Stress can really interfere when it comes to maintaining sleep pattern and keep you tensed next day. If you stay awake at night due to stress, you have to cope with it and get back to your normal sleep routine. There are different things to deal with overnight stress.
Knowing the Causes
Stress is actually your body’s response to anything that can be harmful to you. The response to stress may vary from person to person. Some people enter into fight mode when they feel stressed and become agitated and angry, and some become depressed and withdrawn. Some may also turn into ‘freeze’ mode. Despite your response to stress, you may want to stay awake at night. For instance, failure in the test may look threatening to your ambitions and you may enter into ‘combat’ mode. Hence, you may feel more stressed so you study hard and stay awake late at night. Stress can be both harmful and beneficial.
If stress keeps you awake all night, you have to figure out the cause of stress. You need to find out the cause and do everything to deal with symptoms. Suppose the pressure of upcoming exams keeps you stressed, you may start studying around a month in advance instead of studying just before the exam. If you are experiencing something which is out of control like illness, you can talk about the issue to the doctor or friend to soothe your stress.
Improve Sleeping Habits
You have to make a schedule to sleep and wake up. Be sure to stick with regular sleep pattern to improve your sleep even though you are stressed. Suppose you have to wake up by 6:30am every morning on weekdays, you have to sleep by 10:30pm anyhow. Be sure to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours. The bedtime and waking time should be the same even on holidays and weekends to keep your mind and body stick to the routine.
Make a Sleep Ritual
Every night, you have to do the same thing before sleep. Do the same things before sleep to teach your body and brain when to calm down. You may do the basic rituals like brushing teeth, washing face and wearing night dress. You may also perform any relaxing activity as your sleep routine. For example, reading a book, taking a bath, listen to some music or practicing yoga. Don’t use laptops, tablets or smartphone and avoid watching TV when it comes to sleep. Gadgets can keep you stressed and adversely affect your sleep. These devices emit the light and delay the release of a hormone, melatonin which promotes better sleep.
Keep Your Bedroom Environment Pleasant
A pleasant environment is really very important in your bedroom for enjoying good night’s sleep. If your bedroom is dirty, cluttered or unpleasant, it may keep you stressed and you may find it hard to sleep at night. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, clean and at cozy temperature. Be sure to have comfortable and clean pillows, mattress, bed sheets and comforters. Use a pleasant oil diffuser or room spray to make it smell great.
Reduce Disturbing Sounds
Make sure that your bedroom is quiet. Noise coming from your device or from outside can disrupt your good night’s sleep and you may feel a lot stressed. Do anything possible to reduce noise in your bedroom from outside. To avoid disturbance, keep your smartphone in silent mode when you sleep.
Exercise & Diet
Have Dinner 2-3 Hours before Sleep
If you lie down with full stomach, you may stay awake for several hours. You also have to avoid rich, spicy or heavy dinner before sleep as they are harder to digest and you may not be able to fall asleep at night. If you are starving before sleep, be sure to take a light snack, like a small bowl of cereal with low sugar and low-fat milk, banana or half piece of a sandwich.
Eat Something which Improves Sleep
Some foods may disrupt your sleep when some may promote sleep. If you can’t sleep because of stress, you may relax by eating foods that promote sleep. What you eat in the evening or for dinner can influence the quality of sleep. Prefer lean protein over protein from fat. Lean proteins are rich in tryptophan, like turkey, chicken, and fish that can boost levels of serotonin and improve your sleep. Fatty protein like cheese, sausage, and fried meats are difficult to digest and you may awake at night.
Prefer whole grains over processed grains. Eat whole wheat bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta for good sleep. Avoid ‘white’ foods like white pasta, white rice, white bread and various carbohydrates because they can cut down serotonin levels in your body and affect sleep.
Drink Herbal Tea before Sleep
You may take a hot cup of tea to relax your mind and body and promote sleep. You can make yourself a cup of hot herbal tea. Be sure to choose caffeine-free tea by checking the label. To calm down at evening, chamomile tea is the best option. If you are allergic to ragweed or daisy or you are pregnant, don’t drink chamomile tea.
Control Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine can stay in the body around 8 to 14 hours after drinking and it stimulates your body. If you have coffee at night, you may stay awake all night. To sleep better, you have to avoid caffeinated drinks around 8 hours before sleep. Some of the common examples are black tea, coffee, hot cocoa and cola that have caffeine. Be sure to see the label in evening and afternoon.
Regular exercise is a great stress-buster. It has also been known to promote sleeping habits. If you don’t exercise, be sure to do moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes per day to promote sleep and reduce stress. Take a quick walk before sleep or do a workout every morning. Be sure to exercise your body around few hours before sleep or it may keep you up all night.