Sleep as Stress Relief
When we are stressed, we usually take a beating out of the depression and emotional turmoil that goes along with it. There are many things we can do to combat stress, like getting a massage, talking to a friend, or visiting the therapist. Some of us like to hit the gym and work out a good sweat. However, one of the best regimens for dealing with stress is well within our reach yet almost always taken for granted; getting enough sleep. We don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing. Many people barely reach the minimum daily requirement of sleep in a day and do not know how this lack can seriously endanger your health, decrease your productivity and contribute to weight gain.
Stress is the number one reason for the occasional bouts of sleeplessness we all suffer once in awhile. Some of us are diagnosed with a chronic sleep problem, but this is rare. Ideally, getting out of bed should make you feel refreshed and ready to face the day, but too many of us feel the opposite and simply wish we could spend more hours under the covers. This is not normal and there is a price to pay for not sleeping well.
If you are experiencing sleeplessness, you may want to avoid taking naps during the day. Take short naps in the morning or after lunch affects your body clock and makes it harder to sleep at night. However, if you must take a nap, make sure it is less than half an hour and is only done once in the day. When stressed out, avoid resorting to cigarettes and alcohol. Aside from the numerous health problems associated with them, nicotine and caffeine act as stimulants and can make falling asleep difficult. Alcohol may make you sleepy at first, but its effects are short-lived and you may wake up in the middle of the night. Try not to drink water or any other fluids as you approach bedtime so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom.
Studies also show that a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep. Avoid working out before bedtime because exercise will stimulate your body and makes it harder for you to sleep. Ideally, do your aerobic activities in the morning. A warm bath or a hot foot soak is also a good idea before going to bed. Sipping a cup of chamomile tea also helps you sleep because chamomile is a known mild sedative.
Make sure bedroom is a great place to sleep as well. Invest in a good mattress, comfortable pillows and sheets. High quality cotton sheets are a good investment because cotton allows air to pass through and enables you to get more restful sleep. Bringing work home, especially doing work in your bed, lets your mind believe that your bedroom is an extension of your office. If you must write, write in a journal to unload your thoughts before you doze off. You can also try chanting a mantra or visualizing something relaxing. If possible, do not keep a watch or clock around you so it doesn’t add to your anxiety about staying awake.