10 Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep When Stressed

10 Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep When Stressed
10 Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep When Stressed

You’re stressed, nervous, anxious and you can’t fall asleep. I’ve been through it. You’ve been through it. Everyone’s been through it. And now more than ever, it can be difficult to get your hands on a good night’s rest. A purported 70% of people have been stressed as a result of the lockdown, and aside from financial and health worries, the lack of time spent outdoors doesn’t help either. That’s why it’s important — now more than ever — to make sleep a priority and get yourself up and running each and every day. Here are 10 ways you can do it.

1. Unwind Before Bed

For many people, stressful days have proven to be aplenty, and this will almost always carry over to the bedroom, where it manifests itself in a string of poor sleeps. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem, and it includes setting up a nightly relaxation schedule to flush all your problems away before succumbing to a blissful sleep.

How To Go About It?

There are numerous things you can do to unwind after a stressful day’s work. Establish a routine consisting of any number of stress-relieving activities such as taking a hot bath, reading a book, meditating and writing (then tearing up) your worries on a piece of paper.

Product You Can Use? Sea Soak Bath Salts

Bath salts are a great way to enhance the quality of your bath and even alleviate joint stiffness!

2. Avoid Blue Light At Night

Up until recently, the idea of “blue light” was a little known concept. However, it emanates from nearly every device we use (phones, computers, televisions) and can pose a real threat to the quality of our sleep, especially if exposed to it late at night. Namely, it is said to disrupt the production of melatonin, a natural hormone responsible for the feeling of tiredness.

How To Go About It?

In an ideal world, avoiding blue light entirely after a certain time would be the best solution. But you probably don’t want to turn your life upside down to avoid a problem that is to a large extent unavoidable. That is why there is an effective alternative involving far less commitment, which consists of making your devices emit red light. For most phones and laptops, there is a setting to automatically change to red light past a certain time, but for other devices (including television), blue light glasses are the only solution.

Product You Can Use? Blue Light Glasses

I myself own a pair of blue light glasses, and enjoy wearing them when I watch a show at night or if I decide to go on my laptop before bed.

3. Keep It Cool At Night

Some people like it cool at night, some people like it hot. Some people want it to be cool at night but cannot change the temperature due to their partner’s preferences. Is it worse to be hot or cold? That opens a whole other can of worms, but at least for the purpose of optimizing sleep quality, being hot is decidedly worse. It is found that keeping a cool temperature (preferably around 65 degrees) encourages the production of melatonin, which leads to a deeper sleep.

How To Go About It?

For many people, the way to go about this is simply turning on the thermostat to the recommended temperature, but for others, this may not be so simple. If you find yourself in a stalemate with your significant other regarding the room temperature, show them this article and see if it’ll change their mind. If it doesn’t, maybe send it to them and let them come around on their own. And if nothing else, you can rest easy at night knowing that you and the person you care most about have learned a nice tidbit of information regarding optimal sleeping temperatures.

Product You Can Use? Buckwheat Pillow

This is one of the coolest pillows on the market in both senses of the word and while you’ll likely find it to be far less soft than your average pillow, it provides great support and will do as good a job as any in keeping you from flipping over your pillow at night for cold air.

4. Avoid Caffeine Late In The Day

Caffeine is something most people hold onto for dear life, no matter the cost. If however, you’re one of the bold few willing to sacrifice it for an improved sleep, you won’t regret it, as caffeine is a stimulant correlated with difficulty falling asleep. Even if you desperately need the caffeine coffee brings you to stay awake, there are ways to limit its impact on your sleep and even alternatives that provide the same effect.

How To Go About It?

If you are having caffeine and cannot afford to leave it, make sure to avoid having it 4-6 hours before bed. If you are seeking an alternative without some of the sleep-depriving attributes coffee possesses, matcha tea might just be your best bet.

Product You Can Use? Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is a great alternative to caffeine, providing the same energy boost without the spikes and joint pain.

5. Maintain A Regular Sleep Schedule

Making sure you sleep at consistent times is as important as making sure you sleep at the right times. While the optimal sleeping times range from 9-11pm to 6-8am, deviating from your usual sleep times can make it difficult for your body to get into a rhythm, as it relies on its internal clock to determine when you are tired and ready to fall asleep.

How To Go About It?

