Stress is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of life. It’s perfectly normal to experience it from time to time no matter how much you try to avoid it. Whether it’s a looming deadline, a tough day in the office, or an unexpected change of circumstances, being stressed can affect our health and wellbeing, plus, our ability to sleep. Whilst we can’t always avoid the things which cause us stress, there are ways which can help us wind down in the evening and therefore, have a more fulfilling, deeper sleep. Read on below to read our top tips for how to unwind after you have had a stressful day. You may also like Why Sleep Is So Important
Avoid Caffeine In The Afternoon
This one might sound like a given, or you might be reaching for your coffee cup thinking ‘I couldn’t possibly do that!’ But, learning to avoid caffeine before bed can greatly increase the chance of you falling into a deep, relaxed sleep. Caffeine increases our heart rate and blood pressure, making it even harder to relax and sleep. So, especially when you’ve had a stressful day try and avoid caffeine 6-7 hours before you plan on going to sleep. Opt for herbal tea instead of a mug of hot milk to really help you relax!
Regular exercise is a surefire way to keep you healthy and fit. Although exercising is a form of physical stress, it actually reduces the level of stress hormones in our body and relaxes our body and mind. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day then exerting some energy in a healthy way can be great for relaxing and eventually getting to sleep. Even just 20 minutes can reduce stress and anxiety.
Meditating might not be for everybody but if you can get into then meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, while also improving your focus and concentration. Try for just 10 minutes a day and you’ll notice the improvements.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed then even the simple act of writing down what has made you stressed can help to lighten the load. The saying a problem shared is a problem halved and it’s true, even when it comes to just writing down your thoughts and feelings on paper.
Create a Regular Sleep Routine
Having a regular sleep routine can help your body clock naturally fall into a rhythm, which helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Creating a bedtime routine that you stick to will help your body to fall asleep more quickly, even when you’re stressed.
Take deep, controlled breaths
When you take slow, deep breaths, it sends a signal to your brain to calm down, which the brain then passes onto your body, therefore, reducing stress and anxiety and relaxing you whilst you’re at it.
Avoid Your Phone When In Bed
Not only does going on your phone before bed keep your brain active but there is also a scientific reason why you should avoid your phone before bed. The blue light that your smartphone emits is not only bad for your vision, but it’s bad for your brain too. The body releases a hormone, melatonin, which produces feelings of sleepiness, the blue light from your phone can decrease the amount of the hormone which will stop you from sleeping at night.
Have a Relaxing Bath
The hot water in a bath can help relieve stress and tension and help you relax after a stressful day. For added relaxation pop some bath salts or bubble bath into it as well. Lavender is great for promoting slow-wave sleep, helping you sleep longer and better so opt for this in your bath as well if you can for added relaxation.
Drink herbal tea
Drink a warm mug of herbal tea before bed. Chamomile and other herbal teas can help relax and soothe the body, which can make it easier to fall asleep. Try pairing it with a good book and making it a mini-routine to end your night.
Get Cosy Before Bed
Getting into your comfy clothes (or your Big Cosie Hooded Blanket) before bed will help you relax and unwind before going to sleep. Nobody likes sitting around in uncomfortable clothes so ensure your ‘bed ready’ a few hours before you plan on actually going to bed. Get yours here.