How To Turn Off Your Mind When You Are Too Stressed To Sleep
Do you struggle to sleep at night? Are you accustomed to lying in your bed for hours tossing and turning fighting for that magic hour that will send you drifting off to sleep without a care in the world? Insomnia is more common than you think, it is often caused by anxiety, stress and various other factors.
30 to 35% of American adults suffer with minor symptoms of insomnia. 15 to 20% have short-term insomnia disorder which lasts for approximately three months or less. 10% have chronic insomnia disorder which occurs more than three times a week or more. These symptoms last for up to six months to a year, and sometimes longer.
Chronic insomnia is detrimental for your health, why? Lack of sleep means reduction in human growth hormone which often leads to weight gain, lowered cognitive and physical performance, reduced muscle mass, thinning hair and higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
In this article, we are going to outline some of the most effective ways of turning off your mind when you are too stressed to sleep.
Unplug and Switch Off
At least one hour before you go to sleep, switch off and unplug everything. It can be difficult to do this with social media and constant device notifications. However, it is vital that you wind down and switch off before going to bed.
There is a reason for this, technological devices are physiologically and psychologically stimulating; this stimulation has a negative impact on your sleep pattern.
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According to the National Sleep Foundation, electronic devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones affect your body’s natural internal clock which is also known as the circadian rhythm.
These devices also reduce the production of melatonin which is the hormone that stimulates restfulness and sleep. The synthetic blue light that comes from electronic devices is largely responsible for melatonin reduction. Sleep experts recommend that you switch off at least one hour before you go to bed, this is especially important for children and the elderly.
Write In Your Journal
Writing in your journal before you go to sleep will help to eradicate stress and worry from your mind. Research carried out in the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that writing in a journal before going to bed helps to eliminate worry thus making it easier to sleep.
The study asked 57 young adults to write to do lists before they went to sleep each night. Doing this helped people to fall asleep in approximately 16 minutes as opposed to 25 minutes.
Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, a JAMA Internal Medicine study indicates that mindfulness meditation can help with insomnia. Deep breathing and mindful thinking in the present moment can help to promote restful sleep.
The study focused on 49 middle-aged and elderly adults who suffered with sleep issues. 50 percent of the participants were taught how to meditate, the rest of the participants took part in a sleep education course.
Each week, they met up to discuss their sleep patterns. The people in the mindfulness group, slept better and experienced less fatigue and depression.
Drink Calming Tea
Drink calming tea like camomile tea at least one hour before you go to bed. Calming tea helps to relieve anxiety and stress because it contains an antioxidant called apigenin which reduces anxiety and promotes sleep.
Have a Warm Bath
Have a warm and therapeutic bath at least an hour before you go to sleep. You will thank yourself for it.
Warm water relaxes the body and the mind, use aromatherapy oils such as lavender oil to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. Put a few drops of lavender oil in warm running water. Lie in the bath for at least 20 minutes
Go For a Walk an Hour Before Bedtime
Numerous studies have shown that taking a walk or exercising before bed can help you sleep better. A study undertaken by the National Sleep Foundation in 2013 actually confirmed this. Exercising helps to reduce anxiety which is often the number one reason why people struggle to sleep at night. Take a 20 minute walk before you sleep, it will make a huge difference.
Consider some of the tips outlined in this article, adequate sleep is crucial for your physical, emotional and mental health.
Lack of sleep can cause a whole variety of health issues such as weight gain,heart disease and depression.
Finding effective ways of reducing anxiety, stress and worry will most certainly improve your sleep patterns.