Reduce Stress and Enjoy More Sleep
- By Donald Saunders
(c) Donald Saunders All Rights Reserved
If you suffer from insomnia of any kind, the chances are you
don't need to be told that there's a significant connection
between sleep problems like insomnia and stress. In fact,
as cases of insomnia and related sleep problems increase,
more and more people find themselves caught between the
pressures and responsibilities of daily life and their
desire for a good night's sleep.
The good news is that insomnia and stress don't have to go
hand in hand. There are a variety of productive ways that
you can reduce stress and increase your chances of getting a
good night's sleep at the same time.
If you have already taken the basic steps necessary for a
good night's sleep (the 5 steps to better sleep outlined in
my previous article and published at
chances are you're suffering from stress-induced insomnia,
and it's time for you to take action. That's because
anxiety of any kind has quantifiable physiological effects
such as increasing your blood pressure, your heart rate and
your body temperature – which in turn disrupt your body's
natural propensity for sleep and disturb your body's nightly
sleep functions. In other words, anxiety doesn't just
reduce the amount of sleep you are able to get - it damages
the quality of the sleep that you do enjoy.
Fortunately, you can reduce stress and improve your sleep
fairly simply by undertaking some form of regular relaxation
exercise. Depending upon your preference and your degree of
stress, there are several different ways to improve your
sleep quality through relaxation.
For some people all it takes to reduce stress is a warm bath
and some sleep-promoting aromatherapy. Using calming
aromatherapy candles or adding soothing essential oils to
your bath is the perfect way to diffuse anxiety and induce
the sleep you need after a long day.
If you find yourself suffering from more severe stress and
insomnia, you may also want to try a guided relaxation or
meditation exercise to promote a good night's sleep. This
can be as simple as spending fifteen to thirty minutes
sitting comfortably in silence, or as involved as using a
specially prepared CD or DVD for a more structured
meditation that guides you gently towards sleep. Taking an
afternoon yoga class or learning some deep breathing
exercises are also excellent natural sleep remedies.
The best approach to including any sleep enhancing
relaxation exercise (from sleep-inducing aromatherapy to
guided meditation) is to try one approach for at least two
weeks and see how you get on. Because your body responds
best to routine – especially when it comes to sleep – this
will give your sleep cycle a chance to properly adjust. If,
after a couple of weeks you find that your chosen approach
is having little effect, don’t despair. Simply try another
approach until you find a method that works best for you. It
won’t take long for you to discover a relaxation exercise
that suits your needs and the chances are you'll both reduce
stress and be enjoying a long, restful night's sleep sooner,
rather than later.
Donald Saunders is the author of a number of health related
e-books including "Help Me To Sleep - A Guide To Natural
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