The spread of the novel coronavirus has drastically changed how people live life all across the globe. From wearing protective masks on neighborhood walks to relying on grocery delivery and FaceTime sessions to maintain social connection, change is the only thing that remains consistent during these unprecedented times. And all of this change can manifest into confusing feelings such as stress, negativity, and even feelings of grief.
These complicated emotions can impact our greater health by making it hard to stay active, feel emotionally balanced, and most noticeably, get a good night’s sleep. Whether you have a hard time silencing racing thoughts or frequently experience disruptions in sleep, it’s very likely that stress is either causing or exacerbating these symptoms.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your sleep and manage your stress, we’re here to help you achieve both. Check out these four tips.
Do some breathing exercises
On those nights where you’re struggling to wind down and slow your racing thoughts, it can feel nearly impossible to hit the hay. But by practicing a few simple breathing exercises, you can gently push your body to chill out and start stepping toward sleep mode.
Here are some breathing exercises for sleep you can try out:
- 4-7-8 Technique
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds
- Exhale for 8 seconds
- Mantra Breathing
- Think of a short, calming mantra such as, “I am peace,” “Breathe deep,” or “Relax”
- Repeat your mantra while practicing slow, intentional breathing
Commit To Self-Care
You also want to make sure that you commit yourself to a regular routine of self-care. Taking charge of your overall health and wellness helps improve your quality of life.
- You need to eat right if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Eating the wrong kinds of food can actually be counterproductive by preventing you from sleeping well. You may have to wake up in the middle of the night to relieve the discomfort.
- A balanced diet fills your body with the vitamins and nutrients needed to function properly and manage stress. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of fruit and vegetables and a good amount of protein to make sure that you have the nutrients needed to promote a good night’s rest.
- Treat yourself to a relaxing bath or shower before going to bed. The warm water will soothe your tired muscles and ease your mind of anxiety. The drop in body temperature will naturally make you sleepy and ready to go to bed.
- Invest in quality beddings and pillows. You’ll be surprised how the right mattress or Stomach Sleeper Pillow alleviates stress, making you ready for a good night’s sleep.
Try natural sleep aids
If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping on a regular basis, you might consider investing in a natural sleep aid such as CBD or melatonin. These three botanical ingredients help your body and brain mellow out so that you can feel more relaxed before bedtime and while you sleep.
Many people have success using melatonin, but for some, the natural supplement can cause vivid, sometimes scary dreams that end up causing additional issues. So many people who experience insomniatic symptoms turn to CBD for sleep.
There are many ways you can leverage the benefits of this ingredient, including vaporizing. But with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many people are becoming increasingly concerned about preserving their respiratory health. For these individuals, topical formulas, edibles, or pure full-spectrum CBD oil capsules are great options.
Sometimes it’s not the stress of daily life that’s to blame for our sleep issues, but rather our environment. Whether or not you’d normally consider yourself a heavy sleeper, even the smallest distractions can cause more disruption than you might have initially thought. To reduce these sleep offenders, implement one or more of these hacks:
- For bright lighting: Invest in blackout shades.
- For annoying noise: Try a white noise machine.
- For too hot too cold Goldilocks trouble: Swap out your pillow for a cooling pillow.
Additionally, try your best to create a sleeping sanctuary by keeping your bedroom organized, minimalist, and set your thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
Find ways to manage your stressors
Getting a better night’s rest doesn’t just mean changing up your bedtime routine, it involves your daytime behaviors, too. By taking measures to better manage your stress, you’ll find that getting better sleep is much easier to do. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Stay away from bad news when you can. Being informed is important, but inviting negativity into our lives on a daily or even hourly basis can be damaging, too. Try to limit how often you check the news and stick to sources that don’t tend to sensationalize.
- The reason people become stressed out and have difficulty sleeping is that they become distracted by their smartphones, computers, or other electronics that keep them from focusing on managing stress after a long day. Studies suggest that digital devices emit blue light that disrupt the body’s internal clock. What you want to do is find a tech-free way to wind down like reading a book or practicing mindfulness meditation.
- Create to-do lists to help you manage daily work and personal tasks. Clutter is often a trigger for stress, so getting your house and personal habits in order is a big help. By staying organized and focused on an end goal, you can better manage your time and make big to-do’s into simpler tasks.
- Set boundaries with your household. Whether you’re quarantining with your family, partner, or roommates, being with the same people 24/7 can be both draining and distracting. To create some space for productivity and alone time, be clear about your needs and respect theirs as well!
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.