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7 Ways to Sleep Better During Stressful Times

Beat sleep deprivation with these tips

Newsweek AMPLIFY 7 Ways to Sleep Better

It's important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.

Americans are feeling the mental toll of these trying times.

The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving a significant chunk of the population sick and suffering from joblessness and isolation. In a survey conducted in May, 55 percent of people reported being more stressed now compared to January. Since then, the country has experienced a wave of mass protests calling for an end for racial discrimination and police brutality.

One of the many possible effects of this incredible amount of stress and anxiety is sleeplessness. With overwhelming concerns on health, finances, and other issues, a lot of people end up tossing and turning all night long. The change in your daily routine and schedule can also cause struggles in sleeping.

Sleep deprivation only adds to the mounting distress, though. A lack of sleep not only makes you physically and mentally sluggish, but it also leads to health issues, including a weakened immune system. With the pandemic, a healthy immune system is more important than ever!

From bedtime habits to sleep aids, here are seven things you can do to soothe your mind and help you get a full night's sleep the next time you crawl into bed.

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Cycle

Begin a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Following a regular sleep schedule allows the body to fall in sync with its natural circadian rhythm or sleep/wake cycle so that it eventually sets an internal alarm clock that triggers sleep and waking in your brain. A set schedule can also help you grasp a sense of normalcy in an abnormal situation.

Keep in mind that your sleep/wake cycle should be as consistent as possible—even on weekends. Sleeping in may be satisfying at the moment, but it could throw your natural rhythm out of whack. If you need to catch up on sleep, take daytime naps instead. However, limit napping to about 15 minutes to avoid difficulties sleeping at night.

Control Light

Newsweek AMPLIFY 7 Ways to Sleep Better

The body's circadian rhythm is closely tied to the sunrise and sunset, releasing more melatonin when it's dark at nighttime to induce sleep. In contrast, the body produces less of this hormone in the morning when it's bright and the sun is up.

While melatonin supplements can aid the circadian rhythm, you can also help regulate sleep by using light-related cues. Natural light or bright light keeps you in sync with your circadian rhythm, so find time to enjoy sunshine in the morning by taking a walk or quick work breaks outdoors. At night, power down all your screens about an hour before bedtime as it exposes you to blue light that's been found to be particularly disruptive to sleep. Keep the bedroom dark and cozy when it's time for shuteye.

Limit News Consumption Before Bed

Many people tend to browse online to wind down before falling asleep, but not only does this expose you to blue light and disrupt your circadian rhythm, but it could also keep feeding your anxiety. Give yourself a break from upsetting news to prevent it from taking too big of a toll on your mental well-being and affecting your sleep.

Instead, schedule news consumption earlier in the day and avoid it as you wind down at night, whether it's on news websites or social media.

Meditate

Meditation is a deep relaxation technique that's been known to have many physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Sleep is challenging when the brain is abuzz with work, news, entertainment, and other preoccupations, and meditating allows you to breathe, slow down, and let go of all of the anxieties you've accumulated throughout the day. The practice helps with falling asleep, as well as improving sleep quality and reducing overall stress and anxiety.

Other relaxing activities that help clear the mind in the evening include deep breathing, reading a book, and listening to relaxing music.

Take a Hot Bath Before Bed

Newsweek AMPLIFY 7 Ways to Sleep Better

Another relaxing activity that's been found to help people doze off and achieve better sleep is taking a warm bath or shower about an hour or two before bed. The hot water increases your core temperature, then lowers it as you settle in to sleep and signal melatonin production. As a plus, taking a bath before bed is also a good hygienic practice in the age of the coronavirus!

If you don't like taking baths at night, a good alternative is bathing or soaking the feet in warm water.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

While there are people who can eat and drink anything before bed without adverse effects, it's best to be more careful about consumption if you are experiencing sleep deprivation. Skip huge, overly rich meals at night as well as eating too late in the evening. Caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided before going to bed as these could hamper your sleep cycle.

Exercise is also extremely beneficial, helping you with both sleep and stress issues. However, it's important to schedule workouts properly. For some, physical exertion too close to bedtime provides too much stimulation and makes it more difficult to catch a wink.

Sleep Aids

Sometimes, a little help is necessary and there are a variety of sleep aids and supplements that can offer some relief when you're having trouble with dozing off. Cannabinoid CBD has been found to help the sleep cycle, as well as reduce anxiety and pain, which are two things that often prevent people from achieving a full night's rest.

A high-quality sleep aid can do wonders for your nighttime woes. Health and wellness brand Smilyn Wellness offers an impressive range of lab-tested CBD products that are fun, tasty, and most importantly, effective in addressing a variety of concerns. Individuals with sleep deprivation problems can choose from tinctures, softgels, and gummies.

Need a little bit of a boost to snooze? Check out Smilyn Wellness to find effective all-natural CBD sleep aids as well as products for stress and anxiety, pain, skin care, and even pet care.

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