Sleep is that time in your life where you go into a short-term coma and escape the horrors of life. It keeps you at the top of your game and gives you time to sort through the challenges of the day. However, it’s delicate and the smallest thing can ruin your sleep.
Of course there’s the little things like your cat waking you up in the middle of the night. But one of the worst things that can keep you up is stress and worry. Stress is such a significant thing it may not be possible to block it out. But here’s one known method of dealing with stress and anxiety before sleeping.
ACCEPTANCE and COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT)
ACT is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies. It has been proven by many studies to help those who struggle with sleep.
Using ACT, you need to:
- Accept the things you cannot change;
- Change the things you can;
- Understand the difference; and
- Stop fighting your anxieties, see them for what they are. Describe to yourself what they are and then visualise them in a space in your head.
You need to learn you can’t control the thoughts that pop up in your head, but you can control how you choose to respond to them.
SMART WORKOUT SCHEDULES
Exercise is a great way to promote good sleep. If you like vigorous exercise, though, make sure you don’t do it too close to bedtime. Exercising gets endorphins flowing and causes bursts of energy, which you don’t want when it’s time to get some shut-eye. Do the hardcore workout early in the day, and if you want to try something more relaxing before bed, mind-body exercises (tai-chi, yoga, Pilates) can be a great way to wind down from the day.
CREATE A ROUTINE
If you go to bed and wake up at different times every day, it can be difficult to get into a routine. You may also find that a ritual procedure to prepare for bed eases your mind so you are ready as your head hits the pillow. Keep a schedule so you build a proper circadian rhythm – a body clock – that reflects the sleep you want to get.
WATCH THE PILLS
If you’re feeling a bit ill and need something to nip it in the bud then avoid any pills that have pseudoephedrine in it. It’s normally found in cold and flu medications. It’ll keep you awake. Instead opt for nighttime remedies that contain antihistamines. Those will put you out quick smart.
3 Apps to help you relax
A super-simple, super-light productivity music web app that comes with four channels: Electronic, Downtempo, Rain, and Classical.
This isn’t quite the same as music, but it’s a 60-second time out for you to literally write your stressful thought into a star and then watch it float away as some pseudo-Comic Sans tells you that the universe is massive and your problem is tiny and dumb.
Breathe is an Apple app that sends you reminders throughout the day to just chill out a little. This one is ideal for people with high-stress jobs who don’t know when to relax themselves. You can even edit the messages to say whatever you personally need to calm down a bit.