Not getting a good night’s sleep leads to an unproductive day. Continuous nights like that and everything becomes harder to do. Many times stress can be the cause of wakeful nights. Here are some tips to manage that stress and get a peaceful snooze.
Tips for getting a good night’s sleep
- Do you have a mattress that’s more than five years old? Replace it.
- Bright lights? Dim them.
- New noises or neighbours? Try turning on a fan, even in winter, to block the sounds.
- Are you exercising or eating within three hours of bedtime? Doing either shortly before bed will make falling asleep tough.
- Do you have a brightly lit clock by your head? Its glow could be disturbing. Turn its face away from you.
- How do you spend the hour before bed? Instead of doing your taxes, try reading or listening to music that relaxes you.
- How many hours of sleep do you get per night? You need seven to eight. One clue: If you have trouble getting up, you’re not getting enough.
- How many hours do you spend in bed? If you spend many more hours than you actually sleep, try using your bed for sleep and sex only. Associating your bed with wakeful activities won’t help your shut-eye.
- Do you go to bed and get up at the same time each day? Keeping a regular routine will help your body prepare for sleep.
Recognize when stress is to blame
Stress is the mother of all pain triggers, worsening almost every kind of pain, affecting sleep. When you’re stressed, your body responds by revving its motor, releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. As a result, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, you breathe faster, and your muscles tighten.The key to controlling this pain trigger is to learn to recognize your own personal stress signals, so that you can take active steps to relax. Here are some common symptoms:
- You may feel frazzled or depressed
- You may be grouchy and moody, picking fights with friends
- You may respond to stress by driving faster, smoking or drinking more, or reaching for the potato chips in front of an endless parade of TV programs
- You may be distracted, forgetful, jumpy
- You may simply feel paralyzed, unable to act, without energy.
Once you recognize how stressed you are, you can take the appropriate measures to decrease your stress. This will help you to get the regular, restful sleep that your body requires.