Many people underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest.  In fact, the lack of sleep has been a major culprit in many of my clients’ challenges with anxiety and stress.

That is, when you don’t get a good night’s rest (actual good solid at least 6 to 8 hrs of continuous sleep) several things start to go wrong the following day.  I am sure that you can probably remember a time when for whatever reason you found yourself trying to count sheep late at night or felt so restless that it was nearly impossible to get yourself to doze off.

You may or may not remember that the following day you may have experienced a lot of irritability, unable to focus, easily distracted, more sensitive to stress than usual, or even worse you may have experienced some nodding off while you were driving to that very important meeting that you had to attend.

Well, next time if you ever find yourself in a situation like this again here are a few easy tips that you can implement to change your sleeping habits and start getting that restful sleep that you deserve!

Always Take Care of Your Body

• Do not drink caffeine: no tea, coffee, or coca-cola after 2 o’clock pm
• Do not eat a big or spicy meal late in the evening or before going to bed
• Do not go to bed hungry
• Avoid alcohol as it interferes with sleep (popular to contrary belief!)

Make Sure to Sleep Only at Night Time

Do not have day-time naps, no matter how tired you feel. Naps keep the problem
going by making it harder for you to get to sleep the next night.

Physical Exercise

Even something as simple as going for a brisk walk, in the late afternoon can help to make your body tired and helps induce sleep in the evening. Try to do some exercise every day preferably during the day if possible.

Have a Regular Bedtime Routine

Helps with your Circadian Rhythm (internal body clock); and helps program your body when it’s time to go to sleep.
• Have a soothing drink like chamomile tea, passionflower tea or warm milk
• Have a bath, or a routine of washing your face and brushing your teeth
• Go to bed at same time each night
• When in bed think of nice things (e.g. think of 5 nice things that happened that day – they might be big or small, such as a nice conversation, seeing the sunshine, or hearing nice music on the radio)
• Do a relaxed breathing exercise (one hand on stomach the other on your chest, deliberately slow your breathing, breathe deeply in your stomach instead of high in your chest)
• Try and wake up the same time every day, even if this is tiring in the beginning.

Make Your Bedroom a Pleasant Place to Be

• Get a nightlight
• Keep your bedroom clean and tidy
• Introduce pleasant smells such as a drop of lavender oil onto the pillow
• Get extra pillows
• Make sure that your home is safe e.g. doors locked, windows closed.