Sometimes life can get pretty stressful. Deadlines, school, exams, difficult relationships and low self-esteem are just a few things that can make us feel stressed and cause disrupted sleeping patterns. Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep can also increase stress because our bodies haven’t had the chance to repair properly (the struggle is real).
When we’re feeling down, making sure we are getting a good night’s sleep is the number one way to take care of ourselves. Good quality sleep is vital for our physical growth and mental wellbeing and is just as important as drinking enough water and living an active lifestyle!
Here are 5 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep:
1. Learn to unwind
For many of us, this is easier said than done! Learning to unwind before bed will help you get a better quality of sleep. Set aside a period of time where you turn off any technology. The blue light emitted from devices like your phone actually stops you from producing the chemical that makes you feel sleepy. Find a new routine that helps you to relax. Maybe you could read a book, do some journaling or listen to an audiobook.
2. Offload your worries before you close your eyes
I have always been a big worrier. Feeling anxious can be one of the biggest battles to fight when you’re trying to fall asleep. Try jotting your thoughts down and then writing evidence for and against each worry. More often than not, you will find that there is very little evidence to back up the things you fear. Once you’ve proven them wrong, it’s time to let them go. If you’re still finding it hard to reason with your worries the bible tells us we can give them to God.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It’s a great habit to picture yourself handing all of your worries over to God and praying for peace before you fall asleep. If anxiety is a big problem for you, you may need to reach out to others around you for support.
3. Use essential oils
Try using essential oils such as lavender to help your body unwind. Some scents are great at relaxing the mind and if you get them in oil form they can even be added to a relaxing warm bath a few hours before you go to bed. You might also want to try using a pillow mist that you can spray onto your bedding to help you fall asleep.
This may sound counter-productive but exercising around four hours before your bed time can help you sleep better. This might be a good idea if you’ve had quite a stressful day and need to burn off some energy. Exercising a few hours beforehand will mean that your body’s drop in temperature will encourage you to drift off.
5. Sleep in a cool room
Sleeping in a cooler climate helps our body to fall into a deeper sleep. You can turn down your heater a little bit or open the window. Snuggle up under your duvet and see what you think.
Finally, remember that no matter what day you’ve had, there’s always tomorrow. Don’t let a bad day ruin your chance to relax. Learn to feel what you need to feel and then let it go, don’t lose sleep dwelling on things that you can’t change.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3: 22-23