anxiety and fall asleep faster and easier. Just make sure that you’re getting your workout in at least two hours before bed – you don’t want the raised heart rate and body temperature that comes with physical activity to work against you!
Remember that getting enough sleep is critical to your ability to focus and your overall well-being. Following these tips will help you to relieve stress, relax before bed, and get the quality sleep that you need to keep yourself healthy and feeling your best.