Friday, March 17, 2023

How To Relax And Sleep When Stressed

How To Sleep Like A Baby Even If Youre Stressed The F Out

12 Hours of Relaxing Sleep Music for Stress Relief, Sleeping & Meditation (Flying)

How to Sleep Like a Baby, Reclaim Your Energy, and Heal Your Chronic Stress One Night at a Time

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when Im awake, you know?

-Ernest Hemingway

Do you spend hours in bed ruminating about what you didnt do today or what you have to do tomorrow?

Do you consistently wake up in the morning feeling just as tired as you did when you went to bed, rushing out the door to get to work on time?

Said differently, are nights your seventh layer of hell?

Ive been there, and I can intimately relate. A broken record of self-defeating thoughts. Night sweats. Tense jaw. You name the anxious symptom I had it.

In my pursuit to heal my chronic stress and anxiety, I left sleep off the checklist, thinking that it was for weak and unambitious. I adopted the same mindset towards sleep as 50-cent, I can sleep when Im dead. The not-so-funny thing about that mindset is it was that mentality that took me to my own personal hell, with a straight shot to an early death.

How To Sleep Better When Stressed


If stress has ever kept you tossing and turning at night, you’ll agree that stress and sleep problems seem to go together.

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system , causing an increased heart rate and high blood pressure that keep you alert instead of letting you sleep. Even when you do manage to fall asleep, this sleep may be of poorer quality and you may wake up more frequently throughout the night. Since poor sleep can increase symptoms of stress , these sleepless nights can turn into a vicious cycle.

How Anxiety Can Affect Sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to increased chances of anxiety, but anxiety can also cause a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, the two can intertwine quite a bit, causing one to exacerbate the other.

Anxiety can have a negative effect on your bodys ability to fall asleep as your brain is in fight or flight mode, thinking of all potential outcomes for whatever is causing the anxiety. Furthermore, anticipatory anxiety and specific anxiety about sleep can lead to sleep disturbance and insomnia, which then creates a feedback loop that can make both conditions worsen. Insomnia can also make you more irritable and more worried, as your brain is not getting all the sleep it needs in order to function at normal levels.

However, its not uncommon to experience anxiety related to sleep. As Winnie Yu, a writer for WebMD noted in her article Scared to Sleep, sleep anxiety is a form of performance anxiety. Many people may stress about not getting enough sleep to function, but the stress alone of trying to sleep can cause people to sit awake for hours. Additionally, other fears such as recurring nightmares, fear of sleep apnea , and more can all lead to disturbed sleep.

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Make Your Room A Den Of Zen

Give yourself a chance to relax and calm down before bed. Never bring your work to bed and invest in a good bed with linens in calming colours, like white and grey. Keep your room clear of clutter and other stressors and keep your tablets and other devices out of the bedroom. Establish a relaxing night time routine that starts at least an hour before you try to hit the pillow.

Make Your Bedroom A No

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Your phone, tablet, and other screens can mess with your sleep. The reason? They give off blue light, which signals your body to stop making melatonin, the hormone that controls when you feel sleepy. Instead, this light tells your brain to stay alert. Not to mention the late-night dings and buzzes that can jolt you out of peaceful slumber. The best bet for better sleep is to keep computers, TVs, and, yes, your phone out of your bedroom.


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Avoid Stressful Activities Before Bed

Amber Weiss, licensed psychotherapist and founder of Transformative Mindset, says, Creating some form of a transition from daytime to sleeping is highly recommended. According to Weiss, you cant expect the mind to go to sleep on demand. Instead, you need to allow time for the brain to transition, just like we transition to go outside or when we get home.

The goal is to reduce the nervous thoughts in your head so your mind is clear, calm, and positive before you head off to sleep. This can entail leaving the office, work, news, and social media exchanges for earlier in the day to create buffer time between work and sleep, setting yourself up for better rest.

How Stress Keeps You Awake At Night The Vicious Cycle Of Bad Sleep And Stress

There are many ways in which the above mentioned physiological changes can make for a poor sleep. Heightened adrenaline levels and increased heart rate can cause tossing and turning and a feeling of restlessness.

When your body is experiencing chronic stress, it thinks its in a state of perpetual danger and that it shouldnt be sleeping! You might be able to fall asleep but not stay asleep and you might wake up frequently in the night.

You might find it hard to calm your thoughts and lay awake at night, worrying about your finances, relationship, work or whatever else is bothering you.

Overwork or being too busy during the day can also lead to stress and leave yourself with not enough time to get a good sleep. If you find yourself with not enough hours to sleep, you might not fall asleep easily when you finally do go, because you are overstimulated and overworked.

With no time to wind down at the end of your day, your body forgets which is rest time and which is time for action.

Not enough time and too much stress in your day might also mean that you dont have enough time to exercise, make time for friends and family or do otherwise relaxing and healthy activities that relieve stress, leading to a poor sleep at night.

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Keep Your Bedroom Sleep

Darkness signals your body to produce melatonin so switch the lights off or use a dimmer to turn them down. You should also use comfortable pillows and a good mattress so that you can relax and drift off to sleep.

Nuvanna is a mattress thats designed to give you better sleep. It was created by an industry expert with more than two decades of experience. It has a triple layer construction, and each has a role to play in your sleep. The top layer draws body heat away and disperses it with the help of phase-changing gel particles. The middle layer absorbs motion so that you and your partner can move freely without disturbing each other. The bottom layer keeps the spine aligned, supports individual body parts, and prevents you from sinking in.

