43% of people report lying awake due to stress at least once per month. Taking steps throughout the day to lower your stress levels can make it easier to get to the full night of uninterrupted sleep your mind and body need. Creating a daily routine that sets you up for better sleep will improve your overall health and wellbeing. Making changes to your pattern of diet, exercise and daily chores can reduce stress and anxiety, making for most restful nights.
Exercising in the Morning Leads to Better Sleep at Night
Cardiovascular exercise is linked to better overall health, less pain and a more positive attitude, all of which contribute to better sleep. During a vigorous workout, your body releases stress-reducing hormones, like endorphins and dopamine, which help reduce stress levels and improve your mood. Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week also helps control your weight, which lowers your risk of obesity-related conditions like sleep apnea. Hitting the gym for an early morning or going for a run at dawn helps you feel energized and focused from the start, and regulates your body’s circadian rhythm. If a morning workout isn’t feasible, still make sure to end any intensive exercise session at least 2 hours before bedtime, to give your body time to relax and cool down.
The Foods You Eat Can Affect Your Sleep
The foods you choose and when you choose to eat them can have an impact on your quality of sleep. Jump starting your day with a cup of coffee gives you a boost of energy to get started, and has been shown to have a positive effect in alleviating depression. Avoid consuming too much caffeine close to bedtime by switching to decaf after 3pm. Choosing better quality coffee will leave you feeling more satisfied and less jittery. Greasy foods can also affect your sleep, leading to indigestion, which is exacerbated when lying down. Avoid eating large, heavy meals right before bed. For a late night snack, try tart cherry juice and almonds, which have been shown to regulate melatonin production.
Declutter Your Bedroom for Peace of Mind
Trying to fall asleep in a messy bedroom can contribute to anxiety, making it difficult to drift off and to stay asleep. A cluttered sleeping space can exacerbate stress, with distractions strewn about just as you’re closing your eyes. Make your room a sanctuary for sleep by clearing piles of bills, dirty laundry and your kid’s toys from your space. Clean bedding and dust your bedroom frequently to prevent allergic reactions that can also compromise sleep quality.
Sleep deprivation is a serious effect of chronic stress, which can lead to a number of health and safety risks. Prioritizing sleep hygiene can dramatically improve your health and overall quality of life. Making a few small changes in your daily routine can have a profound impact on helping you get the sleep you deserve.