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Use a bedtime routine to combat stress

To better your sleep and the overall quality of your day, planning ahead is crucial. For example, always plan to have plenty of time to wind down before bed; try reading a book by candle light or with an eye mask. The key to getting to sleep is prepare for sleep ahead of time.

It’s important to have a bedtime routine to help fight stress and get ready for sleep. Some people sleep better if they take time to do some reading before bed. In fact, research suggests a quiet hour before bed is just as important as when we actually go to sleep. There are quite a few things you can do before bed to relieve stress and make it easier to sleep. Below I’ve listed some helpful tips that will have a positive effect on your night’s rest.

Woman sleeping while holding a book. Text overlay reading "Sleep Better While Stressed - Part 5"

The activities you engage in before bed impacts your sleep

What you do before bed can have a lasting effect on how well you fall asleep. Activities such as watching TV, drinking caffeine, discussing sensitive topics and reading an exciting book instead of something relaxing all contribute to the inability for many people to go to sleep.

Not to mention painsomnia and chronic illness in general. All of these activities can help to improve sleep, but don’t be discouraged if they aren’t working for you. Sleep and stress can be hard to manage when you’re in pain or in the middle of a flare.

Relaxing an hour before bedtime seems like a no-brainer, but isn’t always easy. Some good activities for putting you in a relaxed state include drinking some decaffeinated hot tea, taking a relaxing bath or shower, reading thought provoking content, and listening to some mellow music. I also recommend dressing comfortably and setting up your bedroom so that it’s nice & cozy for sleep.

Your circadian rhythm influences your sleep pattern

Our bodies come with an internal sleep cycle that is triggered by the circadian rhythm. This process helps us distinguish darkness from light and prepares our body for sleepiness in predetermined moments. When we have a wind down window, our mood shifts towards rest & relaxation. When you get more sleep, your sleep cycles are improved and during this time your brain can rest and remove toxins that build up while you’re awake. Missing out on this important cycle can cause a significant amount of stress.

You can help keep your internal clock in sync by establishing a bedtime routine and keeping up with to it. Sleep training can help you get over stressful thoughts about sleep, as your body will already be used to going to. Once your body gets used to falling asleep and waking up at the same time, you should be able to do that without having to set an alarm. You should also have less trouble falling asleep at night, even when you are stressed out.

Set up a bedtime routine that’s optimized for you

Everyone’s routine is different, so to create one that works for you it might take some trial and error. For example, reading before bed might work for one person, but it may not work for another. Develop a bedtime routine that gets you relaxed and less stressed, so it’ll be easier to fall asleep and you can have a more restful night’s sleep.

In the next post, I will be sharing more tips to help you lessen stress and sleep better.

Check out the rest of the Sleep Better While Stressed series:

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Woman reading book to girl in bed, text overlay reading "How a Bedtime Routine Can Fight Stress and Improve Sleep"

How a Bedtime Routine Can Fight Stress and Improve Sleep