Alaska Sleep Education Center

Just Relax and Get Better Sleep Tonight

Posted by Paisley Hansen on May 31, 2020 10:59:00 AM

Too much work tired sleepy young woman sitting at her desk with books in front of laptop computer isolated grey wall office background. Busy schedule in college, workplace, sleep deprivation concept

Being tired is something that many of us find ourselves dealing with, and sleep is a necessity that many of us just don’t get enough of. With far too many things to do, we may find ourselves constantly tempted to reduce the amount of rest we can or so stressed that our quality of sleep is impacted.

Through all of this, we can find ourselves with our fatigue fueling our stress, so we must address it head-on. Consider these strategies to promote relaxation and in turn, promote better rest.

Exercise

Exercise is a key part of getting a good night’s rest. Whether you prefer running, practice yoga or swimming, it is important to get regular physical exercise during the daytime to allow for better rest. These can also be great ways for your body to unwind and relax at the end of a long day.

If you haven’t considered exercise-related investments before or you have financial concerns like the burden of pool cost, keep in mind that this is a great investment in your relaxation and sleep.

Food Intake

Many of us turn to food as a relaxation resource. Whether our guilty pleasures are sugar induced or carb-loaded, it is important to give ample time between evening snacks and bedtime. If you drink a glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day or any type of alcohol, it is important to note that alcohol should be avoided close to bedtime.

Due to its influence on your body, alcohol can deter you from getting those restful slumbers that you need to promote well-being. While these yummy treats can trigger relief, if poorly timed, they can interrupt our sleep schedule.

Meditation or Mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation practices can help train our brains to deal with stress in healthy ways. By incorporating these strategies into our daily lives, we can reap incredible rewards and develop skills to take on the stressors of our everyday lives.

Through activities that focus on breathing and awareness of the self and stressors, you can increase your ability to navigate the world with a sense of balance and calmness.

Cuddling With Pets

Pets can offer amazing comfort during times of stress. Not only does their love and affection provide us with a cuddle buddy, but this also can release positive feelings and endorphins. While relaxing with a pet may be a great way to unwind, be mindful of how much of the bed they are taking up. If your pet is a bed hog, consider establishing a space for them to sleep that does not interfere with your rest.

Aromatherapy

Our senses have a great ability to aid us in our search for relaxation. Our sense of smell can be triggered to promote feelings of relief through aromatherapy. Whether you prefer candles, essential oil diffusers or infused bath products, aromatherapy can be a very effective form of relaxation. Consider using lavender to promote a sense of calm at the end of your day, promoting a restful state for when you go to sleep.

Sound Reduction and White Noise

Woman with headphones listening to music - isolated over a white background-1Our sense of smell is not the only sense that can offer us relief during times of stress. Sounds can play a key role in allowing you to relax before bed and as you fall asleep. For many people, the sounds of nature can be soothing and a connection to nature can promote serenity. There are many apps and videos available that play soothing sounds to help lull you into restful slumbers and some can even turn themselves off once you’ve slipped into sleep.

Cup of Tea

A warm cup of soothing tea can serve as a great soothing tool and be exactly the thing to reduce the stress of a busy and hectic day. While caffeinated teas can interfere with sleep and make you feel wound up before bed, a cup of tea that lacks caffeine and offers a soothing taste like chamomile or bedtime tea can offer a comforting beverage right before bed. Keep in mind, don’t drink too much or you may find yourself getting woken up to use the restroom in the middle of the night which certainly would not help you sleep.

Temperature

If you have ever spent time in a room or space that was too hot, you likely know the agitation and discomfort of ill-tempered rooms. This can also come into play when you try to relax at the end of the day. If your temperature is set to a level that gets you squirming, you are likely to not achieve the quality of sleep that will allow you to restore your body and mind. Consider changing your temperature to a cool, but not too cold level that allows you to rest without getting overheated or too chilly. With smart thermostats, you can create a routine that your thermostat will follow to promote the most restful sleep.

Bedding

Your bedding selection may not feel like the most obvious choice for relaxation, but it surely has an effect on your sleep. Selecting the right type of bedding to slip into at the end of the day can promote a beautiful night’s rest and allow you to relax with perfectly tempered bedding. If you have never considered a weighted blanket before, this is a heavier duvet or comforter that offers a sense of great relief to many users and can be another tool to help you de-stress after the day’s activities.

Technology

Technology has a multifaceted impact on sleep. While the use of devices should be avoided before bed due to the effect that blue light can have on your body’s ability to sleep, some apps can help you relax and fall asleep. Try turning on the night capabilities if your phone has these to reduce blue light and try some soothing sounds, mindfulness practices or bedtime stories for adults, you can find a way to utilize technology that can help and not hinder your relaxation and sleep.

Relaxation Exercises

It is probably not surprising that integrating relaxation exercises can help you fall and stay asleep. These activities promote your ability to let go of the day’s stressors and get to a more balanced state so that you can fully enjoy restful slumber.

Sleep is a pivotal component of our body’s needs. With rest, we can refuel and recharge, allowing us to take on the stressors of our lives. Without it, we can trigger more tension and lose our ability to navigate challenging circumstances making sleep even farther from our reach. It is important to understand that while this cycle sounds infuriating, we can stop it by incorporating intentional, relaxing activities and adjustments which will lead us to sleepy snoozing in no time.

Now Let's Practice What We Preach

All of these relaxation ideas are beneficial to both metal and physical health and are effective ways to treat insomnia. They help reduce body stress, anxiety, and boosts the nervous system which are all important for better sleep.

However, when relaxation techniques don't cure your sleep issues, you need to call Alaska's premiere diagnostic sleep lab Alaska Sleep Clinic and speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists. Improve your sleep AND your life!

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, insomnia, relax, getting better sleep, managing stress

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