Welcome to the second part of our Stress Awareness Month Series on the WeSleep blog. This time, we'd like to tell you about some small immediate pre-bedtime actions you can take for stress reduction and a better night’s sleep. You may have heard of them before, but take it from us, small tweaks can really make a difference.
Preparing your sleep, and leaving your stress behind....
There are some small immediate pre-bedtime actions you can take for stress reduction and a better night’s sleep. You may have heard of them before, but take it from us, small tweaks, done every day, can really make a difference.
- Avoid screen time an hour before bed – put that phone, laptop or tablet down, as the blue light can negatively affect the levels of the sleep hormone melatonin making it harder to nod off. Instead you could read a few pages of that book you meant to get into for ages which also serves as a nice distraction from the outside world. Avoid Kindles if you can, as they also emit light.
- Another nice way to spend this time is the Calm app – you can listen to celebrity voices like Stephen Fry’s reading relaxing sleep stories for you.
- Practice meditation – apps like Headspace , Aura, Inscape or Buddhify offer a variety of options that you then just listen to (no staring at that screen, remember?). You will be guided through body relaxation and deep breathing, something that really relaxes your body and calms your mind.
- Have a hot bath and a cup of herbal tea about 2 hours before bedtime – the warmth of a nice bath helps body relaxation and eases muscle tension resulting in an overall calmer state. It will also slightly lower your body temperature afterwards, facilitating sleep. A non-caffeine cup of tea (like Night Time by Pukka) also helps to calm down the mind and body before going to bed, but make sure to allow 1 or 2 hours so you can empty your bladder before bedtime.
- Moderate exercise – while exercise is a great way to lower stress hormone levels and empty the mind of racing thoughts, it should be done ideally at least 4 to 5 hours before our bedtime. Within 2 hours or less before sleep, it can have the opposite effect and keep you awake. That said a solid wind-down routine as describe above can help counterbalance if you have to work out later than desired.
If you are usually able to cope with stress but are struggling with sleep at this time, we hope the explanations about stress and our better sleep tips above can help you understand what is going in your body and brain, and achieve a better night’s rest.
Stay safe & healthy! And stay tuned for our next blog post in a couple of weeks time, subscribe below and we will let you know each time a new post is ready. Take good care !
- The WeSleep Team –