With the pandemic still going and the constant state of the news, it can be hard to get our 8 hours of sleep at night. The stress of the world can have us tossing and turning and making us insomniac. When we’re stressed, it can be hard for us to fall asleep. And the quality of sleep we get is super important as it can effect our mental and physical health and immune system.
It’s also important that we stop looking at our phones before bed. As I’ve discussed before, going on social media and reading the news can create a downward spiral causing anxiety. And this is not good when we are trying to fall asleep. I am now going to share with you some tips for falling asleep when stressed.
Tips For Falling Asleep When Stressed
Create A Calming Space
Environment plays a significant role in finding a restful sleep. Creating an ideal sleep space, make sure you have a comfortable mattress and a clutter free bedroom. A bad mattress can cause awkward sleep positions which leads to waking up more frequently. Clutter in the bedroom can induce feelings of stress and can make it difficult to relax.
Stop Your Mind From Wondering
This is something that I struggle with. It’s super important to avoid thinking of things that cause you stress. In order to stop thinking about those stressful thoughts, write down happy thoughts. Keep a journal by your bed and write down 5-10 things you are grateful for before going to bed. It’s actually been scientifically proven that acknowledging happy thoughts can rewire your brain to be happier, calmer, and more hopeful.
Reduce Stress During The Day
Sleep habits are dependable on our daily rituals. Reducing our anxiety during the day can have a positive impact on our sleep. Maintaining relationships, even virtually, with friends and family can create a positive connection and reduce loneliness and anxiety.
Create A Sleep Schedule Habit
Creating a consistent sleep schedule can be super tricky while being stuck at home all day. But having one can make falling asleep easier because of our natural circadian rhythms. Going to bed around the same time every night, the natural desire to sleep at this time increases.
Practice Breathing and Meditation
Breathing exercises and meditation can help you relax and breathe out any stress or tension in your body. Even counting backwards by 3’s can help provide enough cognitive distraction to help calm your mind. Also, progressive muscle techniques where you clench and unclench your muscles can be effective for some.
Wind Down Time
One of the most important things you can do before going to bed is giving yourself enough time to wind down to go to sleep. The goal is to disconnect from anything that can cause a distraction. How much time do you need? It can vary by person. Some people need only 15 minutes while others need an hour or more. Figure out an amount that works for you and budget it into your nighttime routine.
Try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Sometimes when you’re laying in bed for a long time, trying to fall asleep, it’s best to do something else. One cognitive behavioural therapy strategy is to limit the amount of time we are awake in bed. If you’re still awake after 20-30 minutes, get out of bed and do something else that will make you tired. If I’m having a hard time falling asleep, I’ll get out of bed, go to the bathroom and then go get myself a drink of water. By the time I come back to bed, I usually end up falling asleep fairly quickly. Repeat doing this if necessary. This will help us associate our bed with sleep instead of anxiety and frustration.
What are some tips you have?