Too Stressed to Fall Asleep? Try These Routines
If catching that beauty sleep has been difficult even if you’re in your favourite sleepwear, maybe it’s time to do something else other than closing your eyes.

Earlier studies reported that not getting enough sleep might cause you stress. But what if it's the other way around? What happens if you are too stressed to sleep? It's possible. In fact, Huffington Post surveyed that one of the most common causes of stress is the lack of sleep. For some people, lying down in their cosy pyjamas may not be enough to induce a nice slumber. If you're one of those who have been tossing and turning for weeks without the success of sleep, read on.

One potential reason is that you can't quiet your mind. Stress stimulates and rouses the brain, making you go over your worries and frustrations, again and again. At times, it even presents things from different perspectives. Like a nagging friend, it reminds you what went wrong, what will go wrong, and what you need to do to solve everything, pronto. This may later on develop into anxiety.

Fortunately, our bodies are created with specific responses to stress. You have an inner On button, which touches base with the part of you that focuses on solving problems. You also have an Off button, which then replenishes the depleted energy and gives you a sense of peace. In times of danger, our “On” button blinks, warning us to stay alert. It’s worry that keeps us awake. With the technology abuzz, constantly sending us fears of missing out on trends or opportunities, our brain is overworked. As a result, stress becomes a cycle.

No sleep = stress. Stress = no sleep.

Overcoming stress may require a few steps, but once you quiet those fearful inner voices, you’ll get back to a zone of comfort and peace. Here are what you can do.

  1. Take a hot shower. When you're stressed out, your muscles are tense too. You may experience headaches and even body pain. The reason behind this: your blood vessels constrict as more adrenaline is being pumped into your body. It also signals you to prepare to fight or flee, which causes fatigue. What you can do to calm these nerves down is a warm soak in the tub. The heat releases the tension from your nerves and looses the constriction in your blood vessels.
  2. Tea, please. The hot, comforting liquid soothes the body and warms your insides, literally. Not only that; the minerals from its natural components (especially Lavender and Chamomile), includes magnesium, which helps you calm down and preps your body to a restful sleep.
  3. A change of scent helps. Dabbing your favourite pillow with a dab of mint instantly lifts up your spirit, washing away those feelings of wonder and worry. At night, avoid using citrusy scents, as these are known to keep you alive and awake, which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
  4. Practice left-nostril breathing. If you wake up in the middle of your sleep, cover your right nostril and breath normally through the left. Why should it work? This breathing technique triggers the relaxing part of your nervous system. Make sure you're covering the right, and breathe through the left; if you did otherwise, you might stay awake for hours.

 

When conditions become intolerable, ask your doctor about potential sleep aid. Your body may be undergoing certain chemical changes that might be preventing you from getting your necessary Zzzs.

Jonas Diezun

Jonas is Co-Founder at RADICE. He is an avid reader, soccer player and loves hiking in the Munich mountains. He usually writes about productivity, sleep and the science behind both. He studied at in Munich and New York, and worked in Startups. His best advice for sleep? Have a fixed routine and see sleep & recreation as the most important pillar for your health. It determines everything.
Find his favourite items here

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