Sunday, June 4, 2023

How To Deal With Stress At Night

Hatch Rest+ Sound Machine And Nightlight

Night Time Routine How to Deal with Anxiety

Full disclosure: The Rest+ is technically designed for kids but hear me out. When I used it, it helped me sleep better than it helped my son sleep.

My brother bought it for my son for Christmas and at the time, my son was still sleeping in a bassinet in our room, so I set up the Rest+ near my bed and it didnt take long for me to become dependent on it.

I found the sound machine features incredibly soothing, though other people might find the white noise feature more soothing.

Sound machines can give your brain something for your racing thoughts to focus on and listen to as you lay down to sleep.

The color night light might also be helpful, as you can program it to match your bedtime routine and program the light to slowly dim as you drift off to sleep.

If you prefer not to get a product meant for kids, the company also recently came out with the Hatch Restore aimed at adults specifically. It has many of these same helpful features to create a bedtime routine without any of the baby-focused ones.

Shop for the Hatch Rest+ and Restore.

Get Up At The Same Time Daily

Creating a routine can be an effective way to combat sleep anxiety and insomnia. By getting up at the same time every day, your body will naturally start to adjust your internal clock or circadian rhythm.

One sleep study, highlighted in the Guardian as A Cure for Insomnia, found that getting up at the same time every day helped the participants body feel sleepy around the same time every night. Over time, this helped the participants bedtimes become consistent.

However, creating a nighttime routine can also have similar effects. Winnie Yu for WebMD suggests creating a nightly routine can help relax your body as it starts to anticipate and expect sleep as you follow through each step. It can also help relieve anxiety, as you know what to expect each night and each morning.

How To Deal With Stress

Are you stressed enough over finances, your job, relationship conflict or other stressors that you’re experiencing insomnia? You’re not alone! While sleep researchers generally agree that insomnia prevalence statistics vary because of the criteria used to define insomnia, at any one time about one-third of adults sampled will experience some form of insomnia, either difficulty going to sleep, trouble staying asleep, or insomnia so severe that it disrupts daytime activities. New diagnostic criteria for insomnia released in 2020 reinforce the connections between insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Although not always stress-related, these associations with mental health and the pace of daily living make insomnia an important topic for us to discuss here.

Because sleep is so important to overall health, insomnia can affect your life in many ways. A sleep deficit can make you feel mentally slower and more emotional, which can exacerbate your experience of stress. Dealing with lasting insomnia can cause stress, too, which can lead to more stress-related insomnia. And, if your insomnia is stress-related to begin with, being overly tired and stressed does nothing to help solve the problems creating the stress in the first place. Here are a few things to try if you are dealing with stress-related insomnia.

Read Also: How Can You Tell If You Are Stressed

What Are The Signs Of Stress

Common signs of stress include depression, sleep problems, tension, anxiety, work mistakes, poor concentration, and apathy. You may have physical symptoms like headaches, upset stomach, fatigue, appetite loss, and chest, neck, or back pain. If high levels of unwanted stress arent properly managed, your health and sense of well-being can suffer. So its important to learn how to manage stress.

Dealing With Your Anxiety When It Occurs

Our bodies are less equipped to deal with stress at night ...
  • 1Get out of bed. If you wake up because anxiety or panic, or you feel anxiety at night, dont stay in bed. Your bed should be a comfortable, calming place where you sleep. If you lie in bed, tossing and turning with anxiety, your bed may begin to be a place that causes you even more anxiety.XResearch source
  • When you cant sleep, go sit or lay in a different place in your home. Sit in a chair, lay on your couch, or stretch out on the floor.
  • If you lie there for 20 to 30 minutes, get up and go somewhere else. You can return to bed after you’re calm again.
  • 2Try a quick distraction. Sometimes, distraction can work help with night time anxiety. Sometimes, distractions cause more anxiety because you consciously are thinking about making yourself get over your anxiety. You can try to distract yourself at first. Put on the television, read, or do something else to distract yourself.XResearch source
  • However, if you arent distracted within five to 10 minutes, stop trying to distract yourself. Instead, find another way to deal with your anxiety.
  • 3Identify your anxieties. One thing that might help you stop being anxious at night is figuring out what is causing you anxiety. This helps you deal with it before you try to go to sleep, or be able to put it out of your head until the morning. When you identify your anxieties, you can decide if its something you can deal with tonight or if it is out of your control until the morning.XResearch source
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    How To Fall Asleep Faster When You’re Stressed

    Learning new ways to manage your stress at night may improve your sleep. In turn, you’ll be better-equipped to handle whatever life throws at you.

    Use Relaxation Techniques

    Relaxation techniques can help lower your blood pressure, slow your breathing, and make you feel calmer. To help prepare for sleep, you can choose from a variety of coping methods that aim to elicit a relaxation response. Useful techniques include mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing, as well as techniques that incorporate a physical component such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong .

