Falling asleep at the right time for the desired duration comes naturally for some. I am a late sleeper and a late riser and if there is something exciting coming up the next day, I lay awake for hours, read, browse and chat until I can untangle my mind from the excitement and doze off.
Stress and sleep share a strange bond. If you are stressed, you can’t sleep and if you lack sleep, you are stressed. And to ward off the effects of stress you need sleep!
Stress is found to be a major cause for insomnia in otherwise healthy people. Managing stress is the only way to get a good night’s rest for such people. If you are one of those people battling stress-induced insomnia, this article may help you a great deal in bringing back your sweet wholesome slumber.
- Analyse your stress and enlist the causes before you go to bed. Most often, the reason for your stress is a person or something that happened during the day that may flash in your head as you close your eyes. It might be your boss or your mother-in-law who might hamper your slumber. So take out a notebook and write down your problems with their possible solutions. The feeling and reassurance that you’ve got a plan to act on to bust your stress will ease your mind. Are you happy with less or more? Are you content with what you have? Is your job the right one for you? Does money or health matter? Do not allow your work to force yourself to a changed lifestyle and don't accept a promotion at the expense of health and happiness.
- Understand how you respond to stress next to the causes. Do you overeat when you are stressed out? Do you smoke extra? Once you know the cause you can plan ahead how you can handle the situation. If meeting with your boss triggers your stress points then meet him only after meditating for a few minutes.
- No emails at bed time. Checking work emails at bedtime can keep you from peaceful sleep. The electronic devices, which we admire are things which actually end up working against our peace and happiness. You have to learn to use them judiciously and not let them distract you from living a full life. Limit your office work to office alone and place a check on receiving calls after 7 pm. Switch off your office cell phone when you are at home and relax with your family over dinner.
- Partake in family activities at leisure. Spend some time with your spouse watching TV or play scrabble with your kids and take time to indulge in your favourite hobby or do some exercise after work.
- Take a nap whenever you can. Many working people avoid napping in the afternoon on weekends because of a fear of drowsing on week days. But modern studies show that a short siesta up to 90 minutes can be quite relaxing especially in summer.
- Avoid any situation that may be a stress inducer. There is no shame in running away from something that will harm your peace of mind. If talking to the doctor stresses you, ask friend or a relative to talk to him for you. This way you can dilute your stress.
- Watch comedy movies or stand up comedy acts for a hearty laugh every evening. Hearty laughter and good mental health go hand in hand.
- Studies show that couples who own a pet have lower rates of hypertension and heart problems than those who don’t. So get yourself a dog or a cat, if you don't already have one.
- Let the past bury itself. Learn to let go of old grudges, anger and quarrels and try to be forgiving. Try to avoid anger at all times and learn to channel it constructively.
- Vigorous exercise is found to be an effective way to thwart the harmful effects of stress on body.
- Don't have too many irons in the fire. Multitasking for long can impair your memory and cause poor performance.
- Spend some time every day, tending a flower or herbal garden for relaxation.
- Drink a cup of hot chocolate at bedtime or slip some lavender under your pillow or some other natural remedy for insomnia.