How to Get Quality Sleep During Stressful Times?

Nothing helps you to be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long as a good night sleep. But what if your days are too stressful on permanent basis and you just cant get it?

You rush, you worry extensively, and you are harsh to yourself, you…( fill in the blank). Your body is over-producing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol during stressful days. When stress hormones fail to shut off at night, it may be difficult to either fall asleep or stay asleep. When you are not able to sleep well in order to decompress and rejuvenate, you are not able to cope with all demands and stress the life throws on you during the day. Even worse: being sleep deprived can be both a cause and an effect of being stressed.

Not the best scenario.

How to slow down, destress after a busy day and induce sound sleep?

Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. This may include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music.

Here are some of my favorite stress reduction bed time strategies you can apply in order to slow down.

1. Put on some relaxing music.

Gentle music will allow your heart beats to slow down and in turn our breathing and this puts our brains in relaxation mode and allows us to feel calmer and destress. Music has been found to improve sleep quality, decrease nightly wakenings, lengthen sleep time, and increase satisfaction with sleep.

2. Follow with some simple stretches or yoga.

Simple exercises before bed is very relaxing and helps sleep as it release tension without overstimulating the body. Nothing too vigorous, just a few simple yoga poses and stretches will do fine. This is especially useful if you have a desk job or something that has you sitting around all day.

3. Make a warm glass of milk.

Warm milk contains tryptophan – sleep-inducing amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin, and calcium which helps the brain to absorb tryptophan. As an alternative you can choose chamomile tea or foods to get a good night’s sleep.

4. Time for journaling.

Journaling has many stress and health benefits, making it a great way to end the day. Write down some things you are thankful for. You don’t need to spend much time on this just note down four or five things that went well today and store them in a journal on your bedside. A gratitude list can get you in a positive frame of mind for sleep, and over time helps you change your whole frame of mind to a more positive, less stressed one.

5. Visualization.

Visualize the next day. This takes just 10 minutes and can set things up for your next day. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Think about things you want to achieve the following day or the week.

6. Write down tomorrow’s tasks.

This is huge. Your mind should be empty in order to sleep well. Writing down next day’s tasks helps to get things out of your mind. This allows you to clear a load of mental clutter that might normally keep you up at night ruminating and worrying.

7. Time for a hot bath or shower.

The best thing about a hot bath or shower is that it will calm your mind, rinse away tension, and relax your tensed muscles. (Your tense muscles as you might know are the ones where your daily stress tends to accumulate). You will also find it easier to fall asleep if you are warm. Try to add several drops of lavender aromatherapy essential oil to a bath to enhance your relaxation experience.

8. Read something relaxing and inspiring.

Make sure it is something that interests you. This normally comes hand in hand with relaxing and inspiring. A good book before bed will calm the mind and fill your mind with positive ideas, insights and inspiration for the next days.

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