Is Stress Keeping You Awake? These Helpful 15 Tips Let You Fall Asleep Fast

Stress can often affect both the quality of sleep and the duration of sleep negatively. This in turn reduces mental and physical health in your waking hours. Though the recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours, honestly, you should just aim to feel good and well-rested when you wake up.

person in bed, stress and sleep correlation
Reduce stress and improve sleep tonight with these tips – source

Since stress and sleep are highly linked, it’s important to understand how and why stress affects sleep, and what you can do to prevent issues in the first place.

Keep reading to learn 15 ways you can keep stress from affecting your sleep today. Or should I say, tonight!

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is highly important. It is the time when your body rests, repairs, and resets. Important processes happen in the body during your sleep including your body removing toxic, cell communication, hormone release, and protein building.

A lack of sleep is linked to many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, and stroke. The immune system is reduced as well, which puts you at risk of getting sick.

Not getting enough sleep also causes you to be unable to concentrate during the day, reducing memory, focus, and energy levels greatly.

What is Stress

Stress is a state of worry that can cause physical or mental strain. It is usually due to us thinking about past regrets or worrying about the future. Stress is a response to something that requires attention and action. Throughout human history, stress has helped us evolve and stay safe from danger, implementing the flight or fight response.

The problem nowadays is that fight or flight can be activated when worrying about a bill to pay, an upcoming project, or traffic. Stress can cause breathing problems, fatigue, indigestion, muscle aches, and even sleep problems.

Correlation Between Stress and Sleep

Stress can commonly lead to insomnia. Thinking about anxieties and worries may cause it to take longer to fall asleep. Stress may cause the quality of sleep to reduce, as it also leads to waking up more in the middle of the night.

Elevated stress hormones in the body prevent the body from relaxing. In times of stress, the body activated the autonomic nervous system, releasing adrenaline and cortisol into the system. This elevates the heart rate, increases muscle activity, and prepares the body to fight or flee.

Again, stress is useful in focusing our attention on danger or solving issues, but it is not useful when you’re just trying to rest. Chronic stress leads to debilitating illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome, so it’s important to deal with stress and sleep well.

15 Ways to Reduce Stress and Sleep Better Now

Here are 15 ways to reduce stress and sleep better! You can use any combination of these tips, as they can all be coupled, working more effectively the more you use them.

1. Do Breathing Exercises

A simple deep breath can have immediate health benefits instantly. How?

Deep breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system. While the autonomic nervous system is responsible for fight or flight, the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for calming the body back down, removing stress hormones, and relaxing the mind. How can you activate this system? You guessed it: the breath.

Deep breaths indicate to the body that it is time to relax, therefore reducing stress hormones and allowing the body to rest.

2. Reduce Coffee after 4 PM

Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it is a chemical that activates the nervous system. The more caffeine you drink, the more alert you are, which can reduce your ability to relax and rest. There are amazing benefits to drinking coffee such as heart health, increased longevity, and improved focus, but for the sake of rest, try to keep your coffee intake to early in the day!

3. Create a Sleep Environment

Creating a sleep environment is a great way to hack the mind and body rest when it needs to. What is this? A sleep environment signals to the body that it is time to rest. This can be done by reducing light, removing distractions, and creating a safe space.

Make the area cozy, remove anything related to work, and reduce distractions by making the space a no-phone zone. Go a step further by never doing work around your sleep environment. If you associate being busy with your area of sleep, chances are you won’t be able to rest.

4. Do Some Yoga

Yoga is a great way to relax the mind and body at the same time. By doing yoga properly, as in breathing deeply through different poses, you can stretch out the body and activate the parasympathetic nervous system simultaneously.

5. Set a Time to Worry

Ok, if we live we probably have had worries. That is a natural human reaction. However, instead of thinking about something that causes stress and worry all the time, set a specific time, preferably early in the day, to worry.

Plus, don’t just worry during this set time. Make it a time when you sort through any stressors and try to find solutions. Work through emotions and feelings actively and leave the stress behind.