    Manage Screen Time Wisely

    Smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computer screens emit blue light that can keep you awake at night by lowering levels of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. As part of your wind-down routine, sleep experts recommend avoiding electronic devices in the lead-up to bedtime. Wearing special glasses that block blue light may reduce the impact of screen time on your sleep-wake cycle, but if you can, go one step further and make your bedroom a screen-free zone.

    Drink a Warm Glass of Milk

    Avoid Heavy Meals Before Bed

    Take a Hot Shower

    Incorporating a hot shower or a warm bath into your bedtime routine triggers a natural cooldown process afterwards. This drop in temperature mimics the natural fluctuations of the sleep-wake cycle and may decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep.

    Exercise Regularly

    Use Aromatherapy

    Teapigs Snooze Sleepy Tea

    Everyone has heard that chamomile tea can help you sleep. Why? Well, its commonly called a mild tranquilizer and has an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to specific receptors in your brain that may decrease anxiety and help make you sleepy.

    This sleepy tea takes chamomile up a notch by also adding in lavender, another ingredient that has been used for centuries to help calm nerves. The tea is also naturally caffeine free and, well, its simply delicious.

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    How To Minimize Anxiety And Maximize Sleep

    To get to sleep more easily, you can try changing some of your pre-sleep habits to decrease your mental and physical stress levels. Habit-changing takes time and persistence, but if you stick to these changes, you will find yourself adapting and feeling less anxious overall in no time.

    Avoiding the anxiety that keeps you from getting the sleep you need can be difficult, but following the above all-natural and healthy techniques may be all that you require taking back control over your sleep schedule.

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    Whats Keeping You Awake

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    If youre stressed out, you might not be able to fall into a deep sleep, the period of sleep when the body repairs and restores itself. Feeling anxious also makes you come in and out of sleep throughout the entire night. If youre under stress, you might sleep less overall and have a lower sleep efficiency.

    A number of physiological changes occur within this sleep-stress relationship. The presence of stress raises cortisol levels, a hormone that stimulates alertness and vigilance, raising heart rate and blood pressure. Typically, your cortisol levels fall in the evening hours, as one element of the bodys natural preparation for sleep. High cortisol levels at night interfere with the release of melatonin, a hormone that is essential for the regulation of sleep-wake cycles. Poor sleep itself can further influence your cortisol, causing levels to rise at times when they would otherwise be low.

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    Identify The Root Of The Anxiety Out Loud And Fight It With Positivity

    Once you’re in the grips of anxious thinking, you have to work at clearing your mind by venting the nervous thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.

    First, decide what it is specifically that you are focused on that is causing you anxiety, says Dr. Cummins. Is it something that you have control over? Is it something in your future that has not yet occurred for you? If so, state the negative thoughts or anxious concerns out loud and then follow them up with alternative and positive thoughts or solutions for your problems.

    You have to be able to soothe yourself out of the uncontrollable and irrational black or white thinking by combating it with alternative thinking or it is impossible to avoid, adds Cummins.

    Look At Sleep From A Global Health Standpoint

    We often take sleep for granted until we can’t seem to get it, but we should be practicing healthy sleep habits long before we hit the pillow.

    Because of how intertwined sleep is with other aspects of health, it’s important to focus on wellness and lifestyle factors when trying to improve it, Dr. Wertheimer says.

    A healthy diet and exercise encourages better sleep. And meditation, calming music, guided relaxation, self-reflection and deep breathing techniques can boost mental health.

    For example, a healthy diet and exercise encourages better sleep. And mindfulness boosts mental health. That includes meditation, calming music, guided relaxation, self-reflection and deep breathing techniques. Even just breathing in and out in a slow, controlled fashion will help calm you down, he says.

    Smoking and drinking more alcohol might be tempting to help take the edge off, but they actually disturb sleep.

    Consistent sleep hygiene can facilitate better, deeper sleep

    The key to a good night’s sleep is routine, Dr. Wertheimer says.

    He recommends going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, regardless of how much sleep you’ve managed to get the night before. Avoid napping during the day.

    And go outside regularly if possible: Sunlight helps strengthen the circadian rhythms that regulate your sleep-wake cycle.

    The key to a good night’s sleep is routine.

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    Causes Of Anxiety Before Sleep

    Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Those that have anxiety when falling asleep may have that problem for their own unique reason. Some of the causes include:

    These are only an introduction to the different issues that may cause anxiety when falling asleep. There are a variety of other reasons why a person with anxiety may struggle to fall asleep including something as simple as what you ate or drank before going to bed.

