When we experience a period of stress, one of the functions that is affected is rest and the ability to sleep well, affecting and further aggravating our condition.
Sleep is essential for the proper functioning and rest of our body and brain, and for this reason we must give it the importance of being able to do it correctly. Various strategies have been tried which can be useful for getting ready and going to bed, to fall asleep more easily and at the same time also benefit from the reduction of the feeling of stress.
One of the most important factors is to establish a good routine not only at night, which helps us relax, but also during the day, setting a time to exercise or an appropriate duration as the case may be. where we would like to take a nap. However, if you find that your discomfort persists, that you cannot sleep and that you feel increasingly tired, go to the doctor and seek professional help.
In this article, you will learn the importance of getting enough sleep and rest and What strategies can be used to balance sleep when you’re under stress and anxiety?.
Why is it important to sleep well?
Sleep is a basic need for our body and brain to rest and perform other functions. For example, the period of sleep, the brain consolidates the information acquired during the day in order to improve learning, being therefore essential at the first ages of development. Another event that occurs during sleep is the decrease in brain activity allowing this organ to rest.
Although it may seem like a process to do without, one realizes its complexity when problems arise in order to reconcile it. It is common when we are more anxious and anxious to have more trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or being able to go back to sleep if we wake up during the night. Stress keeps us active and prevents us from reaching a state of drowsiness.
We must consider how long this condition lasts, because if we find that it persists for more than a month and occurs almost every day, we may have a sleep disorder such as insomnia, it is better in this case to consult a professional to guide us. in recovery.
In order to be able to improve your sleep in times of greater stress, we will see below some tips that could be useful to you.
Strategies for sleeping in phases of anxiety and stress
As in other areas of our lives, having a good healthy sleepy habit is essential for this process to take place properly. To this end, certain strategies have been tested which have been shown to be beneficial in combating insomnia during times of stress. Several of these techniques are used in therapy to treat sleep disordersthat way we know they will be effective.
Each individual has different characteristics, so some tips may work better than others, try them out and select the ones that work best for you.
1. Establish a proper routine
The moment before we start sleeping is crucial so that our body knows that bedtime is approaching and we can start to relax.. So establish a routine that will help calm you down and prepare you for rest: establish a sleep schedule, i.e. what time you will go to bed and when you will wake up, do activities that tell your body that you’re ready to sleep, such as brushing your teeth, turning on the nightlight, turning off electronics, or reading a book.
These previous actions should not be stimulating because in this way we would send contradictory signals to our brain and it would remain activated.
2. Do not check the cell phone before sleeping
Nowadays, it is very common to watch the mobile phone from the bed even with the light off. This action is detrimental to the conciliation of sleep, since our brain is activated, it thinks it’s still daylight, making it difficult to begin the early stages of sleep. As a bedtime routine, turn off your cell phone or put it on quiet and out of reach so you won’t be tempted to pick it up.
3. Prepare a suitable bedroom for sleeping
The environment that surrounds us when we sleep, the atmosphere of our bedroom, must be adequate to promote the reconciliation of sleep. Make sure the temperature is right, neither cold nor too hot, try to keep the room as dark as possible and try not to make noise or keep it to a minimum.
It is also important that you are comfortable in bed, that is, that your mattress and cushion are the right ones so that your body posture is correct.
4. Relax your mind
In stressful situations, it is common for constant worries and thoughts to arise that prevent us from disconnecting and continue to increase our anxiety. It can be helpful to follow routines that help stabilize your mind while relaxing, such as writing, reading, or even watching a little TV while avoiding stressful content. Yes Yes It is important that they are not difficult and do not require a lot of physical or intellectual effort.
These activities help cut our thoughts and focus on something other than our worries, thus trying to reconcile sleep. In the same way, writing also allows us to order our thoughts and therefore reduce stress.
5. Don’t stay in bed if you’re not sleeping
We’ve all had the experience at one time or another that we start wandering around in our beds unable to sleep, and it gets harder and harder to achieve our goal. If after 15 or 20 minutes you are not sleeping, it is recommended that you get up and go to another room to relax.For example, in the living room, where you can lie on the sofa, avoid turning on the TV or watching your cell phone, just lie down, when you notice that you are starting to sleep, go back to your bed to start to sleep.
6. Avoid doing activities other than sleeping in bed
It is essential that you associate the bed with sleep and not with other activities you do while you are awake, such as studying or watching a movie. In this way we seek to perceive the bed as a relaxing stimulus that only gives us rest when we lie down on it.
7. Perform relaxation exercises
Relaxation techniques can help reduce your anxiety. Lie on your back on the bed and begin to breathe slowly with slow, deep inhales and exhales. relax your body and focus on different parts of it; notice how they relax and decrease tension. By focusing your attention on your body, on how it relaxes, you also stop thinking about worries.
8. Light dinner
If we eat a long time before going to bed, our body needs more time to digest all the food and therefore it will remain active.. It’s also likely that when we go to bed we feel very heavy and full, which makes it harder to relax and sleep. Try to eat a light dinner, not a lot and foods that are low in fat or difficult to digest, also try not to do this right before going to bed; this will avoid bad digestion.
Likewise, do not consume foods or stimulating drinks such as coffee, cola, tea… That is, caffeinated drinks that activate our body causing the opposite sensation that we are looking for. This can help you get a hot drink like milk or herbal tea, as it will help you relax.
Although it is not recommended to do high intensity sports shortly before going to bed as it generates endorphins which can activate the body, exercising during the day and doing it regularly, in routine, it helps to sleep more easily, since we help to make our body more tired. It has also been proven that Exercise is linked to melatonina hormone related to sleep.
In addition, playing sports also directly helps to reduce stress and disconnect from our worries. If you’re not used to exercising, you can start with lower intensity practices like yoga or a little walk every day, about 30 minutes.
10. Don’t take very long naps
Whether or not to nap is up to each person, as not all of us feel equally good or help each other be more productive. But if we decide to sleep a little in the afternoon, this period of rest cannot be prolonged much, we consider that the recommended time should not exceed 30 minutes, this duration already allows us to rest and is sufficient not to not interfere with nighttime sleep.
Too Avoid taking a nap just before going to bedthat is to say, we will try to do it at the beginning of the afternoon so that the interval between it and the night is as long as possible.