Sleep and stress have a strong correlation. It’s a vicious cycle that can cause mental distress and ever wreak havoc on your physical well-being.
It is well-known that people who don’t get enough sleep are lethargic and constantly experiencing an energy slump. This causes irritability, which also makes it hard to fall asleep.
The Huffington Post conducted a poll recently where they asked people what their number 1 stressor was. Lack of sleep was one thing that dominated the results. Stress and a lack of sleep combined can cause you to lose mental clarity. They can put more pressure on your body to perform at less than optimal standards.
So it would help if you learned how to implement stress relief measures that also work to lull you to sleep at night. When you wake up fully refreshed, you’ll be able to tackle the world and anything it throws at you!
Here are the seven rules to help you reduce stress and improve sleep:
1. Implement a Bedtime Technology Ban
Keep your cellphone, laptop, or computer away from your bed. It causes a certain amount of mental unrest when you’re constantly checking emails or looking to see who posted what on Facebook.
Your mind needs time to disconnect and wind down itself, and it can’t do that if you’re constantly feeding it information. Let your stress melt away and your mind relax.
If you go to bed at 10 PM, try disconnecting around 8:30 PM. It isn’t an easy habit to break. Still, you’ll be able to implement it even if you do it in baby steps and gradually create a healthy routine for your health.
2. Adopt and Aromatherapy Habit
Aromatherapy can soothe your mind and body for both sleep and stress. Start by choosing the right scents for you to unwind. You may want to look for scents that soothe and relax, like bergamot, chamomile, jasmine, lavender, rose, and vanilla. Let go of the anxiety the day brought, and get a good night’s sleep.
You can also use candles, diffusers, wall plugins, and more. You can also create or buy a unique mist that you can spray on your pillow at night or put on your wrist before bed.
3. Wind Down Your Day With Exercise
Exercise also helps you sleep better at night. But that’s just what exercise does for you! It is a great stress reliever because it enables you to release endorphins.
Try to exercise after work plenty of time before bed, but in the evening. If you exercise too close to bedtime and discover that you still feel restless, move your exercise to an earlier time.
4. Use Bath Meditations for Boosting Your Sleep Count
For some people, bath time is their only time of the day when they unwind and kick stress to the curb. The environment for your bath meditation is just as important as the sleeping environment you create.
Others like to incorporate aromatherapy during their bath meditation-and you can find candles or bubble baths that soothe you with lavender or chamomile or any other scent that calms rather than invigorates you.
Music is another option for you to consider. You can choose soft, relaxing music that will walk you through a visualization process that helps you meditate while in the bath.
Just as you’ve committed to turning off technology at bedtime, do the same for your bath time, too. No clocks are ticking, no technology vying for your attention, and nobody talking to you. It’s just you, your warm, soothing water, and whatever environment you’ve created to help you relax.
5. Become a Master at Time Management
Time is one thing we need but have less. We have no time to relax. Instead, we give ourselves a minimal amount of sleep hours. Many of you will learn new time management skills but forget to learn your lesson about sleep.
Keep a diary or journal of your daily routine. Notice all the time that you could spend accomplishing things so that once your day is over, you will have free time-“me time”-to pamper and nurture your body and mind.
You might also find that when you implement the other rules here, along with proper sleep hygiene, you’ll be able to get more done throughout the day. That’s because your mental clarity improves, and you have more energy to tackle whatever the day may bring.
6. Allow Deep Breathing to Replace Naps
Some people get in the habit of taking a daily nap-primarily because they’ve heard that power napping can help them achieve their goals for the day.
This might be true for many people. But if night sleep eludes you, then naps could be the problem. A 10-minute power nap where you’re just shutting your eyes and deep breathing is beneficial.
Going to bed for 2-4 hours in the middle of the day is a recipe for disaster. You’ll never be able to go to bed at a regular bedtime, and you’ll lie there frustrated and annoyed that you can’t go to sleep. It’s a hard habit to break.
Try using deep breathing to energize yourself whenever you’re in an afternoon slump. Breathe from your diaphragm and try to watch how often you’re using shallow breaths throughout the day.
7. Focus on Nutrition for Better Sleep and Less Stress
Foods are one area where what you eat can benefit or damage your sleep and stress levels. If you want to ease stress and get better sleep, you need to limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine and eat foods that will help with both.
That means eating good protein like turkey or lean chicken, salmon, avocadoes, nuts like almonds or walnuts, and apricots. Regular meals are essential too. You want your blood sugar levels stabilized so that you don’t have to deal with mood swings and energy highs and lows.