We’ve all had those sleepless nights that seem to never end–the tossing, the turning, the long to-do lists constantly running through your head, the thoughts in your mind that just won’t stop racing, and the counting of dwindling hours until it’s time to “wake up”. While lack of sleep can result in a sluggish tomorrow, it has also been proven to increase your stress levels.
The connection between stress and sleep is a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep results in increased stress, while increased stress can result in a lack of sleep. With this cycle, how can you ever conquer this beast?
The trick is to first tackle the sleep issue. Without adequate sleep, it will be impossible for you to begin to manage your stress levels. Following these five simple steps will help you break this nasty sleep-stress cycle.
5 Ways to Break the Vicious Cycle Between Stress and Sleep
1. Try to establish your own pre-sleep-habits
Have a nightly routine of things you might do to wind your body down from the stresses of the day. This might include: reading a few chapters of a book, meditating, taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, or getting a massage from a loved one. Leave yourself about one hour before bedtime to indulge in these relaxing activities. Once your body is accustomed to these pre-sleep-habits, your body will start to automatically wind down during these nightly activities.
2. If possible, try to maintain the same sleep schedule
Yes, this means waking up at the same time every day—even weekends! Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is the recommended dosage of sleep for the average adult. When your body is accustomed to a regular sleep schedule, you will find that you will fall into a deeper sleep and battle that insomnia.
3.Avoid eating before bedtime
I love my nightly meals and snacks as much as you do, but try to avoid eating big meals before bedtime. You certainly don’t want to go to bed hungry, but try to avoid late-night dinners right before bedtime. Also, if possible, try to avoid drinking large amounts of beverages close to bedtime. Preventing yourself from having to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate will help you to sleep better.
Yes, exercising can actually help your body to sleep more peacefully! Establish a regular exercise habit—and maintain it!
You can try this relaxation exercise before going to bed.
Video: The evening exercise for relaxing
5. Let your bedroom be your bedroom…
…not your TV room, playroom, computer room, eating room, etc. Reserve only sex and sleeping for your bedroom. Limiting your bed and bedroom to specific activities, will help your mind and body directly connect your bed with sleep.
Not too hard, right? Following these simple steps will help you to battle that insomnia and establish regular sleep habits. With a good night’s sleep under your belt, you will be more fully equipped to tackle and combat that stress head-on!
Sleep and stress—a vicious cycle. But it’s a cycle that can be broken. And the key to breaking this cycle is to follow the five simple guidelines outlined above. Reduce your stress by improving your sleep habits. It’s as simple as that.
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Article provided by LiveWell Market