Sleeping through Stress & Anxiety @homelifeabroad.com #sleep #anxiety #stress

I haven’t had a good and deep sleep in weeks now because of the situation in the region. No need to go into details, but they are stressful nights and falling asleep is more difficult than usual. As it is, I’ve always had problems falling asleep because of my anxiety and stress. Through the years, I’ve learned to try to improve the situation with a few tips and strategies.

Here is how I manage to fall asleep even through the anxiety and stress:

1) Soothing Sounds: Sleep & Relax App

This is a gem I found online that has been helping me relax into deep slumber. It’s sleep sounds are so incredibly soothing and they create the kind of relaxing atmosphere that you find in a spa (I love those… I always fall asleep mid-massage).  They have a really cool library also with a variety of sounds. Personally, I’m soothed by the sounds of nature and the trees rustling – maybe it’s from growing up by the Amazon. 🙂 Just… so… relaxing.

soothingappLOVE this app.

2) Relaxation techniques

Our mind runs when we’re nervous and stressed. To relax, adopt the teachings of yoga – they really do help you focus on calming yourself.  I’m no yoga expert, but I’ve always liked a few positions that just allow me to re-focus my energies and feel better. The best one is called the “child’s pose” or balasana. It helps relieve tension in the body and calm the mind at the same time. Fold yourself over your legs with the arms extended and rest your forehand on the ground. It’s amazing.

800px-Hatha_yoga_child_poseNeed to relax? Try this

3) Sleep mask and if necessary, ear plugs

It can be tough to fall asleep when there are lights and sounds all around you. The best thing you can do is block it all off. If possible, shut your curtains and your windows, turn off any lights that are bothering you and then enjoy the peace and quiet. I recommend a sleeping mask as well – it has does wonders for me especially in the morning. The sun rays can sometimes shine straight through the window and smack in my eyes. Quite the morning wake-up! With the eye mask, it’s no longer a problem.

4) Deep breathing and keeping anxiety away

I go to sleep anxious and I wake up anxious. It’s part of the reason why I just can’t sleep well. So I try to lie perfectly still, close my eyes, and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath deeper than the last. Then I relax my muscles little by little, from my tippy toes all the way to the top of my head. I try to visualize how sleepy I am and a place or person who helps me feel calm and peaceful… like a vacation in a beautiful, calm cabana by the beach.

5) Boost melatonin production

Melatonin is the neurotransmitter that causes you to feel sleepy and eventually plop asleep. It should be your goal to increase the amount produced by your brain so you can effectively fall asleep. To do that, stay away from bright lights that suppress melatonin production, like the television. Keep away from your laptop as well, especially before going to sleep. Use low-wattage bulbs that are dimmer than the standard bright light bulbs.  I switched over from a laptop to a book – reading a book half an hour before going to sleep helps me tire out.

Welcome to my world of sleeping…

How do you relax and fall asleep after a stressful day? Tell us your personal tips below – anything helps!

 

Unedited featured image courtesy of Marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.