Expert advice on how to calm anxiety and finally get some sleep
All day, you fight to stay awake, hoping that the end of the day will come faster. Fast forward to 10 p.m., and all of a sudden you’re wide awake, going over all of the things on your to-do list and worrying about tomorrow.
Having anxiety around the time you’re supposed to be going to sleep is more common than you may think. That’s why calming apps and soothing noise machines have become so popular. Besides buying the newest gadgets to try and help your sleep patterns, experts advise trying these five things to relax before bed and finally get some rest.
Avoid The Blue Light
Almost everyone has heard that staring at your phone or the TV before bed impacts the ability to fall asleep, but not everyone believes it enough to practice what is preached. However, there is scientific proof that the blue light from your devices affects your body. The wavelengths from this light delay the release of melatonin in your brain which ultimately results in less REM sleep.
Find Something That Soothes You
Lying in bed worrying about the fact that you’re not asleep won’t help you actually fall asleep. Experts suggest that if you’ve spent more than 20 minutes trying to fall asleep and are prevented by anxiety, it’s better to move to a different spot in the house and find a soothing activity like reading, listening to music, meditating or writing until your mind is ready for bed.
Exercise Regularly—But Not At Night
Regular exercise is beneficial to overall health, but it’s also been shown to boost insomnia related to depression or anxiety. By exercising regularly, you’re using your energy in a positive way and preparing yourself for sleep. However, exercising at night can sometimes keep you awake longer unless you’re stretching or doing some other type of relaxing workout.
Don’t Avoid Your Negative Thoughts During The Day
Psychiatry professionals believe that people who suffer from anxiety get worked up around bedtime because their minds are free enough to finally think about the things that are bothering them—both solvable and unsolvable problems. By taking some time earlier in the day to work through these thoughts, you can work them out more logically and spend the time at night getting more rest.
Work On Building Healthy Habits In The Morning
Starting when you first wake up, forming healthy habits will have the biggest impact on your ability to fall asleep come night time. Setting the alarm for the same time every day and getting up when it goes off instead of hitting snooze is step one. Making sure you have a routine for breakfast to get your energy going or even working out in the morning can also help.