As will be mentioned in another section of this list, developing a nightly routine will help build consistency in your sleep schedule and create a cue for you to know when it is time to go to sleep. Another good idea is to look at some of the things that keep you out of your bed past when you should be sleeping — i.e. work or social media — and impose strict deadlines so as to ensure those things don’t get in the way. For example, a good ritual might be to not work or use social media past 8pm.

Product You Can Use? You

For this point there is no product that will magically put you in your in bed when you’re supposed to, but it needs to instead come from discipline and repetition, whIch eventually will help develop a habit. Although, an app such as Sleep Cycle can be of help in tracking your sleep history to see whether or not you’ve been consistent in your schedule.

6. Avoid Working In Your Bed

Take it from me: it can be difficult — especially when working from home — to avoid kicking back on your laptop in the comfort of your own bed. As it turns out though, not only is this less productive, but it may also be a detriment to your sleep. In fact, a purported 80% of young adults work from bed, which can lead to your mind disassociating the bedroom from sleeping, thus worsening the quality of your sleep.

How To Go About It?

Now that a substantial part of the population is working from home, it is important to set a boundary between work and the bedroom. If you don’t have a home office, now would be a great time to make one for yourself.

Product You Can Use? Standing Desk

Though they range from pricy to pricier, standing desks will kill two birds with one stone by improving your posture while giving you another place to work if you don’t have a home office set up already.

7. Exercise

The reason exercise is in every one of these articles is because it’s the cure to virtually everything. Forget pills, surgeries and everything else that’s billed out to be the the ultimate solution for your every last problem. The closest thing to a miracle you’ll get is exercise, and sleep is just one of the benefits it entails.

How To Go About It?

Even if you don’t have any gym equipment, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home. Set out a workout schedule, incorporate what you can to stay active (strength and cardio training) and you’re set!

Product You Can Use? Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a cheap, versatile piece of equipment and are easy to store in even the smallest of home gyms. The brand I use is Fit Simplify, but you shouldn’t find too big a difference regardless of brand.

8. Avoid Napping

Napping can be a great power boost to your day, but the jury is still out on just how it impacts your sleep at night. Short naps under 30 minutes figure to have very limited impact, but the consensus dictates that longer naps correlate with a compromised sleep at night. At the very least, if you are going to nap, make sure to do so earlier in the day so as not to interfere with your night’s sleep.

How To Go About It?

The primary reason we nap is us being tired, and this can directly be attributed to a lack of quality sleep. Ironically, the way to fix this would be to follow the other points in this article, such as exercising, keeping a consistent wakeup time, but of course also getting enough sleep, which should be feasible now more than ever.

Product You Can Use? Weighted Blankets

Since avoiding napping is contingent on having a good night’s rest, a great way to do just that is by sleeping with weighted blankets. They’re soft, comfortable and I sleep with one myself.

9. Turn Off The Lights

If you’re reading this, you may be accustomed to keeping a light in the room, and there are definitely worse things. But it’s worth knowing that while you may be scared of the dark, your sleep is scared of light. All jokes aside, keeping a pitch-dark room has tangible benefits for your quality of sleep, as your internal clock senses light to determine when you should wake up, and the presence of artificial light can in fact trigger that effect.

How To Go About It?

Aside from leaving the door open, a main source of light at night is your windows. And while keeping your door shut can easily solve the former, the latter is a bit more difficult as cracks of light can seep through the window even when closed. This can be solved by using a product to cover your eyes or windows.

Product You Can Use? Blackout Window Cover

Eye covers are great, but my personal preference is having a blackout cover for the windows to keep the room entirely dark. It’s a great way to block all sunlight and in my opinion is the most effective way to keep an entirely dark room.

10. Avoid Eating Before Bed

We’ve all had a case of the late night munchies, and while snacking on something in the middle of the night can satisfy your cravings, it is both bad for your health and your sleep. On the one hand, it can lead to weight gain (due to slower metabolism while sleeping), and on the other, it is said to have a negative impact on sleep.

How To Go About It?

There are several ways to avoid eating late, but planning your meals and making sure you’ve eaten enough quality foods throughout the day is the best way of doing so.

Product You Can Use? Intermittent Fasting

This isn’t really a product so much as a technique to not be hungry before bed, and there are several apps such as Zero that will help keep you on track with your fasts through the night.

 

There you have it: 10 ways to ensure you’re getting quality rest! Sleep is one of our most prized possessions. It’s important we make the most of it and use it to its fullest capacity. Now, you can rest easy knowing that you can rest easy!

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