Stress is our body’s natural response to particularly difficult and challenging everyday situations, which can have a significant effect on both our physical and mental well-being. However, while a small amount of stress might be a positive thing that helps us move forward, too much stress can make us feel anxious and tense, and can even cause serious sleep problems, which in turn poorly affect our mood, memory, and overall health.
So, in order to improve your mental and physical health, here are some strategies that can help you lower your stress levels and instantly enjoy restful sleep:
Construct a workout routine
Whether you opt for light exercises, such as jogging, swimming, and cycling, or something more strenuous like going to the gym or intense yoga workouts, regular physical activity is an ideal way to reduce your stress levels and release some mental tension. What’s more, exercise helps build strong and flexible muscles that are far less likely to become tight and painful due to built-up stress and anxiety, which might even aid in a better and more relaxing sleep. However, keep in mind that it’s always best to work out at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed, in order to allow your body temperature to drop slowly and return to normal levels, setting the stage for optimal sleep.
Practice thought management
Our emotions, expectations, thought patterns, as well as the way we talk to ourselves, can all significantly impact the way we feel and how we choose to deal with stressful everyday situations. If you want to prevent your negative thoughts and worries from ruining your sleep, you need to change those disruptive thought patterns that cause anxiety, and learn how to switch your mind off before going to bed. If you’re not sure where to start, a good idea would be to read a self-help book, attend a personal development seminar or simply write down your disruptive thoughts into your diary in the evening, and then put them aside and address them in the morning. Regardless of what you choose to do, just remember to keep the worries out of your bedroom.
Invest in a comfortable bed
While stress can certainly influence your sleep quality and pattern, poor sleep can also lead to tiredness, irritation, a lack of patience and frequent mood swings, all of which can increase your stress levels even further. That is why it’s essential to invest in your bedroom and make it a true sleep sanctuary by finding and comparing the best hybrid mattresses available, in order to make your bed the coziest and most comfortable it’s ever been. That way, not only can you get an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep every night, but you could also relieve some pressure on your body, improve your overall quality of sleep, and ultimately lower your stress levels.
Downshift before going to bed
For at least 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep, try to avoid doing anything agitating and overly stimulating. As digital devices emit a certain blue light that could throw off your body’s internal clock, it would also be best to avoid texting, reading e-mails, scrolling through social media and even watching TV before bedtime. Instead, create the right atmosphere for optimal sleep in your bedroom by closing the curtains, turning off the lights, and making sure the room is quiet and relaxing. In case you need some additional ritual to calm you down and get you ready for bed, you could always drink a hot cup of tea, take a warm shower or bath, or listen to some mellow, soothing music.
Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques are some of the most efficient solutions for lowering stress levels, releasing tension from the body, and ultimately helping sleep come more naturally and easily. Whether you decide to practice relaxation techniques right before going to bed, or even several times throughout the day in order to calm down, try to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes doing a relaxing ritual like deep breathing exercises, mindful meditation practices or calming yoga routines. No matter which relaxation technique you opt for, they will help you maintain a clean, quiet and calm mind, helping to put you in an eased, sleep-friendly state.
Only when you find out how your body handles and responds to stress can you learn how to modify your everyday routines in order to improve both your mental and physical health. However, by practicing a few of these efficient techniques every day, you can easily manage stress and finally sleep soundly through the whole night.