Your immune system can fight off whatever is thrown at it, such as colds or other common ailments if your body is well-rested. Sleep deprivation can even lead to heart problems such as high blood pressure. Lack of sleep causes your body to release cortisol, a stress hormone that causes your heart to work harder that can cause heart attacks.
If you sleep adequately, you will feel refreshed when you wake up. In addition, sleep has been associated with enhanced concentration and cognitive performance, which can ultimately help you be more productive at work. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to calm your mind at night due to stress and anxieties that affect the quality of your sleep.
Unfortunately, around one-third of adults in the U.S. get less than six hours of sleep and report poor sleep quality. However, it may be possible that your sleeplessness can be due to other things like work or overthinking.
Here are a few techniques to calm your mind and reduce stress and anxiety before going to bed that will promote relaxation and better sleep:
1. Read a Book
Reading is a terrific way to keep your brain in shape. It’s the easiest way to get better sleep and can help keep your phone away and allow for a screen break. In addition, half an hour of concentrated reading reduces stress levels significantly more than other relaxation strategies, such as listening to music.
Reading also gives your brain a healthy boost, similar to what going for a run does for your body. Your brain can better accomplish the things it needs to do to give you a good night’s sleep when it is joyful. Because stress is a significant cause of insomnia, reading before bed might help you get rid of some of the bad thoughts that are swirling around in your head.
Reading also helps you get into a routine and signals your body that it is time to go to sleep. Because your body needs to relax before you can sleep, doctors recommend that you spend the last hour before bedtime doing relaxing activities, such as reading.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and is now widely utilized for stress relief and relaxation. Meditation can help you achieve a sense of quiet, peace, and balance, improving your emotional well-being, and can help you have a better sleep. Meditation is something that everybody can do. It’s easy, doesn’t cost money, and requires no special equipment.
Developing a meditation regimen takes time and effort. However, a few minutes of meditation can help you regain your inner peace. Look for a quiet spot and sit or lie down, whichever feels more comfortable. When you are about to sleep, it’s best to meditate lying down. Close your eyes and take calm, deep breaths. Deeply inhale and exhale.
It doesn’t have to be for an extended period, and meditating for even just 5 minutes can help. If you are new to mediation, you can use meditation apps such as Headspace, Meditation Studio, Let’s Meditate, and other apps to guide you through it.
3. Create a Relaxing Environment
Your bedroom is the best place for rejuvenating, resetting, and recharging yourself. So a little freshening up may make a big difference. Sleeping in a room filled with bright colors is not conducive to sleep. Choose lighter shades that are associated with relaxation and calmness.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment. Examine your sleeping surroundings for any stressors. An ideal sleeping environment is dark and quiet. Make sure your room is peaceful, cozy, well-ventilated, dark, and cool.
Invest in comfortable bedding and find the right mattress for your sleep habits. For example, you can find mattresses for side sleepers that offer support for hips and shoulders, mattresses made with innovative cooling technologies, or firmer mattresses for those with a bad back.
4. Use a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets range in weight from five to 30 pounds and are used for therapeutic purposes. The added weight pressure replicates a therapeutic method known as deep pressure stimulation. Deep pressure stimulation does not have to be done entirely by hand.
Weighted blankets provide the same pressure by wrapping the blanket over the body. Many people use weighted blankets for stress relief, improved sleep quality, and a better mood. Weighted blankets may help individuals with insomnia, stress, and anxiety.
5. Reduce Anxiety and Stress to Sleep Better
Prolonged stress or anxiety can have a variety of long-term consequences, including poor sleep or even sleeplessness. So it is essential to reduce stressors and find time to relax and recharge. But, first, examine your sleeping environment for any stressors, so you can calm your mind before going to bed and, therefore, sleep better each night.