It’s no secret. These are stressful times we’re living in.
There are days when it feels like the world is pulling us in a thousand different directions, and to be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Too many people are losing sleep and spending their days stressed out and anxious, worried about life’s challenges or uncertainty in the future.
Let’s just take a step back and remember that we love ourselves and deserve to live life peacefully, in blissful harmony with the world around us.
Now more than ever, we need a little me time; and that’s okay. To be our best selves, we need to be our own best friends, which means allowing ourselves to sleep, rest, rejuvenate, and de-stress.
Now you might be thinking, “Yeah, right! Easier said than done” and that’s fair enough.
Everybody knows that they need to get a good night’s sleep to feel refreshed and energized; nobody wants to have more stress in their lives. But how do we actually do it? How can we sleep better and lower our stress?
Keep reading to learn the 12 proven methods for improving your sleep and lowering your stress levels.
The Importance of Good Sleeping Patterns
These days the average person sleeps for about one-third of their life. So, if you live to be 80, that’s around 26.6 years, you’ll be asleep. The human body is the most incredible machine known to exist, and it’s also the most intelligent thing in the universe.
So, if your body tells you to sleep for one-third of your life, it must have a pretty good reason. Turns out it does. In fact, it has a few good reasons.
Getting enough sleep can:
- Boost your immune system
- Regulate your body weight
- Strengthen your heart
- Improve memory function
- Increase productivity
- Repair your body
These health benefits are just the beginning!
The Importance of Reducing and Managing Stress
As beneficial as getting proper sleep is, lowering your stress levels is equally as important. Here is a quick reminder of the physical symptoms of stress.
Those who suffer from stress may experience:
- Chest Pain
- Digestive Problems
The list could go on and on. Needless to say, if we want to live happy, healthy, productive lives, then decreasing stress and eliminating these severe symptoms is of the utmost importance.
So, without further ado, here are 12 activities that have been proven to help improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels.
1. Soaking in a Hot Tub
What could be better or more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub? Trick question. The answer is nothing, of course.
The soothing warm water in a hot tub can melt away muscle tension and the stress of the day as if by magic, leaving you feeling relaxed and ready to drift away to a night of deep, peaceful sleep the second your body hits the bed.
Sitting in a hot tub also offers a whole host of other health benefits such as:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Relief from arthritis pain and inflammation
- Increased metabolism and weight management
- Overall pain relief for stiff and sore muscles
Relaxing in a hot tub is one of life’s simple pleasures, so take the time to reward yourself for doing the best you can each day; you deserve it.
2. Meditating Before Bed
Meditation is one of the best-known methods for relaxing the mind and allowing the body to release tension and stress. These days there are a million different meditations, and each practitioner claims to know the best method. That’s all hogwash.
Just stick with the old-fashioned, original meditation. It’s really easy; in fact, it’s so easy that most people over-complicate it and make it difficult. Don’t worry; we’ve got your back.
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position
- Empty your mind of all thoughts
- Pay attention to your breathing
That’s it. That’s all you have to do. If you can just follow those three steps, you will be the happiest, most stress-free, most well-rested person in the world.
3. Relaxing in a Sauna
Couldn’t empty all the thoughts? It happens. No worries, relaxing in a sauna can be nearly as blissful anyways. The heat and steam given off in a sauna can detoxify your system, soothe your aching musculature, and rapidly decrease your stress levels.
There are also some other health benefits of relaxing in a sauna.
- Saunas help with lowering high blood pressure
- Saunas help prevent cardiovascular diseases
- Saunas burn calories and lower your weight
- Saunas help your lymphatic system
- Saunas promote great sleep
As if those reasons weren’t good enough, relaxing in a sauna just feels nice. It’s like a friendly hug for your soul that can leave you feeling unwound, unbound, and recharged.
4. Setting The Scene For Sleep
All too often, when people can’t sleep, they do the exact wrong things trying to remedy the situation. How often have you heard someone say, “If you can’t sleep, just get back up”, or “I like to just relax and watch a movie while I fall asleep”.
The truth is that your body is looking for cues that it’s time to sleep, and stimulating your senses with screen-time or activity sends the wrong message.
Here are a few things to try instead:
- Make sure that your room is either completely dark or serenely lit with soft light.
- Avoid watching any media within an hour of sleep. Yep, even Netflix!
- Set the temperature so that you are comfortably cool, not too cold, and definitely not too hot.
- Listen to ambient sleep sounds such as a thunderstorm, wind chimes, or a distant train.
By setting the scene, you can tell your mind and body that it’s time to sleep now, and before long, you will find yourself drifting away on a cloud of comfort and relaxation.
