Anxiety can be a psychological burden that at times, can seem impossible to bare. Tremors, heart palpitations and flip-flopping stomachs are some of the persistent side effects that fit the description of a common anxiety attack. However, we all know there is more to reckon with when it comes to being at the mercy of anxiety or an anxiety disorder. Another detrimental side effect that anxiety sufferers deal with is the ongoing struggle to shut off their brain when it's time for bed. Thinking about the next day chores, errands, carpool line and meal preparations can make "shut-eye" even more elusive. According to Psycom, "70% of adults report that they experience daily stressors, so it makes sense that Americans on average are reporting they get less sleep than in previous decades." If you have a propensity for anxious and sleepless nights, you know the vicious and never-ending cycle — often coined "bidirectional". According to the National Sleep Foundation, it's a two-way street. Stress and anxiety can cause sleeping problems or worsen existing ones. A lack of sleep can also cause an anxiety disorder. So how do you stay on top of it all? Without turning to medication, we want to provide you with some tips on how to sleep better when anxiety comes creeping around the corner.
Grab a book and avoid the (blue) light given off by electronic devices. Picking up a book or even journaling can help you unwind from your hectic day. It's been said that reading can put you to sleep so why not give it a shot? As for your phones, tablets, and laptops, give them a new home and stick to the new rule that they're not allowed in your bedroom. Countless studies have shown that the blue light emitted from their screens keep your brainwaves more active which will make sleep more elusive.
Stick to a schedule and rituals. A combination of a steady sleep schedule and bedtime rituals are a great way to combat anxiety. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule leaves little room for the mind to feel confused or unfamiliar. The hard part of this? Keeping this routine up on the weekends. As much as you want to sleep in, training your mind to wake up at the same time every day will help you feel a sense of control — the enemy of anxiety. In addition, adding small rituals to your routine such as taking nightly baths, lighting candles or rubbing crystals over your body is a great way to get your anxious mind ready for an evening of total relaxation. When it's time to hit the hay, having something that's supportive will round out your night of relaxation. Our ultra-comfortable Original Performance Mattress Pad and Experience Mattress Pad can offer a world of difference when it comes to your nightly routine. Many people have said our mattress pads are "like sleeping on a cloud" so make your bed a retreat and unwind.
Catch some rays. The sun is known to cure a lot of things. Vitamin D has been scientifically proven to cure hangovers, bouts of sadness and seasonal depression. According to Live Well with UnityPoint Health, "sunlight exposure impacts how much melatonin your brain produces," which is what tells your brain when it is time to sleep. Consequently, stress can be relieved by "getting out in the fresh air for a little sun exposure." Imagine that. Now you have an excuse to lie in the grass and watch the birds fly by. Let the sun do all the work for you - just make sure to lather on the sunscreen. Tune out the rest of the world. Listening to music throughout the day can help relieve stress. That takes care of those anxiety-ridden episodes you might get. However, when it's time to sleep and you're tossing and turning, music can help calm you. According to Sleep.org by The National Sleep Foundation, "while the reasons why music can help you sleep better aren't clear, it may have to do with the relaxing effect that a good song can have, or the fact that music may trigger feel-good chemicals in the brain." With that being said, queue your favorite songs and let the music take you on a journey (Don't Stop Believin' anyone?) to sleep. Need a playlist? SHEEX has you covered, literally and figuratively.
Cut the extra cup o'caffeine.You might want to think twice about going for that second cup of coffee. According to Harvard Health Publishing, caffeine drinks such as coffee, tea and soft drinks can take up to 8 hours to wear off. If you're subject to panic attacks, you might want to consider avoiding caffeine altogether. If you can't shake the caffeine fix, be cognizant of how many cups or cans of your favorite caffeinated beverages you're having and when you're consuming them.
Focus on giving back.You read that correctly. In a world where self-care is propaganda, it's also good for your mental health to do acts of service for other people. When you focus on being kind, helping out and doing the right thing daily, you can lower your stress levels and find comfort within when it's time to rest. Strike the perfect balance between caring for yourself and caring for others.
Make sure to exercise.Just not too close to bedtime. Exercising will do wonders for your anxiety. If the workload at your job is piling up, or you're going through an anxious change in your life, it could be really hard to relax. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "one vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time." Working out can calm you, which in turn will help how you fall asleep. You will be more at peace and your body will feel a good kind of exhaustion that makes it easy to fall asleep. Added benefits include waking up more energized, and who doesn't want that?
Leave it for tomorrow.Avoid stressful activities such as paying the bills before bedtime. As much as you want to cross a few things off of your to-do list before your head hits our Original Performance Pillows, it's best to leave impending tasks when you have the necessary energy allotted for them. The moments before you drift to sleep are reserved for relaxation, and that means saying "this can wait" to the tasks that beckon your time.
Get right within and relax. The National Sleep Foundation says you should try the tense and relax method if you're feeling anxious around bedtime. Squeeze your toes for several seconds, then relax them. Journey all the way up the body with this method for complete bliss. Finally — and we can't stress this enough — meditate, meditate and meditate. Whether you're using the guided imagery technique or simply slow-breathing yourself to sleep, mediation is a natural form of making peace with your anxiety and those sleepless nights. If you've tried these tips and you're still feeling anxious or losing sleep, always know that you can reach out for help from a counselor or doctor. In the meantime, check out our SHEEX Original Performance collection. These products are guaranteed to give you the best sleep even on those seemingly restless nights. Our temperature-control technology and moisture-wicking fabrics will help you SLEEP COOL. SLEEP DRY. SLEEP COMFORTABLE™. You might even begin to wonder: was my anxiety coming from my old bedding?