A good night’s sleep can be hard to come by in this day and age, with longer working hours, children to look after and seemingly never enough hours in the day to get things done, but nothing makes you feel better than a restful night. Often, stress and anxiety are barriers to sleep and learning to bust sources of stress before you climb into bed can make a real difference to the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Here are 7 stress-busting tips to help you enjoy peaceful, uninterrupted slumber:
Exercise is one of the best natural stress-busters and it can really help to relax your body and mind in preparation for the evening ahead. Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good, as well as helping to clear your mind, release tension and stress from the body and mind and giving you something to think about, rather than stressing about your day at work or what’s going to happen tomorrow. Exercise also has a host of benefits for your physical health and it tires the body out, ready for a break. It’s best to exercise at least 2 hours before you plan to hit the hay.
It’s always a good idea to take an hour or so to unwind and do something relaxing before you go to bed after a long day at work, a day out or a hectic day with the kids or grandchildren. Grab a book, watch a film or get your friends for a glass of wine and a catch up. If you head straight to bed with an active mind, you’ll probably struggle to get to sleep.
3. Eat early
Eating just before you go to bed can make it more difficult to get to sleep and may leave you feeling uncomfortable when you get into bed. Try to eat dinner around 3 hours before you go to bed.
Reading is a really good way to escape from the day you’ve had, distract your mind and chill out before you go to bed. Try to read books that will entertain and relax you, rather than triggering ideas and thoughts, as this may cause your mind to be very active and busy when you go to bed. Make yourself comfortable, snuggle up and enjoy a bit of you-time.
5. Have a bath
Having a bath is not just a really relaxing way to wash yourself, it’s also proven to reduce stress and make you feel better. Fill up the bath with warm water, add some bubbles, shut the door and enjoy some peace and quiet. Add some relaxing oils and candles to create a calm atmosphere. Research shows that having a bath before bed can help to prepare you for sleep because the decreased temperature you experience when you get out of the bath is comparable to the natural drop in temperature from day to night.
6. Have a massage
Massage is a great way to relax the mind and body and reduce stress and tension in the muscles. Invest in some indulgent oils, draw the blinds and put some chilled out music on and you’ll feel calmer instantly.
7. Have a hot drink
If you watch the soaps, you’ll probably have noticed that a cup of tea seems to solve drama of any kind and although this is a bit of an exaggeration, there is some truth to the belief that a cup of tea or a hot cocoa can make you feel better. Hot drinks, especially in the winter, warm you from the inside out and somehow they are a comfort, probably because most of us have grown up having a hot drink before bed from being very small. If you are a fan of a nightly hot drink, try to avoid caffeine within an hour of going to bed.
Author Bio: Richard is a Manchester based writer focusing on health and sleep. Currently he is working with the sleep professionals at apnoea treatment London to educate people on the importance of a healthy diet to support a peaceful night’s sleep.