How to get Better Sleep when You're Stressed
When I was a teenager, I could sleep like any typical teen; go to sleep after midnight, wake up at 2 pm, take a nap before going out, and doing it all over again the next day. Now that I'm older and fully in the 'real world,' I'm lucky if I get a full six hours of sleep. Most nights, I find myself staring into the black hole that is my ceiling while the thoughts in my head play out like a high school marching band. The lack of sleep is such a vicious cycle, between the stress of everyday life and managing anxiety, not getting enough sleep only makes both worse, but as I learn how to manage it, I've been able to create a nightly routine that allows me to get enough sleep to function and feel good mentally.
Whether it be your hectic schedule, your workload, or personal stress keeping you up at night, it can be worked through with one or all of these seven nightly routines.
Related: The Anxiety we Share
Quieting your mind, especially at night is the best route when it's running wild. But what exactly are you reading at night? I encourage you to read something that piques your interest but doesn't keep you turning page-after-page. At night, I tend to go for books that are harder reads, those that make me focus on every word and pull me out of my [own] thoughts. I'm currently (re)reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth.
In addition to reading, writing will help quiet your mind. Whether you're scribbling down words, your feelings, or thought out organized sentences, get everything that's bouncing around out on paper. Doing this can give you a sense of calm, making falling asleep and sleeping through the night easier. I've done this for years, and like many other things, stopped doing it, but I recently started again, and getting everything out on paper has helped release my anxiety.
One of the most important things you can do before bed is; limit your screen time or turn it off completely. I've said time-after-time that one hour before I avoid using my phone because sleep and technology do not mix. Stimulating your mind is the exact opposite of what you need before bed, so avoid scrolling through IG while in bed and turn off all of your notifications.
Routine's are boring, but a quick way to get your sleep schedule back on track is to go to sleep every night at the same time and wake up at the same time. Following a time pattern helps balance your biological clock and keeps your natural rhythm consistent; I keep the same schedule on the weekends, so my pattern stays consonant to avoid the additional stress of feeling tired.
If you want to ease into your evening, turn on the tea kettle and make yourself a cup of tea. I love Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm; the mix of lavender, chamomile, and mint helps naturally relax your body and reduces the feeling of stress and anxiety. I usually drink my tea while I'm either reading or journaling, the combination helps to bring tranquility to my mind and body.
My mom recently got me into essential oils, and it's been life-changing. I have an oil for everything; from a cold to stomach pain, and of course, sleep, essentials oils have become a part of my daily routines. Before sleep, I like to put a dose of lavender behind my ears and on my wrists; the soothing smell slowly relaxes me and eases me right into sleep.
The number one thing to do to help you sleep better and reduce the feeling of stress and anxiety is to meditate before bed. Meditation will help you quiet your mind by becoming aware of your thoughts and releasing them. In the past, I meditated in the morning, but I've started meditating before bed to help me sleep through the night; it has helped and has also helped set my energy for the next day.
My nights aren't always peaceful, and I go some nights with barely any sleep, but I'm committed to these routines and practices because it has helped me feel better and rested. Are there any nightly rituals you follow? Message me in the comments! Continue to Live Your Life in Style and always Be Inspired.