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Relieve your stress by improving your sleep routine

We understand that a certain amount of stress is part of life, but too much stress or the inability to cope with stress can cause more than mental health issues; it can lead to physical problems such as headaches and stomach disorders. One of the ways to cope with stress is by taking care of yourself, including getting sufficient, quality sleep. Reducing your stress will then improve your sleep, and so on.

However, getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is often easier said than done. That’s true whether you’re up late finishing the day’s chores, preparing for the next day’s activities, or enjoying the moments of quiet after everything has been accomplished and everyone else is asleep. Recognized as National Stress Awareness Month, April is the perfect time to reinvigorate your bedtime routine with the following tips intended to improve your sleep so you can better cope with stress.

1.    Embrace Your Bedtime Routine

Taking care of yourself is not selfish. In fact, it’s one of the seven steps to manage stress suggested by the Office of Research on Women’s Health of the National Institutes of Health. Recommended activities to manage stress include allowing yourself time to sleep and scheduling bath and bedtimes. Both can be accomplished by a bedtime routine that lets you wind down from the day and prepare for sleep.

2.    Maintain a Daily Sleep-Wake Cycle

Experts recommend going to bed and getting up at consistent times, even on weekends. Additionally, our bodies work on an internal clock, which is cued by light. Some bright light in the morning can promote wakefulness, which will ultimately help you to get to sleep at night.

3.    Avoid Stimulants Before Bedtime

Try to reduce your usage of stimulants like nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol in the afternoon and especially before going to bed. Although it is a sedative, alcohol does not lead to quality sleep. As caffeine takes a long time to leave your system, try not to drink caffeinated beverages within 8 to 10 hours of bedtime.

4.    Fashion a Restful Sleep Environment

Improve sleep quality by making sure your sleep environment is as conducive to sleep as possible. A good sleep environment is cool, quiet, and dark. You can create the right atmosphere by focusing on your five senses.

A cool room is beneficial to sleep, which might mean lowering the thermostat at night. In general, consider keeping your bedroom at 60 to 67° F.

Although you might be able to make your home quiet, noise from outside is beyond your control. Consider listening to binaural beats or to some type of soothing music. Music “can be an important element of your well-being and self-care on a daily basis.” Relaxing music triggers the mind and body to help prepare for sleep. We created a Sleepify playlist on Spotify to help you ease into a restful night's sleep.

Blue light emissions from using your devices, as well as ambient light in the room, can delay or disrupt your sleep. That’s one of five reasons to make eye masks a part of your bedtime routine. Choosing calming bedroom decor and bedding that is cozy and comfortable also go a long way to helping you to create the perfect atmosphere for high-quality sleep.

5.    Get Some Exercise to Sleep Better

Exercise regularly. Although individuals may differ in what time of day they prefer to exercise, there is “solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality.”

Celebrate April by focusing on a bedtime routine to reduce your stress.

-The Team at down etc

Read more:

Incorporating Tea into Your Bedtime Routine Can Help You Sleep

Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

Published: April 19, 2024



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