We live in a very busy society. There are so many stressors on our everyday lives, that if not managed well, can impact your body in a negative way. There’s a strong correlation between how much sleep you get and how stressed you are. It’s a vicious cycle that can cause mental distress and even wreak havoc on your physical well-being.
It’s a well-known fact that people who don’t get enough sleep are lethargic and constantly experiencing an energy slump. This causes irritability, which also makes it hard to fall asleep.
The reverse is also true. When you experience an exorbitant amount of stress during the day, it causes you to lie there awake – and that piles on more stress for the upcoming day.
The Huffington Post conducted a poll recently where they asked people what their #1 stressor was. Lack of sleep was one thing that dominated the results. Stress and a lack of sleep combined can cause you to lose mental clarity and they can put more pressure on your body to perform at less than optimal standards.
So it’s vital that you learn how to implement stress relief measures that ALSO work to lull you to sleep at night. When you wake up fully refreshed, you’ll be able to tackle the world and anything it throws at you!
Rule #1 - Implement a Bedtime Technology Ban
If you don't want to toss and turn or have trouble getting (or staying) to sleep, then don't keep your cell phone right by your bed. For some of you, that won’t be a problem, but for many people, it’s become an addiction that disrupts their sleep routine and causes a lack of sleep.
Some people have their computer right beside the bed and the glow of it lights up the room at night. The same goes for notifications that come in on cell phones, sometimes with lights and sometimes with the inclusion of sounds.
Not only is it a physical factor, but it causes a certain amount of mental unrest when you’re constantly checking emails or looking to see who posted what on Facebook.
The physical distraction of the computer glow tricks your body into thinking it’s time for you to be awake. Your body won’t produce the melatonin it needs and help you get (and stay) asleep, so you toss and turn all night.
Technology doesn’t just have to be left out of the bedroom, it needs to be shut down quite awhile before you go to bed. Your mind needs time to disconnect and wind down itself, and it can’t do that if you’re constantly feeding it information.
If you go to bed at 10 PM, try disconnecting around 8:30 PM. Let your stress melt away and your mind relax. This isn’t an easy habit to break, but you’ll be able to implement it even if you do it in baby steps, such as not taking it in the room with you, instead of using it right up until bedtime, and gradually creating a routine that’s beneficial for your health.
Rule #2 – Adopt an Aromatherapy Habit
Aromatherapy soothes your mind and body for both sleep and de-stressing. Scents are a powerful element of our lives, and you can use the power of it to help you feel more rested.
Start off by choosing the right scents for you to unwind, let go of the anxiety the day brought, and get a good night’s sleep. You don’t want anything invigorating for bedtime – like peppermint.
That’s a scent that’s perfect to help you start your day – not end it. You want to look for scents that soothe and relax. Here are some possibilities:
What’s the best way to use these to unwind and get better sleep? You have many options when it comes to aromatherapy. You can find scented bath products (even better if you make your own).
You can use candles or diffusers (my favorite), and more. Some people like to create or a special mist that they can spray on their pillows at night (or put on their wrists) before bed.
Rule #3 – Wind Down Your Day With Exercise
It sounds almost backwards – putting forth extra exertion when you really need to be relaxing and calming down. But that’s just what exercise does for you! Exercise is a great stress reliever because it helps you release endorphins.
That’s why you sometimes hear of athlete’s bragging about their “runner’s high” – because although they may start out fatigued, they hit a point in their regimen where the endorphins are released and they feel good.
Feeling good is one of the first steps to you being able to sleep well tonight! Your body has probably been tensed and knotted up all day while you were at work. Allowing it to exercise gives you some relief – somewhere to pour all of that tension into.
Exercise also helps you sleep better at night. We joke as parents about letting our kids wear themselves out so they’re ready for a good, long nap – but the same goes for us as adults!
When the Huffington post conducted a poll for people who exercise in terms of how they sleep, they discovered that people who exercise don’t just get more sleep – they get better sleep.
As you might guess, the harder you work out, the harder you snooze each night! If you’re not used to exercising, start out slow and work your way up. You can start off with a simple 10-minute-a-day plan and increase it a bit each week.
Poor sleep makes people gain weight according to recent studies and stress is a definite factor in consuming too many calories. A side effect of exercising to get better sleep and stress less is that you might also shed a few pounds.
Try to exercise after work – plenty of time before bed, but in the evening. If you exercise too close to bedtime and you discover that you still feel restless, just move your exercise up to an early time.
Did you find these tips helpful? Comment below and let me know.
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