Reduce Your Anxiety With These 6 Sleep Hacks

Do you constantly feel restless, nervous, or unable to relax? If so, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a normal response to stressful or scary situations. However, it becomes harmful when these feelings are frequent and excessive. People who suffer from an anxiety disorder may experience negative impacts on both their health and their social lives.

Several lifestyle factors impact anxiety. One of the most important is sleep. Multiple nights of poor sleep can increase reactions in your amygdala and anterior insula. Both areas of your brain affect your body’s ability to process and control emotions. So if you’re already prone to anxiety, a few sleepless nights could worsen your symptoms.

Is lack of sleep making you feel on edge? Then try implementing the following tips to get a better night’s rest and reduce your anxiety.

1. Control Your Snoring

On the surface, snoring may seem like a harmless annoyance. However, chronic snoring can lead to negative consequences, including poor sleep quality. People who snore often wake themselves up throughout the night without knowing it. This makes their sleep less restful, leaving them groggy the next day.

If you suspect that you’re a heavy snorer, you should schedule a visit with your doctor. You may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder that stops your breathing for short periods. Obstructive sleep apnea is sometimes the cause of heavy snoring and can easily be treated using a CPAP mask. When choosing a mask, consider your face shape, sleeping position, and whether you have facial hair. This will ensure you choose the best CPAP mask for you.

2. Increase Your Exposure to Sunlight

From sitting in an office all day to lying around watching Netflix at night, the modern world doesn’t prioritize time outdoors. However, exposure to sunlight comes with a myriad of health benefits, including higher-quality sleep. Your body’s circadian rhythm keeps track of time, helping you stay awake during the day and making you sleepy at night. Getting plenty of natural light throughout the day strengthens your circadian rhythm. This makes it easier to get a restful night of sleep.

Most people don’t get to spend hours basking in the sun every day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of sunlight. Simply sitting near a window while you work is enough to make your circadian rhythm happy.

3. Cool Down Your Bedroom

If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep in a hot room, you likely tossed and turned all night. That’s because our bedroom and body temperature has a significant impact on our sleep quality. In fact, one study found the temperature of people’s bedrooms had a bigger impact on their sleep than external noise.

Between 65°F to 70°F is the ideal sleeping temperature for most people. If you’re still having trouble cooling off once you’ve lowered your thermostat, try taking a warm shower before bed. While this may seem counterproductive, your body will try to cool itself after a warm bath or shower. This can help keep your body at a comfortable temperature throughout the night.

4. Skip the Afternoon Latte

Many people rely on coffee to get them through the day. While starting your day with a cup of joe is fine, drinking coffee in the afternoon may be a problem. A typical cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine. That’s enough to stimulate your nervous system and make it difficult to fall asleep later in the evening.

If you’re hesitant to go cold turkey on your afternoon Americano, simply order a smaller size than you typically do. Another great option is trying a low-caffeine tea. An 8-ounce cup of black tea has about half the amount of caffeine as an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

5. Cut Out Long Naps

When you’re sleeping poorly, you may be tempted to try and catch up on z’s during the day. Short power naps that are 10 to 20 minutes long are great ways to give yourself an energy boost. However, longer naps can take a negative toll on your nighttime sleep.

If you regularly nap throughout the day and notice that you’re sleeping poorly at night, try shortening your naps. It’s also a good idea to avoid snoozing after 3 p.m. Late afternoon naps can impact your nighttime energy levels, making it harder to fall asleep.

6. Avoid Screens at Night

Many people spend their evenings catching up on work emails or scrolling through Instagram. This exposes them to blue light from technology screens up until bedtime. Although sunlight during the day is beneficial, nighttime light exposure can negatively impact slumber. Exposure to light before bed reduces your body’s melatonin, the hormone in charge of helping you fall asleep.

To reduce your evening blue light exposure, stop looking at screens two hours before you go to bed. Instead, try winding down with a good book or any other activity you find relaxing. If you can’t avoid nighttime screen exposure, purchase a pair of blue light glasses. This will help block some of the blue light coming from your screen.

Reduce Your Anxiety With a Good Night’s Sleep

Living with anxiety can make normal activities nerve-wracking. However, improving your sleep quality may improve your symptoms. By implementing the tips above, you’ll get a better night’s rest, helping you feel calmer and more relaxed.