If you have been feeling stressed or anxious lately, then chances are that you haven’t been sleeping very well. When under stress, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that raise your heart rate to circulate blood more efficiently and prepare the body for action – this is referred to as the fight-or-flight response.
This means that if you are constantly stressed or anxious, that you are more often than not at a heightened state of awareness (which naturally isn’t ideal for sleeping). Unfortunately, lack of sleep can lead you to feel even more stressed and moody, so the issue becomes a vicious cycle.
Breaking the Cycle
When in this cycle of being stressed and sleep-deprived, it can be difficult to think of a way out. But there is a way to break out of it – all it takes is a little patience and diligence.
The first thing you need to do is find ways to reduce your anxiety. There are a number of things you can do to accomplish this, and you’ll need to figure out which methods work for you.
- Exercise: Try to do moderate to high-intensity exercises for at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise is proven to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
- Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment while being aware of your thoughts and feelings. Meditation is commonly practiced in mindfulness, and it’s been proven to help people feel calmer and reduce their stress.
- Go to Therapy: Getting to the root of your stress may only be possible with the help of a professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
If you ever feel like you’re unable to manage on your own, then it may be time to meet with your doctor and let them know what you’re experiencing.
Good Sleep Hygiene
While working on reducing your anxiety, you should be taking steps to improve your sleep hygiene. This basically means developing various practices and habits that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Create a Relaxing Sleep Routine: A routine you perform every night before bed will help tell your body that it’s time to sleep. Do something relaxing and non-stimulating, like reading a book or taking a hot bath.
- Limit Exposure to Blue Light: Screens emit blue light which tells your body that it’s still day time even if it isn’t. Discontinue use of screens at least a half hour before bed time.
- Make Your Room Sleep-Ready: Your bedroom should only be used for the purpose of sleeping. Make it as comfortable as possible and remove anything that is considered stimulating like televisions.
Nothing listed here will cure you overnight. You need to consistently keep up with these methods in order to see any results. Though it may feel slow at first, you will eventually begin to notice results.