One of the best things we can do to reduce stress happens to be one of the last things many of us do: sleep.
It’s not always easy to sleep when feeling anxious and overwhelmed. But having a routine of getting good quality sleep is probably the best thing we can do to manage stress, even better than meditation and exercise, which also work magic for reducing stress.
Have you noticed how much harder the day seems after missing a good night’s sleep? It’s hard to stay focused, and little problems seem bigger than they are. You feel a lot more stressed and have a much shorter fuse.
Nearly half of Americans report feeling sleepy three or more days a week, and 35% of adults get far less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.
Even when we log seven hours or more of sleep, how often is it disrupted throughout the night with trips to the bathroom or noise? Not to mention how hard it is to fall asleep in the first place, especially with so much on our minds.
Then there are the people who say they just don’t have time for sleep because they have so much to do – that they’ll sleep when they’re dead! If they keep skimping on their sleep, that day will come much sooner than expected.
Cutting sleep is the last thing you should do because insufficient sleep makes you less focused and productive. Studies show we get more done when we get the rest our brains and bodies require. Plus, losing can shorten your lifespan by twelve years.
Sleep isn’t a luxury or a guilty pleasure. It’s necessary.
These tips aren’t profound. Chances are you’ve heard them before. But you’ll be more productive, a whole lot stressed, and feel ten times better than you do if you follow them. Nothing is more important than your health and well-being. So invest in yourself with good quality sleep.
Yep – this is one we’ve all heard a million times before: Maintain a regular bedtime routine by going to sleep at the same time each night.
Because it conditions your mind and body to get into a rhythm that makes falling and staying asleep easier.
Eliminate Bedroom Distractions
Get rid of noise, light, and uncomfortable mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Silence your smart devices by putting them in the “do not disturb” or “sleep” mode.
Some people leave their phones in the living room and use an alarm clock instead because they can’t fight the temptation to scroll through social media late into the night.
Get a good lock for your bedroom if people in the house tend to barge in; your health is worth it.
Remove any blinking or ambient lights unless you feel safer with a nightlight.
Turn off any noisy electronics. Get noise-dampening curtains.
Make your bedroom as calm, quiet, and dark as possible.
(Some people grew up in the city surrounded by ambient noise and find it hard to fall asleep when everything is quiet; you do you.)
Reduce Screen Time
Yes, I know, this is another one we’ve heard a million times before. But how our eyes see and process light disrupts sleep at night; bright screens tend to keep our bodies and brains alert.
One of the habits we all need to try to break is looking at our smart devices when trying to fall asleep at night. Why? Because biologically, it’s no different than watching the sunrise, which, in essence, is like telling your body it’s time to wake up!
Meditation calms the nervous system by slowing heart rate and reducing stress hormones, paving the way for deep, quality sleep. It’s worth trying if you struggle with insomnia. Give deep breathing (especially box breathing) a try if you haven’t already because it works wonders with inducing sleep!
“Self-love” is all the talk these days. So why not show yourself some love by soothing your mind and body at night with things like reading, enjoying a pleasant conversation with your partner, meditating, or spending a few minutes in soul-relaxing deep breathing before getting your beauty sleep?
If you feel anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, you’re not really living; you’re existing. So, unlock your best life by investing in your health and well-being; get the sleep you want, need, and deserve to live life to the fullest instead of sleepwalking through life’s most precious moments.
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