It’s the question of the century: How can I get a good night of sleep when stressed out by the kids, the job or simply the daily news? Our friends at Gravity Blankets reached out to Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, for some great suggestions.
Sleep and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can keep you or loved ones from getting a good night of sleep. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether sleeping is difficult because of anxious feelings OR whether feeling of anxiety are the result of not being able to sleep. The answer may be both. Stress and anxiety can cause sleeping problems, or worsen existing ones. Too little sleep affects mood and can contribute to irritability and sometimes depression. Vital brain functions occur during different stages of sleep that leave you feeling rested and energized and that help you learn and build memories.
Try Dr. Borenstein’s suggestions to help wind down both the body and mind.
A weighted blanket may help, too!
Good Night Sleep Tips
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This simple, routine practice may help you more consistently get a good night of sleep.
- Be mindful. Shortly before bedtime, try a relaxation strategy that incorporates mindfulness, deep breathing or meditation, all of which boost sleep time and quality.
- Turn screens off early. The blue light emitted by digital devices — including TVs, phones, laptops, and tablets — can throw off your body’s internal clock, so avoid them before bedtime. Finding a tech-free way to wind down can help soothe stress.
- Take a hot bath or shower to relax. Going from warm water into a cooler bedroom will cause your body temperature to drop, naturally making you feel sleepy.
- Count sheep. It might sound a little silly, but it works. The reason is that when you keep your brain focused on one thing, it helps you power down.
Ready to try a weighted blanket to help get restful sleep?
CHOOSE THE RIGHT-SIZE WEIGHTED BLANKET
Find a snug size that’s around 10 percent of the user’s body weight.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, large meals, foods that induce heartburn and drinking a lot of fluids for several hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great stress reliever and has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, particularly for people with insomnia. But make sure your more intense workouts aren’t too close to bedtime, ideally at least three hours before you turn in.
- Try worrying earlier in the day. When your mind is racing with concerns while you’re trying to fall asleep, that can make it nearly impossible to drift off. Plan for 15 minutes during the day to process these thoughts. Writing a to-do list or thinking about solutions can be a healthy way to deal with stress and prevent it from interfering with sleep later.
- Have an herbal tea. Chamomile and other herbal teas can help relax and soothe the body, which can make it easier to fall asleep. Try pairing it with a good book and making it a mini-routine to end your night.
- If you are having trouble falling asleep after 20 minutes of turning off the lights (or if you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep in 20 minutes), get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy – like drinking a cup of tea or reading a good book.
Weighted blankets, such as Gravity Blankets, have shown positive results for people struggling with anxiety, chronic pain and sleep disorders. They can calm a restless body, reduce feelings of anxiety and help you get a good night of sleep.