5. Listening To Soothing Music
If sleep sounds aren’t your thing, then try soothing music instead. Many people find that listening to soft, gentle music, such as calm jazz or classical before bed, helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
On the other hand, some people listen to heavy rock music while falling asleep. What matters is not what the music is, but that it is relaxing to you.
Ensure that the volume is faint so as not to disturb you, and most importantly, enjoy whatever dreams may come.
6. Exercising In a Swim Spa
Exercising in any way, shape, or form can only benefit your health. When you head outside and get active, your body uses up its energy which is exactly what you need to happen if you want restful nights’ sleep.
Try taking things a step further and bring your exercise routine into a swim spa.
Swim spas by themselves are good for your health and promote a number of vital functions such as:
- Increasing muscle strength
- Improving flexibility
- Speeding up recovery times
- Soothing sore joints
When you combine those benefits with the benefits that come along with regular daily exercise, you can reduce stress at warp speed.
You’ll immediately find that you fall asleep faster and sleep better, feeling more refreshed and energized when you wake up in the morning.
7. Spending Time With Family And Friends
It can be easy to fall into the trap of working too often. After all, you never know what tomorrow will bring.
By working hard and earning more money, you can safeguard your future and provide financial security for your family. Yeah. Okay. That’s all well and true, but the reality is that there’s more to life than just working and making money.
You won’t be able to enjoy the money you’ve earned if you are burnt out, stressed out, and sleep-deprived.
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to set some time aside for family and friends. Not only do these people care about you, but they might even be able to help you solve some of the problems which have been causing you stress in the first place.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a night out, with no worries, no pressure, no deadlines.
By spending some quality time with the people you love, you’ll be happier, healthier, and much less stressed out.
8. Gardening And Improving Your Garden Space
There is something almost meditative about gardening. Have you noticed it? Maybe it’s being outside in nature and connecting with the land, or perhaps it’s just the fresh air.
Whatever it is, spending time outdoors in your garden can significantly reduce stress levels, which in turn promotes better sleep.
Here are a few things you can do in your garden to reduce stress:
- Plant flowers or vegetables
- Trim the lawn or flowerbeds
- Sit on a bench and listen to the birds
- Lay down in the shade or suntan
- Read a book while relaxing
Reconnecting with nature is a powerful way to lower your stress levels, increase your overall happiness and sleep better at night. So, get out there and enjoy your garden or a local park. Your mind and body will thank you.
9. Eating a Healthy Balanced Diet
Proper nutrition is key to maintaining good overall health. If your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to operate correctly, you will suffer somehow. Often the way your body tells you that it needs something is by sending a pain signal. It’s telling you that it needs help, that you need help.
The help it needs are the vitamins and minerals which are found in a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
So, the next time you can’t sleep at night or find yourself stressing out over something, ask yourself, “Is this really a huge deal, or am I just hungry?” You might laugh and find out that you just needed a healthy snack or some protein.
10. Stretching and Doing Yoga
Stretching is the best way to relax your muscles and release the tension from your body.
By stretching before bed, you will find that you can get comfortable much more quickly, and you’ll be less likely to be disturbed by restless legs or tapping fingers when you’re trying to hit the hay. You can take this one step further by learning a few basic yoga poses.
For those who don’t know, yoga is a system of stretching that is more than 2000 years old. There are many different forms of yoga these days, each with a different aim, but just stick with the basics.
Lookup a few beginner-friendly poses and spend some time reconnecting with your body. The result will be a calmer mind, a more relaxed body, and much better sleep when bedtime rolls around.
11. Laughing Out Loud
One of the weirdest, funniest looking, and most fantastic forms of yoga is Laughter Yoga. You read that correctly. Laughter Yoga is the practice of just laughing out loud, just spontaneously bursting into hysterical laughter.
It may sound funny (no pun intended!), but laughter really is one of the best forms of medicine when it comes to lowering stress.
12. Taking a Break
Sometimes, when all else fails, you just need a break, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. People put such high expectations on themselves these days, always trying to advance, achieve, learn, earn, rinse and repeat. It’s tiring.
We all need a break sometimes. It’s perfectly normal. With everything that’s been going on in the world, a vacation may not be possible. If it is possible to get away, then, by all means, you owe it to yourself, but if not, then that’s okay too.
Taking a break can just mean taking a few days off work or away from the office. Let yourself relax and unwind. Maybe you want to catch up on that awesome book you started, or maybe you’ve been waiting to get out on the golf course, make today that day.
Do whatever you really enjoy doing, if only for a few days. Do it just for you, and don’t apologize for it.
Remember, you can’t help anyone else until you can help yourself. So take a little “me” time, and you’ll find yourself falling asleep effortlessly and waking up happier with less stress.
Improve Your Sleep Patterns with Help from Euphoria Lifestyle
Could you stand to benefit from less stress or better sleep patterns? Our garden leisure experts at Euphoria Lifestyle are here to help.