Feeling unmotivated and mentally 'sluggish'? Do anxious thoughts rule your mind and keep you up at night? You're not alone. Some days are tough.
If you’re experiencing stress in your life, chances are you’re also struggling to fall or stay asleep at night. The bottom line: anxiety and sleep are intimately connected. The less sleep you get, the more anxious you feel. The more anxious you feel, the less sleep you get. It’s a vicious cycle many sufferers find hard to break.
Let’s be clear, it’s not uncommon for everyday people to wake up in the middle of the night in a panic about all the things sitting on their to-do list (we’ve all been there). But, anxiety disorders - the excessive and chronic reactions to stress that stick around for extended periods of time - are a serious health concern.
SLEEP FACT! Poor sleep impacts our cognitive function and mental endurance, causing us to underperform in all aspects of our lives.
It’s not all doom and gloom. While a good night’s sleep may have been pushed down your list of priorities, it might just be the missing piece to boosting your mental power, and regaining control of your happiness (and life) once and for all! Here are a few simple tricks you can try to switch off your brain when it’s time to catch some zzz’s:
Mindfulness is the practise of being fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgement. When you’re preparing for sleep, try focusing on your breath and physical sensations - notice the feeling of the sheet, the pillow, the doona. This helps us become calmer, clearer and more connected to ourselves by grounding our thoughts and putting our mind at ease.
Exercise is one of our favourite natural sleep aids and a no brainer when it comes to inducing deep, restorative sleep. Exercise releases mood-enhancing endorphins that can combat the stress you may feel, providing you with a distraction and an outlet to release your frustrations. It can also help to stabilise your mood and decompress the mind. Win, win!
Create Your Own Sleep Sanctuary
You may not realise it, but your bedroom environment has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep. To boost your snooze, try sleeping in a room that is decluttered, dark and cosy to allow for optimum comfort while you catch those dreamy zzz’s.
Stick to a Routine
If you find yourself jumping between different sleep and wake times, you could be throwing off your circadian rhythm. When our internal body clock is out of whack, we can feel sluggish, moody and irritable and unable to process our emotions properly. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by setting a consistent bedtime ritual and regular sleep/wake cycle so that your body can regulate naturally.
It’s time to unlock your best self through sleep! Prioritising a healthy sleep routine will make you feel happier, brighter and more in control of every aspect of your life helping to relieve the effects of anxiety and a lack of alertness.