6. Workout

This one is pretty self-explanatory but works in many ways. Working out can physically exhaust you enough so you don’t have an issue falling asleep at night.

Doing exercise also releases feel-good chemicals into the body, such as dopamine, which makes you feel better in general, reducing stress as well.

7. Limit Processed Foods

Some ingredients in processed foods may harm sleep, mental health, and physical wellbeing. Furthermore, foods with good-quality protein, carbs, and healthy fats can lead to better sleep. Omega-3 oils, for example, have been linked to a better quality of sleep and longer duration of rest.

Omega-3s can be found in fish like salmon or mackerel, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. Check out a guide to what food ingredients are safe and what to avoid or limit here.

8. Reduce Screen Time

I think by now, we have at least heard of blue light from screens. This is a type of light that inhibits the brain from producing the sleep-regulating chemical melatonin. Reducing screen time can help improve sleep but it also affects stress levels.

A cellphone tends to focus our attention on constant stimulation, watching videos, looking at photos, and scrolling through social media. This constant activity prevents the brain from relaxing, increases stress, and reduces sleep. Make sure your reducing screen time for improved mental wellbeing and quality of sleep.

9. Read a Calming Book

Reading can be a great way to calm the mind. Don’t read a horror novel, suspense novel, or anything of that genre though! Reading about stressful situations can in turn cause stress in your body.

Try not to read on an electronic device, as it will emit blue light, when with a filter. Plus, if you have a device in your hand, your brain will automatically associate it with scrolling, social media, videos, etc.

10. Listen to Peaceful Sounds

Listening to sad music will make you sad. Along that same train of thought, though, listening to peaceful, relaxing music can help you feel at peace and relaxed.

You can also try some other sounds like ASMR (I don’t get it, but some people swear by it). Even a white noise machine can help calm the mind, reducing stress and increasing sleep.

11. Skincare

Make skincare a self-care ritual. Take the time during the night to do a simple skincare routine. Focus on the present moment, focus on treating yourself, supporting yourself, and watch how stress melts away.

Skincare is also a good way to reduce tension in the muscles of the face. Try adding a technique such as gua sha for more benefits and relaxation before bed.

12. Write it Out

Take time to journal before bed. Thoughts can clutter the mind, reducing your ability to sort through them and solve issues. By writing things out, you are less likely to keep thinking about the same things over and over again.

You can also write out things that make you feel good, such as something you are grateful for, your dreams, or something good that happened to you during the day.

13. Drink Less Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it will decrease activity in the nervous system. This sounds good in theory, as a decreased activity must mean rest right? However, the quality of sleep you get from resting buzzed is not the same as resting sober.

Try to limit alcohol close to bedtime, as this will ruin your sleep quality.

14. Meditate

Meditation works to reduce stress and increase sleep quality because it places your mind in the present moment. Meditation also utilizes the breath, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system.

There are many meditations to choose from but one of the best is a body scan meditation. This can be done in bed, laying down, right before sleep. All you need to do is scan the body and breathe deep (get the full guide to this meditation here).

15. Make a Nighttime Routine

A nighttime routine can train the mind and body to prepare for sleep. How do you create one? An hour or two before bed, start using these tips. Make a routine that feels good to you. It can include however many tips you want, like meditation, yoga, writing, reading, music, etc.

Make a routine you can stick to and make it a habit.

The Takeaway

Sleep is vital for a healthy mind and body. Exssevie stress can keep you from getting the rest you need to be well, therefore it’s important to find ways to manage stress during the day and night. Use any combination of these tips to improve the quality of sleep while reducing stress to make sure you make the most of your resting hours.

Remember that health comes from within! What you eat and drink affects your sleep at night and your energy levels during the day. Eat nutritious food, work out in a way that feels good, listen to your body, and what how wellbeing flourishes!

Plus, always keep gut health in mind too! A balanced gut can help improve the skin, develop muscles, increase mental health, boost metabolism, and improve digestion.

Get all your gut health resources, including what foods to eat, which to avoid, how it relates to immune health, and more, here for free today!

Spread the love

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *