7 Ways To De-Stress Before Bed
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Stress can be a common cause of insomnia. When we’re stressed, we release a hormone called cortisol that keeps our minds alert. This can prevent us from being able to produce sleep hormones.
By learning to de-stress before going to bed, you can help to flush out this cortisol and get to sleep more easily. Below are just a few different ways to de-stress in the evening.
Take a hot bath
Taking a hot bath can be a great way to beat stress. Hot water helps to relax muscles and reduce blood pressure. It can also flush out cortisol by pumping the body with feel-good endorphins. Try having a bath in the evening and see how it improves your sleep quality.
Various supplements can be consumed that can help to relieve stress and anxiety, making us more calm and ready for sleep. CBD oil is one example that has been found to relieve anxiety. Chamomile tea and green tea are also known for their relaxing qualities due to containing soothing chemicals. It could also be worth trying magnesium supplements, which can reduce stress and promote sleep hormones.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can boost stress levels. As a result, it’s best to avoid caffeine before bed. Coffee is the most obvious example of this. Soft drinks like Coca-cola also contain a lot of caffeine and sugar and so are best avoided. You should also avoid chocolate right before bed (especially dark chocolate, which contains a lot of caffeine).
Using calming scents
Certain scents can have a calming effect which can lead to reduced stress levels. A few examples include lavender, jasmine, and rosemary. You may be able to use candles or oil diffusers to create these scents. Alternatively, you could try using scented bath products. You could even try washing your bedsheets in scented detergent or using a pillow spray to help reduce stress while lying in bed.
Avoid bright screens
Watching videos on your phone or reading an e-book right before bed may not be the best relaxing activity. Blue light from bright screens can trick our brains into thinking that it’s still daytime, delaying the production of sleep hormones. Many devices have features that reduce blue light after certain periods, which may allow you to use them without affecting your ability to sleep. However, you may find that it’s better to simply avoid all screens an hour before bed – reading a physical book or listening to music could be more relaxing.
Avoid exercising late
Exercise can be an effective stress-buster, however, exercise tends to leave us energized for some time after. You may find that by exercising late at night, you make yourself more alert. As a result, you should try to avoid taking part in physical activity just before bedtime.
Keep a journal by your bed
Do you often find yourself worrying about things while lying in bed? Do you suddenly have the desperate need to plan things? Keeping a journal by your bed could allow you to jot down your concerns and ideas. Recording these thoughts on paper may help you to let go of them so that you can more easily get to sleep without continuously mulling them over.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.