• Blog, June 2018

7 Best Ways to De-stress Before Sleep

Stress can disrupt sleep. Make sure you de-stress before you sleep.

Stress can disrupt sleep. Make sure you de-stress before you sleep.

Everyone experiences varying levels of stress. It’s a natural physical and mental reaction to every day pressures of work and life.

When stressed, your body releases hormones that trigger the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Your heart rate increases, breath quickens and muscles tense. The body does this to protect itself in an emergency to allow you to react much quicker. In the short-term, stress can actually benefit your health. However, if your body’s stress response is constantly firing, it could be putting your health at risk.

Constant release of stress hormones can affect the body’s respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, immune and reproductive systems – affecting overall health and leaving you more susceptible to illnesses.

Chronic stress can cause a variety of problems, including;

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders

Stress can have a significant impact on your sleep quality and in turn, people who experience high levels of stress and get less sleep find it harder to function well during the day. Unfortunately, when we experience chronic or long-term stress this cycle can be hard to break, as the body continues to release stress hormones during the day and at night – just when you want to sleep!

Before you go to bed, it’s important that you try to leave any stress behind. Better quality sleep allows you to be more efficient in your work and communication with others, increases your ability to manage your mood, and gives your body and mind time to rest and rejuvenate.

Here are some ways to reset and relax before you go to sleep.

1. Wind down

Before you go to bed, allocate 30-60 minutes to wind down. Ban yourself from anything overstimulating, such as watching television, using smartphones, tablets and computers or drinking coffee and soft drinks. During this time, your body will start to relax, your heart rate will decrease and your brain will slow down. If you do this every night, your body and mind will establish a sleep routine that will allow you to unwind.

2. Try breathing exercises

It’s been shown that breathing exercises can strongly influence our physiology and thought processes, including mood. Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise – it takes hardly any time, can be done anywhere and is perfect before bed to help you de-stress. Watch the video below to learn how.

3. Take a hot bath

It might sound like a cliché, but it works! A hot bath will help muscles relax and will also raise your core body temperature – helping you to fall asleep faster.

4. Drink tea

Essential oils such as chamomile and lavender can help you to calm and sleep better.

Essential oils such as chamomile and lavender can help you to calm and sleep better.

As far as nighttime rituals go, few are as relaxing as sipping a warm cup of caffeine-free chamomile tea. Dried chamomile flowers were used as far back as Roman times for their calming effects and is a great “natural” ingredient to add to your pantry.

If you don’t like chamomile or tea, lavender essential oil can also help you sleep better. Dab some oil on your temples and wrists or put some oil in a diffuser just before bedtime.

5. Get intimate

There are two things the bedroom is designed for – sleeping and getting playful! If you can’t sleep try engaging in intimate conversation or activity with your partner. Sexual activity can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) and releases prolactin, which can make you feel sleepy. There’s an added bonus for women, sex boosts estrogen levels, enhancing REM sleep and resulting in a deeper slumber.

6. Exercise

Exercise is an amazing stress reliever. Studies show that it’s effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness, concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive function. Physical activity also produces endorphins, which can act as natural painkillers.

7. Go ergonomic

Back problems are one of the most common conditions affecting Australians. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that approximately 16% of the population have a chronic back pain issue. These pains can keep you awake at night, leading to more stress.

Chiropractors, health professionals and ergonomists all recommend that to get better rest, protect your back, and aid recovery – your body needs to be in the zero-stress position. A zero-stress position is where your spine is in a neutral position, where there is no strain or stress on it.

An ergonomic bed is really the only way to achieve the zero-stress position when laying in bed. This is because it’s able to adjust to your unique body type, shape and height. An ergonomic bed has been shown to reduce snoring and sleep apnoea symptoms too!

If you have tried our tips and find that you’re still struggling to sleep, it’s important that you seek medical advice. Speak to your doctor or a sleep specialist if you believe you have an underlying health problem or sleep disorder.

At Beds for Backs, we are so obsessed with your sleep that we have designed a one-of-a-kind, world exclusive, ergonomic bed that ensures you get the best support and rest. View our range and visit your nearest store for more details on this revolution in the sleep industry or try  our Bed Selector to find the best bed for your needs and lifestyle.

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