December 2, 2019
How to manage stress at bedtime
Stress is something that we all deal with. Some of us deal with it better than others, but we could all do with a little bit less. This is especially true when it comes to bedtime. Stress is one of the main reasons that people struggle to sleep at night, and chances are it’s one of your struggles.
If so, you probably already know that when you aren’t sleeping well you are much more likely to be stressed out by even the most minor changes to your routine. This leads to compounded stress that makes it even harder to deal with the stress you incur. To avoid this never ending cycle, there are some things you can do to help. Here are some tips to help you to reduce the amount of stress you feel while trying to fall asleep, thus making it a lot easier to fall asleep at night.
Meditation might seem a little woo-woo, but it can actually be a great stress reliever to focus on yourself and your body. It can be done anywhere as long as you are able to truly relax for a few minutes at a time. Deep breaths will do wonders to help you to relax and might even help you to find some solutions for the problems that are causing you to stress out.
Yoga and other Light Exercise
Light exercise is not only a great way to burn off excess energy, but it is also a great way to lower your stress levels. It is perfect for helping you to focus on something other than your stress and relax using the endorphins that exercise gives you. It will also make you more tired, which will help you to spend less time lying in bed stressing and more time sleeping. You can even meditate while you do so.
Journal Out Stress
Journaling is a less strenuous way to deal with your problems. It is also a great way for you to track what is bothering you and look back over a period of time to help you see what has been a long term issue that you might have missed. It can be very helpful to look back at something that cannot lie to you like your own memory can.
Put Your Phone Away
One of the main sources of stress for a lot of us is our phones. Disconnect from it for a little while before bed to allow you to step away from your work responsibilities and anything outside of your house. Instead, stay much more in the present and enjoy your friends and family as much as you can. This is a great way to reduce stress.
Optimize Your Sleep Space
A great way to reduce your sleeping issues is to make sure that the room you go to sleep in is cool and comfortable. This might require you to replace your pillows and mattress, but it will be worth it in the long run to get a much better night’s sleep. Try keeping your room between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius (60 and 67 °F) with good airflow to help make sure your body isn’t doing more work than it needs to in order to keep you cool.
Avoid Snacking During the Evening
Something that can cause trouble sleeping and exacerbate stress is eating snacks or meals right before you go to bed. It’s hard for you to get a full night’s sleep when your body is working to digest food at the same time. This will reduce the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom as well as the amount of heartburn you feel.
If you find yourself really struggling to get to sleep because of your stress, you should think about talking to a psychologist or doctor. They will be helpful in finding some better ways for you to manage your stress throughout the day to make it easier for you to sleep at night. You might also want to check and see if you have any physical health issues that could be exacerbating your sleep issues like sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.
Alicia Sanchez is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com with a specialty in health and wellness. A Nashville native, Alicia finds the sound of summer storms so soothing that she still sleeps with recorded rain on her white noise machine.