Stress is a part of life, and we can never escape it. A little stress is good for us too as it drives us to perform better. But too much of it can hamper our health and prevent us from leading a healthy, balanced life. We can learn to structure our time such that we set aside enough hours for sleep so that we wake up feeling fresh and raring to go. We can also learn to manage stress in order to sleep better.

Alvaro Vaselli

The Mattress Scientist
Founder of NUVANNA

What Does It Do To The Body

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Youve probably heard the term fight or flight reaction before, typically in reference to a caveman being chased by a lion or a wooly mammoth. While we dont typically find ourselves literally running for our lives in the present day and age, we often feel like were fighting for our lives when were faced with stressful situations. A scary medical diagnosis, an overdrafted bank account, or a devastating breakup can all elicit the same classic fight or flight reaction in the body that our Paleolithic ancestors experienced when faced with danger.

The fight or flight response causes chemical changes in the body to prepare you to take action. It starts when the emotional processing center of your brain, the amygdala, sends a signal to the main command center in your brain, the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is interconnected with your entire body through the autonomic nervous system, which controls all of the automatic functions in your body breathing, heart rate, etc.

All of these functions are regulated through two different systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. When the hypothalamus detects a stressor from the amygdala, it sends a message to the adrenal glands and activates the sympathetic nervous system with a fight or flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system has the opposite effect, calming things down and moving you into rest and digest mode.

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Day 5 Do Lion’s Breath

This is a popular breathing technique to stretch the muscles in the face and relieve tension from frowning, scowling and concentrating.

  • Inhale deeply through the nose and open eyes wide.
  • Open your mouth wide, bringing the tip of your tongue towards the chin.
  • Exhale, making a long “ha” sound.
  • Repeat two/three times.

Get Rid Of Your Clock

Clocks can be a common trigger for anxiety, especially when youre trying to fall asleep. Instead of having a clock by your bedside where you can glance at it every time you struggle to fall asleep keep a clock outside your room instead. Looking at the clock will only cause your anxiety to get worse, so avoid it altogether.

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Does Sleep Help Stress

Getting enough sleep on a nightly basis can alleviate stress quite effectively. Unfortunately, a good nights rest can be elusive if youre stressed out especially if sleep problems are a major source of your day-to-day anxieties.

There are other measures you can take to relieve stress. These include regularly exercising and maintaining a healthy support network of friends and family. However, keeping stress at bay often demands adequate sleep. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults should sleep between seven and nine hours each night.

Keeps You Emotionally Balanced

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Being emotionally balanced is important as youre able to deal with stress in a more rational manner. Sleep reduces anxiety and depression by healing your system and preventing you from being emotionally sensitive. In a study, researchers found that sleep deprivation keeps the amygdala a set of neurons that processes emotions in a heightened state of activation which increases anxiety and hampers emotional regulation.

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How To Relax And Unwind

This is something we all need to do from time to time. Whether its at work or at home, we sometimes simply need to step aside and find ways to relax, ways to calm down and engage our mind in relaxing things to do. How we unwind is different from person to person. We all have our own ways to calm down and chill out. For some, this could mean stepping out for a few minutes, taking a nice and relaxing walk. For others, it could be playing some type of sport, doing meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. Some just learn how to chill out by watching their favorite TV-show or corking up a bottle of wine, on a Friday evening.

The important part is that we all find the ways that work for us, ways that allow us to unwind and enjoy wellness. Being able to fall back onto relaxing things to do will help us learn how to relax. If its a work-related matter, and you are just about to do a big presentation, take a few minutes to step aside and try the square breathing exercise mentioned above. By following these simple steps you will instantly feel a sense of calm coming over you. In addition, for the next time you get this feeling again, you’ll have a better sense of how to calm yourself down effectively.

Slow Your Breath Slow Your Mind

With your breath, you have a ready-made tool to relax your body and slow down the thoughts that keep you awake. Try this: Place a hand on your heart and feel its rhythm. Breathe in deep for 4 seconds, then take a long, slow breath out. Repeat this pattern until you can feel your heartbeat slow down. Your thoughts should soon ease up as well.


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Take Relaxation Breaks During The Day

This one is simple: Try taking at least one 15-minute relaxation break during the day. Going for a short walk or even taking time away from staring at a screen can help keep your body in balance . Try to remember that life is short and balance is the goal. Do your best to leave your stresses behind, and you’ll be sleeping like a rock in no time.

Maintains Healthy Cortisol Levels

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A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that sleep loss leads to elevated cortisol the next evening. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that the adrenal glands produce in response to stress, both good and bad. It helps reduce inflammation, regulate metabolism, and aids in the formation of memory. Ideally, cortisol levels should neither be too high nor too low.

Sleep drops cortisol to healthy levels, and when you dont get enough of it, your body continues to produce more. You wake up feeling more stressed which makes it harder to sleep the next night. And so the cycle continues. It does not just sleep that elevated cortisol affects if it continues to remain high, it can lead to headaches, high blood pressure and even trouble sleeping, which exacerbates the problem.

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Let Go Of Any Fearful Thoughts

Have you ever been so worried about going to sleep that you end up sleepless? Yeah, its the worst. Fearful thoughts like this create tension in the body, and a body that is tense will not be able to fall into a deep sleep. The fear of not being able to fall asleep can easily keep one from falling asleep night after night. When those thoughts creep in, I often use the affirmation, “I choose to relax and let go now.”

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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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

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