Do you ever see yourself staring at a wall hoping you can sleep, but your mind is racing 100 miles per minute? It is probably due to stress. Stress can have many adverse effects on someone’s lifestyle. A major one being it can become hard to sleep at night. If this is you, do not worry, there are many ways to reduce your stress before bedtime and get the sleep you deserve! Read ten ways to reduce anxiety before bedtime.
Cut out blue light such as TV and phone screens
Blue light uses blue wavelengths typically found on TV and phone screens. During the day, this is perfect since blue light increases attention, mood, and reaction time. However, this is optimal during the day. At night it is not pleasant for one to sleep. Studies show that blue light suppresses melatonin and increase circadian rhythm at a higher rate than regular light, causing a person to stay awake about two times longer than average. Individuals who cut out blue light before bed have been shown to have lower stress and better sleep.
Have a good bedtime routine
A consistent bedtime routine is one of the best ways to relieve stress before sleep. A bedtime routine is meant to help a person wind down and destress from the day. Doing things you enjoy or taking time for self-care is a great way to lower stress. Humans tend to have habits, and the healthier your habits, the healthier and less stressed you will be!
Lower caffeine intake
Research has proven that caffeine can delay the body’s natural time clock when ingested. Within the body, there is a substance that makes a person feel sleepiness called adenosine. When an individual intakes caffeine, it blocks adenosine from doing its job and makes the body more alert and awake. The body then feels like it needs to be awake longer than usual, causing lower sleep time and higher stress levels.
Relax your mind through meditation
Meditation is the process of calming the mind and body. Studies have shown that meditation is an effective way to reduce stress, relax the mind, and lower blood pressure. When done correctly, meditation reduces cortisol levels, the hormone connected to stress—also increasing melatonin within the body leading to tiredness and restful sleep.
Use lavender essential oils
Since the beginning of the 13th century, lavender has been used as a natural remedy for insomnia and stress. Studies have shown that individuals who use lavender aromatherapy sleep more soundly than those who do not. This is due to lavender’s ability to increase slow-wave sleep, which in return causes a decreased heart rate and more relaxed muscles. The following day individuals in this study were found to wake up more energized and less stressed.
Focus on positive topics
Positive thinking is a great way, in general, to not stress. We all go through things that make us stress more than we should, and it is hard not to think about them to the point where sometimes they keep us up. Having self-talks and thinking of the good things in life rather than the bad has been proven to improve sleep patterns and decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. So next time you think of something negative, try looking at the glass half full and find positive things within the problematic situation because there is always light in the darkness.
Make your bedroom a good sleep environment
Studies show that keeping a good sleep environment is crucial for less stress and optimal sleep. Individuals who slept in ideal conditions showed lower stress levels and were more energized the following day. There are four critical components to having the environment for sleep—the first being temperature. When the body goes to sleep, it naturally drops body temperature, so keeping the area of sleep within the range of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is best for rest—next, reducing the amount of noise and light within the room. Noise and light naturally make it more challenging due to them making the mind more alert. Lastly, having good bedding and a mattress you like is essential because it creates a sense of comfort and will help overall sleep.
Exercise is not only an excellent way to stay healthy but also to reduce stress and possible insomnia. Research shows that individuals who began working out and have problems sleeping began falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer—leading them to less anxiety, stress, and even depression.
Listen to music
Everyone loves music to either sing or dance to, but there is also great music that can help you relax and sleep soundly at night. A study had proven that adults who choose to listen to music 45 to an hour before bed reported having better sleep quality than when they did not listen to music. They also found that they were more likely to feel relief, leading to falling asleep faster than usual. So, try and listen to your favorite music before sleeping. You might love it!
Take a hot bath or shower
Showering or bathing at night is a great way to let your body know you are ready for bed. An analysis of several studies showed that people who bathe in water temperature of 104 to 108.5 Fahrenheit improved their sleep quality. It is theorized to be because hot water increases blood flow within the body, allowing the body to lower its temperature faster and get to the optimal level for sleeping. It is also great for destressing because it helps relax muscles!