November 7th marks National Stress Awareness Day, an emotion experienced by everyone at some point in their lives. Stress can affect our sleeping habits in a variety of ways; from an inability to switch off our thoughts; through to muscle tension and a racing heart.
Here are five techniques for dealing with sleeplessness, once you’ve recognised that stress is the cause.
Develop a routine.
One of the main causes of stress can be our inability to switch off, either from work or from other commitments. Having a set evening routine means that we can switch off manually at a set time, a technique that many find helpful for relaxing after a busy day.
Take a warm bath.
Stress can often manifest throughout our muscles in the form of tension, meaning we are often unable to relax our bodies once we climb into bed. A great way to tackle this is to have a hot bath before bed, Epsom salts are a great ingredient to any bath as they soothe and relax tight muscles.
Have some herbal tea.
Soothing, herbal teas like chamomile or passionflower can be a great aid for relaxing in the evening, massively helping with stress. A cup of chamomile can produce a mild sedative effect and can also ease anxiety- whilst passionflower tea has been proven to fight insomnia- not bad for some dried leaves!
Try out some yoga.
Yoga relieves tension in the body and can be an excellent way to control breathing. The holding of postures and strong focus on your diaphragm can be a great way to divert focus away from life’s daily stresses- bringing your mind onto one topic, and one topic alone. Yoga can be great to do in the morning to clear your mind for the day and the in the evening to relax your body before sleep.
Take back control.
A great way to combat stress is to take back control. Set aside a period of time in the day to organise yourself and carry out tasks. Setting aside specific time slots for relaxation and work can be a great way to avoid feelings of guilt, an emotion which can contribute towards stress.