Good sleep hygiene is key. The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep but typically gets much less. Lack of sleep can increase stress which can cause sleepless nights which ultimately leads to more stress. Take these tips from our Expert Dr. Zhu, into consideration when trying to wake up rested and ready to take on the day.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule – Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to encourage your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
- Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle – Increase light exposure during the day and turn off the electronics at night to help your body’s production of melatonin. The strong lights from your electronic devices frequently alter your circadian rhythm because your brain associates this light wavelength as daytime sunlight.
- Create a peaceful bedtime routine – Make your bedroom more sleep friendly by keeping noise down and the temperature cool. A peaceful space will help you feel more relaxed.
- Eat right and exercise – Be careful to avoid big meals, heavy amounts of alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime as they can disrupt your natural sleep rhythms. 20 to 30 minutes of daily activity can also help you achieve deep sleep.
Lessen the Stressin’
When it comes to stress, it is important to remember that it is a natural reaction stemming from our caveman days. While we aren’t running from tigers these days the same fight or flight response remains when you are faced with stressful situations. When we experience these stressors consistently and we develop a chronic stress response, it begins to become maladaptive and wears on our body. Chronic stress can cause hypertension, weight gain, headaches, as well as neck and back pain. Our Expert Dr. Zhu gave us a few stress fighting tips to pass along.
- Take a break – When you being to feel stressed, step away from whatever you're doing, take 3 deep breaths, and clear your mind.
- Look at the big picture – Allow yourself to look at the bigger picture and put things into perspective.
- Meditate – Take 10 minutes per day to just sit in silence and meditate. Focus on your breathing and relaxation. You will feel significantly less stress afterwards.
- Pat yourself on the back – A common source of stress comes from not feeling adequate or able to handle all the stressors that come your way. Work on positive self-affirmations, telling yourself that you can deal with any situation rather than telling yourself you can't.
If you have additional questions about improving your sleep patterns or improving stress reach out to one of our Experts at JustAnswer.