Anxiety and Sleep
The world around us is ever-changing and continually introducing new stresses into our everyday lives. Many of us are learning how to live in this new ‘normal’. We are learning how to work from home, and we are turning our living rooms into make-shift classrooms for our children. The added stress of struggling to make ends meet is causing us a great deal of anxiety. A day filled with anxiety and stress can often lead to a restless night in bed full of tossing and turning. Here are a few things to remember to help combat a sleepless night during these uncertain times.
Use a Weighted Blanket – recent studies suggest the use of weighted blankets can help those suffering with anxiety; they often aid in calming the mind which helps us fall asleep faster.
Set a Sleep Schedule – Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can dramatically increase the quality of our sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same times every day (even on the weekends) reinforces our bodies’ natural sleep-cycle.
Reduce Caffeine Intake – Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep us awake long past our bed-time even in normal circumstances. Stress and anxiety can make us extra sensitive to the affects of caffeine.
Limit Late Night Screen Time – The National Sleep Foundation recommends discontinuing the use of all electronics (cell phone, tablets, and televisions) at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. The blue light emitted can affect our bodies’ melatonin production.
Practice a Bedtime Ritual – A relaxing, routine activity done nightly can help us prepare to easily drift off into a restful night’s sleep. Try activities like taking a warm bath, meditating, or drinking a hot cup of herbal tea.
Evaluate Your Bedroom – We should keep our bedroom at a cool temperature; between 60 and 67 degrees is ideal for quality sleep. Removing any clutter and/or distractions from the bedroom can help to diminish troubled minds.
Restful sleep is a great combatant to a stressed and anxious mind. It is important during these anxiety-ridden days to maintain control over as many factors as we can relating to a better night’s sleep.
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