Can’t sleep at night? We get it. Not being able to sleep can really stress you out. And feeling stressed can do some major damage to your sleep! It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? It can drive you crazy wondering what you can do. How can I get a better night’s sleep? How do you sleep when you’re stressed? or How can I make my bedroom better for sleep? Knowing a couple tricks to relax your mind, body, and bedroom will make a huge difference on how you sleep. Take a scroll with us and we’ll share 5 ways to stress less and sleep more.
What happens to your brain when you sleep? What happens to your body when you sleep?
Sleeping is like taking yourself to the repair shop every night. When you sleep, your body clears out all the toxins from the day, and then refuels and rebuilds your muscles and immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria and infections. During sleep, your brain gets a power wash, which strengthens your memory, thinking and concentration.
What are the negative effects of stress?
Stress is having your body in a constant state of fight or flight. Your mind is racing, heart is pounding and you’re completely ramped up. In nature, this feeling is only supposed to last a short time, so you can get the hell outta dodge. But with so much going on, sometimes it’s hard to turn it all off. Long periods of stress can not only cause crippling depression and anxiety, but can make you really sick.
How much sleep do I need?
We gotta end this trend of bragging about how little sleep we need but can still function. It’s just not true. I’m pretty sure we could all use a little more sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Any less than 6 hours of sleep each night can have serious side effects, especially when it becomes a consistent pattern.
What are the side effects of not getting enough sleep?
Short term side effects include:
- Moodiness and Irritability (Who wants to be around that?)
- Depression and Anxiety.
- Low Sex Drive.
- Difficulty with Memory and Concentration.
- Poor Performance.
What are the long term side effects of lack of sleep?
Long term health side effects include:
- Constant Depression & Anxiety.
- Decreased Brain Function.
- Memory Loss.
- Weight Gain & Obesity.
- Damage to Bones.
- Immune System Deficiency
- Heart Attack & Stroke Risk.
- Hypertension & Heart Disease.
What can I do to sleep better?
The goal is to stress less so we can sleep more. For starters, the Bedroom should only be used for sleep and sexy times. It’s not a good idea to bring work or stress into your bedroom, whether you’re handling emails on your phone, reading a book on business, or talking to your partner about difficult issues. Leave it at the door. When you have a solid night’s sleep, you’ll be more alert, creative and productive during the day.
How can I sleep better at night?
Set yourself up for success, less stress and more sleep, try a few of these tips to get a great night’s sleep:
1. DE-CLUTTER YOUR BEDROOM
- Your room is a peaceful haven, and should look like it. Have a clear walking path into and around your bedroom. Having to step over clothes or walk around boxes is annoying and a physical block to your relaxation.
- Everything has a home. If you like to have personal items near your bed (think: lip balm, eye mask, lotion, heating pad), place them in a cabinet or night stand so the table tops are mostly clean and clear. Focus on what matters, like maybe a small lamp, an air diffuser, a favorite book, or any item that makes you feel good when you see it. We love THIS CLASSIC STYLE BEDSIDE TABLE from from Ashley HomeStore. It adds style and storage!
- Find a storage space for items like clothes and supplies. If space is limited, collect similar items into a dresser, or a decorative box to store them in your closet or on a shelf.
2. GET COMFORTABLE
- Dim the Lighting – As the sun sets, start to slowly dim your lights and light some candles. This will instinctually trigger your body’s understanding that it’s night time and you’re getting close to sleep.
- Make Your Room a Cocoon. Hang blackout drapes so that your bedroom is completely dark and free of any exterior or unnatural lighting. If you see glowing red or blue lights from electronics, you can cover them with black electrical tape.
- Take a bath to relax. Throw in a bath bomb or Epsom Salts, and engage your senses with 8 drops of Essential Oils like Lavender, Orange, Geranium, Ylang-Ylang, Sandalwood, or Rose, and light a few candles to set the mood.
- Wear Something Soft, or Nothing at All. Just like a baby, our bodies love being covered in something cozy and natural. Many of us change into our pajamas or sleep clothes as soon as we come home, or we never take them off on the weekend. Doesn’t it make sense to sleep in something that makes you feel great? For lounge and sleepwear, look for breathable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo.
