Do all of the day's anxieties, worries, stressors, and concerns descend on you just when you're laying down for a good night's sleep? If you're reading this, you've probably been there; laying on your back, staring up at the ceiling, dreading the alarm clock's ring, wishing more than anything you could close your eyes for just a moment before having to deal with all the obstacles that your morning will bring.
Related Blog: Winding Down Before Bed: The Pros and Cons
Well, you're not alone, according to the 2017 edition of The American Psychological Association's annual stress study, nearly half of American's lie awake at night due to stress and anxiety. Below, we'll take a look at five different practices that can help you wind down, sleep sounder, and wake up better rested and ready to take on your day!
1. Make time to destress before bed
Making time to wind down before bed can be one of the most helpful ways to fall asleep faster and get more fulfilling rest.
Shelby Freedman Harris, one of the top behavioral specialists with the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center of New York, recommends taking at least thirty minutes to wind down, though says forty five minutes to an hour is even better.
What can you do during this time? Whatever you find most relaxing; Meditate, focus on your breathing, or read a book. What shouldn't you do during this time? Harris says anything that may be stimulating to you. This can include responding to texts or e-mails, finishing take-home work, or watching anything alarming or exciting on T.V.
"Winding down is an important part of sleep hygiene. Creating a buffer period, or a protected period of time between a very stimulating or busy day and bedtime, is helpful to calm down the mind and body, to relax and not bring the daytime to-dos and worries to bed with you. It starts signaling to your body that it is time to go to sleep." -Shelby Freedman Harris
A warm soak before bed for better sleep
Though it may be somewhat of an old trope to recommend taking a warm bath for better sleep, there actually exist a myriad of bodily benefits to having a soak that serves to relax you and help your sleep cycle.
Not only will the hot water relax tension and tightness in the muscles caused by stress but it also elevates the temperature of the body which can lull the body into a comfortable state that greatly aids in falling asleep.
In a 1999 study by Gunma University, in Japan, on people of varying ages, participants reported sleeping better and deeper across the board after a warm bath.
Workout to Wind Down
Exercise is often touted as the antidote for insomnia but how effective is it really? One study showed that even a single aerobic workout session of moderate intensity, like walking, greatly reduced the time it takes to fall asleep and increased the amount and quality of sleep overall.
In addition, the same study showed that consistent exercise, of four to twenty-four weeks, further aided in falling asleep and getting better quality of sleep.
Wind down with aromatherapy
Dr. Kamyar Hedayat, medical director of the Full Spectrum Health in San Diego, is one of the leading authorities on how aroma can aid with sleep and says that using medicinal grade essential oils orally or in a diffuser can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Research into Lavender has shown that it possesses abilities to lower blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate, while Jasmine has been described as 'more calming than Valium' by one study documented in UK news outlet The Telegraph.
TV before bed to help you fall asleep
You've probably read one of the thousand online clickbait articles that assure you watching any television at bedtime is a surefire way to mess with your sleep cycle. However, in a recent VICE article, Harvard medical psychologist Stuart Quan, who specializes in circadian disorders and sleep, explains that many of the studies on which much of that is based only focus on the blue light emitted from devices such as tablets and cell phones, which are generally much closer than a television set.
This explains why statistics from the National Sleep Foundation found that two-thirds of people worldwide fall asleep watching TV with no discernible damage to their circadian rhythm.
It may not work for everyone, but many people find watching TV to be the easiest way to get sleepy.
Don't let stress slow down your slumber! Try these five tips and visit Land of Sleep for the best bedding, mattresses, and adjustable beds to fall asleep faster and wake up better rested.
The professional and knowledgeable folks at Land of Sleep are ready to outfit you with the coziest of cozy beds and bedding from brand names you know and love! You can reach the Land of Sleep through one of their two Florida locations, in Sarasota and Venice, or online.