Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for a lot of things, including good mood, concentration, a healthy heart and a strong immune system. But good intentions for an early night don’t always translate into peaceful slumber. There are many people who suffer with bad anxiety before bed, and daily stressors can seriously impact your sleep habits.
To ease anxiety at night, it’s important to have a healthy bedtime routine in place. From making sure your mattress is comfortable to removing distractions in the room, there are many ways you can get better sleep. Here are some tips to make your environment and bedtime routine as anxiety-free as possible.
One of the most important tips for getting a good night’s rest is to find a comfortable bed and mattress that fits your needs. Mattresses should be hypoallergenic and be made with non-toxic materials, like the Ely Mattress. When it comes to choosing the right level of firmness, consider factors such as sleeping position, any back problems you have (and spinal alignment), your sleeping partner, and also your body weight.
Not everyone is the same when it comes to comfort and you should conduct your own research. If you’re unsure about the right mattress for you, choose a product with a sleep trial period. For the bedframe, consider sturdiness and how it looks and feels in your room. After all, interiors matter when it comes to healthy sleep and wellbeing.
It’s best to keep your bedroom tidy at all times, but if you’re prone to mess make sure you give it a quick de-clutter before you wind down at night. Science tells us that clutter can raise stress and anxiety levels by overloading the visual cortex. This competes for attention in our brains and reduces our ability to focus or process information.
A quick tidy before you get comfortable means you’ll be able to enjoy a less chaotic space, helping you relax and calm your mind of stresses and anxious feelings.
Caffeine is a stimulant and should be stopped around 4-6 hours before bed. For some people, even a coffee in the afternoon can impact how well they sleep at night. To reduce caffeine-related problems, try to restrict hot caffeinated beverages to mornings, and avoid fizzy drinks or chocolate late at night.
If you struggle with anxious thoughts or even panic attacks in the evening, try to do relaxing activities when you get home from work. Having a hot bath is one of the best ways to help your mind and body wind down, easing you into quiet time.
A study by Sleep Medicine Reviews even shows that a bath taken 90 minutes before bed can help people fall asleep more quickly. This is because hot water changes the body’s core temperature by lowering it, signalling to your brain that it’s time for rest.
Reading in bed is a favourite pastime for many people but for those dealing with anxiety, it’s much more than that. It’s the ultimate escape from problems in real life. Diving into the world of literature can distract you from daily stressors. Plus, reading a book can relax you by lowering your heart rate and easing muscle tension.
According to research by the University of Sussex, reading can actually reduce stress by 68%. By establishing a regular bedtime routine with books, you can create a healthy rhythm. And by sticking to the same routine each night, you’ll be able to prepare your body for sleep much more easily.
For anxious feelings or intrusive thoughts that just won’t go away, give meditation a go. There are many apps available (such as Headspace or Noisli) that cover everything from guided meditation and stories to the sound of rain. Or you can try different meditation channels on YouTube to find the right meditative therapy for you.
Remember though, technology can inhibit sleep so be sure to turn everything off before you doze off. You should also avoid looking at blue screens before bed, so scrolling through social media should be limited.
An anxiety-free bedtime routine always begins with the right bed and mattress. If mattress discomfort is preventing you from peaceful slumber, try the Ely Mattress, designed to regulate body temperature, provide support and contour to your body.