Last Updated on Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:10 Written by HeartMath Thursday, 09 February 2012 11:41
Put stress in check. One of the first symptoms of stress overload is disrupted sleep. Stressful feelings throw our inner rhythms out of sync and have a negative carryover effect on hormonal and nervous systems – making it difficult to sleep. You can try other sleep tips, but if managing stress isn’t a priority, other strategies have less chance of helping you get the quality sleep you need.
Create emotional ease on demand. Techniques designed to release emotional stress during the day can have a positive carryover affect that benefits sleep. With practice you can create an inner ease as you need it.
Try this simple technique. Quick Coherence® can help reset your inner rhythms. Three easy steps can improve your skill at releasing stress as you move through your day. Also, try it before bedtime to bring your mind and body into balance. Try it out here.
Measure your inner rhythms. There are devices that can help individuals reset their inner rhythms and provide immediate feedback that use lights and audio cues to help you unwind and rebalance. Some devices also offer simple practices such as the Quick Coherence technique. The combination guides you into a balanced state for a restful night.
Light exercise in the evening can help release tension without over stimulating the body. Try simple yoga postures or gentle stretching exercises to help you unwind. As little as ten minutes can be beneficial and help promote sleep.
Save the caffeine for morning. Believe it or not, caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten hours after drinking it. Consider eliminating caffeine after lunch.
Avoid large meals at night. Try having your dinner earlier in the evening and avoid heavy, rich foods within two to three hours of bed as they use a lot of energy to digest.
Try an herbal nightcap. Instead of alcohol before bed try some chamomile tea, which has relaxing and soothing properties. Alcohol can reduce sleep quality and possibly even contribute to waking you up later in the night.
Keep a regular sleep schedule. This is an important strategy for good sleep hygiene. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Try to maintain your usual sleep time and wake–time even on weekends so you build consistency into your routine.
Recharge with a nap. Limit naps to 20-30 minutes and try and get them in in the earlier part of the afternoon so you don’t throw off your sleep routine.
Carve out some wind down time. At an hour or two before bed stop stimulating activities such as being on the computer or watching TV. Instead, opt for quieter things such as reading, knitting, taking a bath or listening to soothing music.
Soothing sounds help prepare you for quiet. If you live in a noisy area with sirens, barking dogs, city traffic, etc., camouflage the noise with a fan or perhaps a CD of nature sounds. You might also try a sound machine with white noise. Good-old-fashion earplugs can also be helpful.
Check your thermostat. The ideal sleeping temperature for your bedroom should be around 65° F. A room that is too warm or too cold can affect your quality of sleep. Also make sure you have good air flow and ventilation. A fan on low can keep the air gently moving, which prevents the room from getting stuffy.