Stress. We all feel it from time to time. Sometimes, we feel it all the time. But, this can greatly impact so many aspects of our lives, health and sleep. The impacts of stress on sleep are plentiful, and often what we notice right away. Ready to rid yourself of the frustration of stress-related sleep issues? Let’s jump right into it!
Why is destressing prior to bed important?
Stress can give us trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, it can impact the quality of sleep, or even a combination of the three.
By reducing stress levels before bed, you’re setting yourself up for better quality sleep. Good quality sleep can do so many wonderful things, including further reducing stress levels, improving memories, improving the function of your immune system, elevating your mood and more. To put it simply: you just feel better when you sleep better. And who doesn’t want to feel their best?
Investigating why you’re stressed.
It’s hard to destress prior to bed if you are unsure what is causing your stress. It’s important to evaluate what might be causing these feelings. Often, this includes:
- Work. Work related stress is incredibly common. This could be caused by an upcoming project, a busy season, evaluations, team dynamics and more. Understanding this can help you develop a plan of action.
- Family issues. Whether you’ve gotten into an argument with a loved one, are dealing with some internal family drama, have a sick loved one, etc., the goings on of our families and home units have a large impact on our emotional well being.
- Current events. The recent pandemic, political goings on and negative news cycles often contribute to stress. Even if they do not directly impact your life, hearing about these things on the news or on social media can lead to seemingly “hidden” stresses and anxieties.
- Physical stress. Let’s not forget that exercising, straining activity, injuries and chronic illnesses can cause both emotional and physical stress to the body. If your stress is physical, it is vital to stay on top of your routine and recovery, and to consult a physician when needed.
While the causes of each person’s stress are extremely personal to their lives, these are a few of the most common stressors.
How can you mitigate this stress?
Our 9 tips on how to destress before bed
- Avoid heavy meals. Eating heavy meals at night may contribute to acid reflux, getting too warm while you digest and try to sleep, or may just make you feel a little off. This causes physical stress, and may impede you from getting good nights of rest. Instead, try having a light snack or some tea. Calming herbs like chamomile are great for this!
- Engage in light exercise. While we don’t suggest going for a run before bed, exercise is a top way to destress in general. Try adding in some light stretching or yoga at night. Not only will this help with any fitness goals you have, but it will help you relax ahead of bed.
- Take a warm shower.Taking a warm shower or a bath before bed allows your body to relax, and gives you an excuse to take out some time for yourself. Extra points for using a shower steamer or bath melt/liquid/powder with a calming fragrance like lavender. Often, stress comes from being the go-to person in many aspects of life, and taking time for you, for self care, can reduce stress levels and acts as a reminder that you are a priority.
- Cuddle up. Curling up with a book, or cuddling up with a pet or loved one is a great way to reduce stress and feel connected to the things, pets or people you enjoy most.
- Try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is calming and a great way to activate your limbic system, which is tied to emotions and feelings. By stimulating your limbic system in a positive way, with fragrances and oils you love, you will be able to reduce the feelings of stress. We offer five essential oil blends to help with this. One is even aptly called the “destress” blend!
- Create a sanctuary in your home.Whether it is a nook in your main living space or your bedroom itself, creating an area of your home that acts as a sanctuary and that is special to you is helpful. You can go there for a bit of alone time, to read, or to journal. It doesn’t need to be a separate room, just a place in your home where you’re happy spending time.
- Find products that help you enjoy sleep. Preparation is a great way to reduce stress, especially if you feel stress about losing sleep, or not getting sleep that is good quality. Breathing lights, luxurious sheets and bedding, and pajamas you love all contribute to excitement about sleep. When you’re prepared for bed, you set the stage for restful nights. When that preparation is combined with sleep items you truly love, the result is even better.
- Practice night journaling. Journaling at night to get thoughts and anxieties out of your head and onto paper is a tried and true stress buster. Visit our recent post about journaling prompts for night time for ideas, prompts and tips on how to get started with journaling.
- Listen to relaxing sleep meditations.One of my personal favorite ways to fall asleep is to listen to sleep meditations. They’re available on apps, or for free all around YouTube. My favorites provide guidance and mantras for certain feelings. De-stressing and calming anxiety are popular topics, and always help me get to sleep.
We hope these tips are helpful, and that you’re able to incorporate one or more of them. Remember, less stress means better sleep, and some of these tips are quick and easy enough to add to your nightly routine.
Which activities or things help you sleep well and distress? Let us know your thoughts and your best ways to destress before bed if they’re different from ours!