Have you ever suffered from stress and anxiety-related insomnia? I have.
Whenever I have a big event, like a test or an exam coming, or even anything exciting, I tend to have a a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.
I would keep waking up every hour with the feeling and thought that ‘I still have a lot to do’.
Sleep is very essential for the brain to function properly. and for humans to function optimally.
lack of sleep doesn’t do anyone any good. It can also lead to poor concentration.
Unchecked stress and anxiety-related insomnia can pose a harm to one’s mental and physical health.
It is best to determine what is causing a lack of sleep. We have already established in this case that stress and anxiety is the cause, so how do we have a better night sleep even with anxiety?
Here are some tips to ensure you have a good night sleep irrespective of whatever is causing you to lose your sleep.
#1 Shut down the thought process
Those thoughts going through your head reminding you of the gazillion things you have yet to do.
If after retiring to bed, you find yourself unable to shut out those thoughts, stand up, write down those things that are bothering you and all you need to do.
Expressing your thoughts in written form is very therapeutic, it releases stress and puts things in perspective, trust me on this.
#2 Have a regular sleep time
Our bodies adapt to routines. Try to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time everyday.
Your alarm clock/phone alarm could help you with this.
#3 Start a sleep time routine
Have a sleep routine and stick to it. With time, it will become second nature to you.
Example of a sleep time routine – take a bath, write in your journal, listen to calm music, pray, sleep.
Start this routine at least half hour before your set bed time.
#4 Unplug from all devices
You check your social media notifications one more time, you check your work email to find out if you have gotten an answer to the mail you sent earlier but it should not be done when you are on bed. This can cause more anxiety and contribute to lack of sleep
I am also guilty, so we are in this together but we need to tell ourselves the truth.
Our devices, computer, phone tablet etc emit blue light. light suppresses the natural body hormone -melatonin levels in the blood that helps us to sleep.
Keep your devices away and the quality of your sleep will be improved.
#5 Set an alarm
Whenever I feel I still have a lot to do, but know that sleep is needed, I set an alarm for the amount of time I would like to rest.
That way my sleep is timed and I do not feel that I will oversleep. Having the feeling that I would oversleep causes anxiety for me.
#6 Avoid heavy meals and drinks containing caffeine
You can still have a snack but keep it very light.
#7 Make your sleeping area cozy to ensure a good night rest
If you can’t sleep without a blanket both in summer and winter, then have a warm blanket in cold weather and something lighter in summer.
There are blankets that come with a fleece cover for colder weather and a cotton cover in warmer weather.
Invest in a good black out curtain for those bright summer nights. Also having a comfortable mattress, clean nice smelling sheets would help.
You can also add plants to your room. Plants like Aloe Vera help release oxygen that purify the air and makes breathing easier, while others like Jasmine release an aroma that helps in relieving stress and anxiety.
#8 Meditate on the good and positive
As you lay in bed, focus on the positive things that occurred during the day. And if you had a shitty day, learn from it and hope for a better day the next day.
You can also concentrate on something mindless, or try to read a book.
Your body will not adjust to your new routine automatically. You would need to give it time, so be deliberate and consistent.
In conclusion, Give your anxiety to God. Rest in the knowledge that he is all knowing and is in charge of your life
Enjoy a life of good sleep and less anxiety.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything… Philippians 4 v 6
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