Is Anxiety Keeping You Awake at Night? Try These Tips for Better Sleep
Anxiety can be the direct enemy of a good night’s sleep. Thoughts race through your mind setting the pace for a cruel cycle of wide-eyed restlessness. You just can’t seem to stop thinking. Brain waves replay your day’s events, evaluate recent shortcomings, and contemplate life goals. The worries can seem endless and you daydream of better sleep.
Although these thoughts may be valid, they shouldn’t rule or ruin your night. Healthy minds and bodies need sleep to rejuvenate. It is possible to wake in the morning welcomed with brilliant hope rather than exhausted dread. Here are five tips on how to achieve better sleep when anxiety is keeping you awake.
Tips For Better Sleep
1. Develop a Bedtime Routine
By creating a daily bedtime pattern, you are essentially singing your senses a sweet lullaby. The goal is to trigger your body into producing melatonin, which is a natural sleep hormone. From 15 minutes to an hour, this ritual can be tailor made to fit your lifestyle.
Dim the lights, wash your face, read or journal, and simply generate a pattern of winding down. Follow your routine each night (even on weekends) and soon your body will fall into a natural sleep-wake cycle and you’ll experience better sleep.
2. Do Yoga Before Bed
Deep breathing is incredibly conducive to sound sleep. This is one of the main focuses of yoga; deep controlled breathing or Pranayama. Practice poses that are less engaging and more relaxing. Child’s Pose, Standing Forward Bend, and Butterfly Pose are all geared towards easing tension.
In addition to the benefit of deep breathing, yoga provides a clear mental focus. By visualizing each exhale carrying away negative toxins, the mind is cleansed during a deep breathing session. Anxiety finds a reprieve when your focus is directed elsewhere.
3. Turn Off All Blue Light 30 Minutes Before Sleep
More than any other wavelength, blue light affects the body’s ability to produce melatonin. Televisions, iPads or tablets, smartphones, and computers are all blue light culprits. While handy during the daylight hours, they may be hurting your sleeping pattern more than you know.
Before synthetic light, the sun was the main source of illumination. Now, the digital age has eyes wide open during even the darkest hours. This faux lighting can put your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle off kilter. By eliminating blue light 30 minutes before bed, you are helping to signal your body that it’s time for sleep.
4. Avoid Caffeine and Other Stimulants in the Afternoon
Caffeine can be rightly accused of ruining a good night’s sleep. Even when consumed hours before bedtime, the effects can still pulse through your body as stubborn eyelids refuse to close. Caffeine affects people differently, but early afternoon is generally a good cut off time.
As well as caffeine, indulging in alcohol and fatty foods before bed can cause fragmented sleep. You may fall asleep faster but will undoubtedly wake up after only a couple hours of rest. Limit your intake to avoid this vicious cycle.
5. Dedicate the Bedroom for Sleep and Sex Only
Using your bedroom for only sleep and sex may seem like a simple task. It’s common for bills, work projects, grocery lists, and many other daily responsibilities to conveniently make their way into the bedroom.
Eliminating these distractions can provide you with the relaxing space you need for a restful night. You can even go as far as removing televisions, devices, pet beds, and extra furniture from your bedroom. Make the bedroom your sleep sanctuary.
A restful night’s sleep can elude those who battle anxious feelings at night. In fact, anxiety can be the sole thief of deep slumber. Although anxious feelings are valid, they don’t have to call the shots. Before tossing in the white towel on your pursuit of rest, give nature a hand by trying some of these tips.
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