Sleep is the body’s way of healing and restoring balance to all of its vital systems and workings. When we get enough quality sleep, we can meet the challenges of every day with a degree of confidence and ease that is not possible without the right quality and quantity of sleep we need. If we don’t reduce stress before sleep, we cannot possibly get the quality of sleep we need for regeneration and will suffer effects to our health in the long run. There are many things that we have control over to reduce stress before sleep in our everyday lives. By starting with some easy environmental changes, we can start to promote some good sleeping habits.
3 Great Ways to Reduce Stress Before Sleep
Make Your Bedroom A Haven To Reduce Stress Before Sleep
Your bedroom should be a place that you can look forward to being in for relaxing, restorative sleep. If you have a home office in your bedroom, it could be interfering with your sleep in ways you don’t even recognize. In order to reduce stress before sleep, you need to clear your mind of work and daily pressures. When you have a workspace in your bedroom, you are reminded at least visually of the things that you need to get done and any frustrations you may be facing. Even if you don’t work on those things before bedtime, the visual cues are there and will interfere subliminally with your relaxation.
If you have a computer in your room that stays on all night, even the small amount of light that is emitted from the console and monitor can interfere with your brain’s ability to move through all the necessary sleep cycles to get adequate rest. If you must have your computer in your room, separate it from the sleeping area with a room divider or some other visual barrier if possible to help you reduce stress before sleep.
Don’t watch television in bed to try to reduce stress before sleep. In fact you should remove the tv from your room for the best solution. Many people believe that the mindless, passive viewing of television shows is enough to reduce stress before sleep, but the level of activity and color on the screen is enough to stimulate the brain in ways that won’t allow it to relax fully and prepare for sleep.
When you fall asleep with the tv on, your brain won’t be able to get to the deep sleep cycles that are necessary for restoring cellular function and repairing damages to bodily systems that has to happen on a regular basis to maintain health. Even if you don’t wake up fully, your conscious mind will be stimulated enough to interrupt sleep cycles and prevent you from getting quality sleep. To effectively reduce stress before sleep, don’t watch tv in your room and try not to watch tv for at least a half an hour before retiring for the night.
Pay Attention To Your Activity Level During The Day
You need to get enough activity to reduce stress and help your body function at maximum efficiency but you need to be careful not to engage in too much physical activity right before bedtime. In order to reduce stress before sleep, you should not have done any strenuous physical activity for up to two hours before bedtime.
Physical activity raises heart rate and releases endorphins which can make you feel energized and refreshed but too stimulated to fall asleep. If you want to incorporate physical activity to reduce stress before sleep, use some proven yoga poses that are known to help relax the body and prepare it for sleep.
If you have household chores to do, try to get them done a couple of hours before going to bed to reduce stress before sleep. Save the things that require the least amount of physical activity and stress to do last thing before relaxing for the night.
Washing dishes can actually be a good activity to help reduce stress before sleep because the warm water and clean scent of the dish soap can actually be relaxing and soothing. Save vacuuming and other more physical activities for earlier in the day.
Prepare Yourself For Sleep With A Predictable Routine
For most people, the easiest way to relax enough to sleep is to perform a nightly ritual that signals the body and the brain that it is time to unwind and get ready for bed. If you start even just an hour before bed by having a cup of tea, shutting off the television and doing little things to take care of yourself, you will reduce stress before going to sleep and be able to get right to restful sleep sooner.
Wash your face and give yourself an aroma therapy oil massage to relax your senses. Massage lavender and chamomile essential oils mixed with almond oil in a circular motion on your temples and cheeks for the last activity before going to bed and you will find yourself relaxed and ready to sleep soon after your head hits the pillow.
Try different relaxation exercises to reduce stress before sleep. Here are two relaxation exercises that you should do every evening.
Video: How to relieve stress before sleep.
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Photo: HaoJan Chang