Article by Cheryl Conklin
You know the feeling. It’s the one you get when your car breaks down the day after a family member passes away, or your boss announces mandatory overtime right before all of your kids catch the flu. Sometimes, it feels like everything that could go wrong does. And to make it all worse, you’re too busy worrying and stressed out about everything to catch a wink of sleep.
It’s common to face sleep problems in times of high stress, but this is when you need rest the most. The worse you sleep, the worse your stress gets. If you don’t get your stress under control, it could lead to depression or anxiety. According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, people with insomnia are five times more likely to develop depression and 20 times more likely to develop anxiety than people who get a healthy amount of rest. A few good nights of sleep, on the other hand, could dramatically boost your mood and make what’s stressing you seem manageable after all.
If you’re too stressed to sleep, do something about it. These tips will help you get to rest so you can take on life’s challenges with your well-being intact.
Make your bedroom a sleep haven
Your bedroom should be a place you look forward to at the end of the day. Keep anything that’s not related to sleep out of the bedroom, including work, TV, and your kids. If you associate the bedroom with activities other than sleep, you’re more likely to think about them when lying in bed.
Eliminate anything else that threatens to disrupt your rest. Light creeping under doorways, noise from outdoors, and hot, stuffy temperatures all need to go. If your old mattress has you waking up with back pain, recycle it and buy a new one. Don’t worry about driving a mattress home or what to look for in a mattress store. With all of the bed-in-a-box mattresses available today, you can research, buy, and receive a mattress without leaving your house. Most are cheaper than what you’ll find in a mattress store, too. Purple mattresses, for example, fall in the middle of the bed-in-a-box price range at $699-$1,299, depending on size.
Establish a regular sleep schedule
Consistency is the most important part of healthy sleep habits. When you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, your body’s biological clock adapts to that schedule. That makes it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. It’s fine to vary your sleep and wake times on weekends but stay within 30 minutes to an hour of your normal sleep schedule to avoid disrupting the routine.
It can be hard to adopt a bedtime if you’re not accustomed to it. To help your body adapt, shift sleep times gradually — about 30 minutes to an hour per day — and do something relaxing before bed to wind down for sleep. Instead of using electronics, which keep your mind alert, try reading a book, journaling, meditating, stretching, or listening to relaxing music. Avoid thinking about anything stressful before bed. If there are bills to pay or chores to be done, make time in the morning.
Find time for exercise
It’s counterintuitive, but when you’re stressed, exhausted, and can’t sleep, working out is one of the best things you can do. Exercise is a natural mood booster, improves the quality of your sleep, and helps you feel alert during the day. You’ll reap even more benefits if you exercise outdoors, as sunlight helps regulate your body’s biological clock and lifts your mood. You may want to avoid vigorous exercise right before bed, however. Some people find aerobic exercise before bed interferes with sleep. If that’s the case for you, schedule intense workouts earlier in the day and stick to yoga and stretching before bed.
The times when life feels out of control are when you need self-care the most. Sleep, while often neglected, is one of the most powerful forms of self-care there is. Whereas sleepless nights make everything seem harder, quality rest is the fuel you need to take life’s challenges in stride.
Seeds of Wellness offers a variety of products to help you sleep better including CBD products. Call 440-933-7733 or stop in to learn how we may be able to help you sleep better.