    Effects and Symptoms of Nighttime Anxiousness

    Anxiousness, when you are trying to get to sleep, causes both mental and physical struggles. See if these descriptions of the types of problems encountered by anxiety sufferers trying to get to sleep match up to your own experiences.

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms when trying to sleep, you should take the steps outlined below to help you escape the torture of being too anxious to get a good night’s sleep.

    Increase Your Exposure To Daylight

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    If you work inside a dark office during the day or live in the northern hemisphere, you might not be getting enough daylight and your sleep might be affected.

    Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight or bright indoor lights during the morning hours helps people sleep better at night.Adequate daylight is also shown to decrease depression and stress.

    Help calibrate your circadian rhythm by making sure you get lots of daylight and if you cant, consider investing in a light therapy device to keep near you, during the day.

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    How To Deal With Election Night Stress

    Just because we’re in Canada doesn’t mean we’re immune to the stress of this particularly nerve-racking election. Here are five expert tips for how to cope.

    With the U.S. election happening this weeksmack dab in the middle of a pandemic and a worldwide crusade against racial injusticetheres no denying its a stressful time. According to the American Psychological Association, 68% of Americans say the current political climate is a significant source of stress regardless of their preferred candidate.

    Were feeling the stress in Canada, too. The impact of American politics, after all, is not limited by borders, and can affect global issues including everything from migration to environmental policy. Plus, uncertaintyof our political future, health and economyhas already raised stress and anxiety levels for most of us thanks to the pandemic, which has caused job insecurity, health scares and a lack of access to our usual supports, like seeing friends and simply being able to get out. A recent Angus Reid Institute poll found that 50% of Canadians feel their mental health has worsened since the start of the pandemic in March.

    Making matters even more tense is that news media likely wont call the election results for several days, if not longer, due to an overwhelming number of mail-in ballots this year. And, of course, Trump is already setting the stage to contest ballots that arrive after election day if he loses.

    Eliminate All Sources Of Caffeine And Alcohol

    Some people are more sensitive to jolts of caffeine than others, so watch how much youre consuming and when. You might need to put a freeze on coffee at 2pm, or even earlier if youre still struggling to sleep at night after making adjustments. Dr. Foldvary says to also check hidden sources of caffeine, and stop consuming those at 2pm, too. They include chocolate, hot chocolate, green and black tea, some pain relievers, and soda.

    Alcohol is another big one, says Dr. Foldvary. Its deceiving. A lot of people feel its helping them to fall asleep, and while it can cause sleep onset, research shows also shows alcohol fragments sleep. This is especially true for women: A 2011 study found that women slept more fitfully and for less time after a night of drinking than when they were sober, and that they slept less soundly than men with the same blood-alcohol content.

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    Visualize The Good Things In Your Life

    The power of your imagination can help get you to a place of ease when youre fretting.

    Visualization of positive events and relationships in your life will help you increase your connection to positive emotions that are also lying around within you, but you have to work at accessing them when the anxious feelings or thoughts have already shown up, says Cummins.

    Calming your body is integral to calming your mind.

    Joy Rains, a certified life coach and the author of “Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind”, recommends a progressive relaxation exercise you can do in bed.

    Why Do You Get Anxiety At Night

    Anxiety before bed? How to Calm Anxiety at Night

    When you lie down at night to unwind, your brain turns to all of the worries it didnt have time for during the day. Frequently, this anxiety revolves around worries you cant solve in the moment.

    All the things that have been put on the back burner come to the forefront of your head, Dr. Albers says. Without competing demands for your attention, these worries often get louder and more pronounced.

    Chronic daytime stress puts your body into overdrive and taxes your hormones and adrenal system, which are directly linked to sleep so sleep troubles may be a red flag telling you to address stress during your waking hours.

    Nighttime anxiety can trigger a vicious cycle: A bad nights sleep leads to exhaustion the next day and disrupts your bodys natural rhythms. This makes you more vulnerable to anxiety during the day that can bleed into the night, Dr. Albers says. And so the cycle repeats.

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    What’s Causing Boomers’ Financial Stress

    Nothing beats having a big balance in your savings account and an ample 401 if youre over 50. But, in reality, millions of boomers are coming up short. Moreover, as a result of pervasive job layoffs, many in their 50s and 60s saw their earnings drop just when they thought theyd be reaching their peak salaries. The result: a high level of stress.

    People are very anxious about whether they will be able to pay for basic health care and the rising cost of prescription drugs, observes Atlanta psychologist Mary Gresham, who specializes in finances. Children are no longer launched after college, so a lot of boomers have to make the difficult decision whether to help their adult children at the expense of compromising their own finances. And most of us dont have training in making those value-based decisions.

    But understanding the factors that fuel your financial anxiety and taking some simple steps can help alleviate it.

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