These days, a lot of people are experiencing increased anxiety and, as a result, struggling to get enough sleep at night. Anxiety can disrupt sleep patterns, lead to nightmares, and even make it harder for you to feel well-rested when you wake. Fortunately, you can take advantage of several tricks that can help naturally improve your sleep and leave you better prepared to face all the challenges associated with your day.
1. Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary.
If you're struggling to get adequate sleep at night, start by reducing potential distractions in your bedroom and turning it into a sanctuary. Your bedroom should be a place of peace and relaxation: a place you can go and count on sleeping soundly. Try some of these strategies:
Reduce clutter throughout your bedroom. Excess clutter serves primarily to increase your overall stress levels--and never more so than in your bedroom. Clutter triggers the brain to be overstimulated and feel as though your tasks are never fully done. Unfortunately, all too often, the bedroom becomes the catch-all for all those items that don't have a place throughout the rest of the house--especially if you know you have company coming. Spend some time cleaning up the excess clutter in your bedroom, and you may just discover that you get a better night's sleep.
Make it darker. Invest in blackout curtains for your windows, especially if you have inconvenient streetlights or security lights that increase the light within your bedroom even in the middle of the night. You can pull those curtains back during the day to let in natural light, then drop them at night to make your home as dark as possible.
Purchase fantastic sheets and comfortable pillows. Upgrading your mattress can help you get a better night's sleep, but it can be an expensive alternative. Comfortable sheets and great pillows, on the other hand, are often a less-expensive alternative to improving your night's sleep. Choose sheets that fit your needs: while some people prefer 100% cotton, high thread count sheets, others may be more comfortable with jersey sheets--or, in winter, you might prefer flannel. Experiment with comfortable, highly-recommended sheets and find a set that you love.
Choose decorations carefully. Choose decor that helps both you and your partner relax. Commit to making your bedroom a true sanctuary for both of you: you should both agree on any decor that you use in the bedroom.
2. Set your bed aside for only sex and sleep.
Your bed should have two primary purposes: sex (or masturbation) and sleep. When your brain only associates those two activities with your bed, you're less likely to toss and turn long after you settle into bed for the night. Once you're in your bed, resist the urge to scroll for just a little longer on your phone or to watch TV in bed. Instead, turn the lights off, turn your devices off, and go to sleep. Over time, your brain will learn to associate your bed with just sex and sleep, which will make it easier for you to "turn off" and get some rest.
3. Have sex before bed.
Sex--especially if you reach orgasm--can improve the overall quality of your sleep substantially. Encourage your partner, if you have one, to make it an earlier night, or head off to bed on your own for a little solo fun. If you've struggled to fall asleep, orgasm can help trigger the production of hormones in your brain that will make it easier for you to relax and, ultimately, for you to fall asleep. Try:
Committing to trying something new can give you a range of new things to try each night.
Simply enjoying your partner's body. When you're feeling stressed and anxious, it can be hard to get excited about sex--and that anxiety can, in some cases, block you from achieving orgasm. Instead of feeling as though you have to commit to orgasm, however, simply enjoy your partner's body. Touch one another and relax. Enjoy the connection with one another. You may discover that this makes you more likely to enjoy sex--or it may simply help you relax and fall asleep as you enjoy being close to your partner.
4. Keep to your usual sleep routine as much as possible.
During times of extreme change or anxiety, it's easy to let your sleep patterns start to slip outside the norm. Some people sleep more during the day out of boredom or out of a desire to escape their current circumstances as much as possible. Others may struggle to convince themselves to go to bed at night. The more your sleep patterns change, however, the harder it can be to fall asleep.
Instead, try maintaining a normal waking and sleeping routine. Get up around the same time every morning, even on weekends. Try to avoid staying up extremely late at night, even over the weekend. The more you maintain your usual sleep habits, the more likely you'll be to fall asleep normally when you slip into bed at night.
5. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed.
The blue light emanating from your favorite electronics, including your cell phone and the television, tells your brain that it's time to be awake. That light mimics the natural light your brain is exposed to when you go outside during the day--and its continued production tells your brain that the day isn't over yet.
Turn off your electronics and engage in other activities. Play a board game with a loved one instead of video games. Read a book. Talk to a loved one. By avoiding that blue light as much as possible, you signal your brain that it's time to wind down and get a good night's sleep.
6. Get more natural light during the day.
While you don't want blue light during the evening, when you're winding down and getting ready to get some sleep, you do want to get as much natural light as you can during the day. Often, people suffering from anxiety may be more likely to fall asleep for brief periods during the day, which in turn makes it difficult to sleep at night. During the daytime hours, commit to getting as much natural light as you can. Try:
- Opening the blinds and curtains and letting natural light in through the window
- Getting outside and moving, especially in the fresh air
- Spending time outside, just sitting in nature and focusing on it instead of on your devices
7. Create a sleep routine.
Just as you want your body to associate climbing into bed with time to fall asleep, you can create a routine that helps you settle down at the end of the evening. Scrolling social media not only exposes you to blue light, but it can also increase your anxiety and leave you worrying about friends and loved ones, frowning at the news, or comparing yourself to those oh-so-perfect parents that always seem to post their best pictures when you're feeling your worst.
Instead, create a bedtime routine that helps increase serenity and make it easier for you to fall asleep. You might try:
Meditation. Focus on positive things, rather than dwelling on the negative. Think about ways to transform and expand your life or how you want to improve your outlook in the future.
Stretching. Light yoga or gentle stretching shortly before bedtime can make it easier for you to relax and fall asleep. By releasing some of the tension in your body, you can both make it easier to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep when you get there.
Enjoy a warm drink. Avoid caffeine late in the evening. Instead, try drinking milk and honey or tea without caffeine. These warm drinks can help settle you down and prepare you for bed.
Taking a warm bath or shower. The warm water can help relax you when you fall asleep!
We might not be able to offer a cure-all for your ability to fall asleep at night, but MysteryVibe Health believes it should be easier for you to relax and have a good night's rest.