How To Decrease Stress And Improve Sleep

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Stress plays a part in many of our lives. From small to large, there are stressors that come up and we need to learn how to manage this stress. Having too much stress can be overwhelming and can make things difficult to cope with. For some, this may also negatively impact sleep.

This is why we need to find ways to relieve stress and improve our mental wellness. Not only is it important for us to decrease stress, but we need to ensure that we sleep well. This will improve your health and help to improve your mood and mental clarity.

Fast stress relief:

1. Exercise

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Exercise is a great stress reliever. This does not mean having to do a strenuous workout but can be any form of movement that allows you to focus on physical movement. A great form of exercise for stress relief is walking.

Walking is great as it allows you to remove yourself from the stressful environment, helps you to shift your focus and will help to release endorphins that come from exercise.

2. Try Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy has been found to have many beneficial properties. There are scents that can be used for many situations. Lavender can be used for relaxation and to promote sleep, citrus scents can be used for energizing and there are also scents and blends that can assist with improving motivation and uplifting moods.

Research has shown that specific scents can change brain waves and reduce stress hormones. There are many ways that you can enjoy aromatherapy including diffusers and candles.

Long Term Stress Relief:

1. Yoga

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Yoga is a great form of stress relief. It is a combination of light exercise, controlled breathing and meditation. All of these aspects are highly effective for stress relief. One yoga session may calm you down in the short term but in practising yoga continuously, you will reap many long-term stress relief benefits. There are many ways that you can try yoga, you can do this by attending a class, downloading an app or finding an online program.

2. Incorporate to-do lists

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Many people are stressed because of their high-demand lives that require them to spend most of their time working. No matter what, a demanding working schedule will add extra stress to your life.

By incorporating a to-do list and prioritising breaks from your work schedule, it will allow you to have more time to focus on your needs. When using to-do lists and focusing on time management, you will be able to decrease the time you spend on stressful situations.

3. Find support

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It is important to surround yourself with supportive people. Spending time with friends and family who are supportive will help you with reducing stress. They can help in many ways, if you need someone to vent to or if you need physical help, especially for those with a busy schedule.

If you feel this is not enough, there are always professionals who will be able to help you. There are also support groups available both in person and online, which makes it easily accessible for many.

Tips for improving sleep

Many people struggle to decompress after a long day, which is why it is difficult to fall asleep. Making a few changes to your evening and bedtime routine will help you to unwind and make the transition to bedtime much more enjoyable.

1. Decrease caffeine and alcohol intake

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Many of us enjoy a good cup of coffee throughout the day but this is not always good for us. It has been found that caffeine can stay in the system for up to 10 hours, which will make sleeping a lot more difficult.

It is important to ensure that you stop drinking caffeine early in the day to ensure that it is out of your system by the time you’d like to fall asleep. Alcohol also has a negative effect on sleep and can negatively affect sleep quality. In order to get the highest quality of sleep, decreasing alcohol and caffeine is the best thing to do.

2. Spend less time on work in the evening

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Work induces stress and keeps your mind alert. Every new email or task related to work during the evening will continue to keep your mind active. This makes it difficult to unwind which is needed before going to sleep. A great way to do this is to incorporate mindfulness activities which will help you to unwind and focus on what you’re feeling.

There is a great app that is recommended by a great company called TechQuarters. This app is Headspace. Headspace has many guided meditation programs and have recently come out with Sleep by Headspace which has meditation specifically to improve sleep.

3. Listen to music

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Instead of watching the news or spending time with your stressful thoughts, try listening to music. Listening to your favorite music has been proven to decrease stress and lower blood pressure. Any music that makes you feel happier and more relaxed will work but there is also music that has been specifically created for relaxation.

4. Improve your bedroom

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Your bedroom needs to be the ultimate relaxation zone. Decluttering your bedroom will help decrease the stress when entering your room. If your room is cluttered, it can keep your mind distracted and will make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. Choosing the best bedding can also help to improve your sleep.

Having good bedding and a comfortable bed is the best way to make sure that your bed is as comfortable as possible. It has been found that people who sleep on their side should have a thicker, firmer pillow that supports their neck and those who sleep on their back should use a thinner pillow to decrease stress that could be placed on their neck.

Pillows are important to focus on because there are so many to choose from. Those who suffer from allergies should opt for a hypoallergenic pillow to decrease chances of congestion having an effect on their sleep quality.