- Organic Natural Fiber Sheets that breathe – like Linen, Cotton, Bamboo, Eucalyptus. It’s crucial to have bedding that makes you comfortable. When bedding doesn’t breath, you get hot, you sweat, you wake up throughout the night. If they’re too thin – you’re freezing, too heavy you’re boiling. It’s a real Goldilocks situation where it has to be just right.
- Gently move any stuck energy you’ve been carrying in your neck, shoulders and back.
- Keep it Cool & Lower the Heat. One of the biggest ways your body will wake in the middle of the night is when it’s too hot. The ideal sleep temp is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. INVEST IN A HIGH QUALITY MATTRESS
- Think of your mattress like a good pair of running shoes. You’d never run with shoes that are uncomfortable and rub your feet in the wrong places, or are so loose and old that you might hurt your back or and twist an ankle.
- Rest your body on a great mattress. I can’t stress this enough. You spend the 1/3 of your life in bed, which is more than any other place. A good mattress should support your body and spine, whether you’re sleeping on your side, front or back.
- Spend the Money. You’ll only cry once instead of every night. Spending a good portion of your bedroom budget on a high quality mattress is one of the smartest home investments for your body, and overall health and wellness.
- Sleep experts have recommended sleeping on a firmer mattress that will support your spine and circulation, rather than a well-worn mattress. New beds have been shown to significantly increase the quality of sleep and decrease pain and stress.
- One of the most important parts of a good quality mattress is that it’s breathable. You’ll want it to allow the air to move through the mattress and out the sides. This is really helpful so that you avoid waking up from night sweats in the middle of the night.
- When should you buy a new mattress? About 6 months ago, we bought a new STEARNS & FOSTER mattress from Ashley HomeStore, and we absolutely love it. I had no idea it was one of the oldest mattress companies out there, 170 years strong. These guys know what they’re doing as far as design, quality and craftsmanship. One of my secret joys is seeing the stylish deep blue mattress every time I change the sheets. Definitely a designer’s bed. Depending on how you take care of / rotate, clean and use your mattress, expect to replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years, according to The Better Sleep Council.
4. CREATE A ROUTINE
Create a night time ritual that will clue your body into a restful state. Start with something small, just one thing, and see how you feel. You can always add more once you get the hang of it.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time, even on the weekends.
- Cut off caffeine after 2 pm.
- Exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime.
- Eat at least 3 hours before bedtime.
- Meditate by taking a few deep, slow breaths. Try the 4-5-6 method. Inhale deeply for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 5, and slowly exhale for a full 6 seconds. If you still have racing thoughts . . .
- Try a Worry Journal. Have a small notebook in your nightstand to write down all your thoughts, fears and anxieties just to get them out of your head. In the morning, you can think of an action plan.
- Try a Gratitude Journal. Focusing your attention on something positive will continue to naturally see things other things in a positive way. Gratitude has been known to reduce stress, help you sleep better and improve happiness.
5. REMOVE TECHNOLOGY FROM THE BEDROOM & TURN OFF WiFi
- Unplug and turn off all technology and screens 30 to 60 minutes before bed. Not only does the brain activity keep you stimulated, but so does the blue light. Cue your body into sleep mode by practicing one of your new routines, like light reading, slow breathing or writing.
- Put your phone to bed, but not near your Having your phone within arm’s reach invites potential stress, stimulation or lists of things to do. Charge your phone in another room like the bathroom or hallway. Some people freak out at the thought of being far from their phone (are we addicted co-dependents much?). Don’t worry – You’ll hear the phone if it rings in the middle of the night, and you won’t be tempted to scroll social media or answer a text as soon as you hear the ping.
- Get an Old-School Alarm. That nostalgic comfort will give you just what you need and nothing more. Steer clear from a noisy tick tock clock, or digital clocks with a glowing light that ruins your cave like vibe. This TABLE CLOCK from Ashley HomeStore is cool. If your alarm is on your phone, even better! It will force you to get up and out of bed to start your day.
- Turn off WiFi, or purchase a Wi-Fi timer that will automatically turn it off during the night in order to reduce unnecessary EMF radiation during sleep.
Studio Cat: Ronnie is the ultimate sleeper.
We hope this gives you plenty of ideas on how to find the best ways to help you sleep better. Have any of these tricks worked great for you? Let us know in the comments below!
This post contains affiliate links and is done in partnership with Stearns & Foster and Ashley HomeStore.
5 WAYS TO STRESS LESS & SLEEP MORE | By Sara Plaisted