Too Stressed to Sleep?
Stress is one of the biggest causes of insomnia today. The stress response readies your body for action, the “fight or flight” response, by making it incapable of rest or relaxation. This causes you to be sleep deprived which increases your stress level and decreases your ability to handle that stress. It’s a vicious cycle. But there are a few things you can do to help yourself get a good night’s sleep:
- Say NO to activities and obligations that you either don’t want to do or don’t have time to do
- Create a stress reduction plan. Begin by finding one stressor that you can eliminate from your life and then eliminate it!
- Make your health and well-being a priority. You are no good to anyone if you’re worn out, exhausted, and cranky.
- Remember… You always have a choice; you may not like your options, or they may make you uncomfortable (heck, they might scare the pants off you), but you have a choice nonetheless.
- Create a stress management strategy. This can include listening to music, meditation, yoga, exercise, taking a warm bath, using essential oils, breathing exercises, massage, venting to a friend, journaling, or anything else that helps you deal with and relieve your stress.
- Dim the lights 1-2 hours before bed to signal your body that it’s time to start winding down.
- Avoid caffeine at least 4 hours before bed; longer than that if you’re sensitive to it’s effects
- Play music that is specially composed to move your brainwaves from beta waves (the ones that keep us wide-awake and able to multi-task) to delta waves (the ones responsible for sleep)
- Stop working 1-2 hours before bed. This includes house-cleaning, reading work-related materials, or anything else that falls into the “must do” category.
- Avoid computers and smart phones for at least 1 hour before bed. The energy emitted from them is stimulating and will make it harder for you to fall asleep.
- Keep your bedroom dark. This will signal to your body that it’s time to be sleeping.
- Rest for 1-2 hours before going to bed. This wind down time is essential transition time between work and sleep.
I hope that these suggestions help. If you have a suggestion that’s not on the list, please share it with me in the comments below, post it on my Facebook page, or send me a tweet. And of course, don’t forget to share this with all your sleep deprived peeps by using the handy buttons right below this post!