Doctors in the United States estimated that 60 to 80 percent of their patients' visits in 2013 were due to stress-related issues.
We know that stress happens to everybody, and there’s not always a lot you can do to avoid it. However, you can manage your stress with a few small changes to your daily routine and by getting better sleep.
Doctors have found that lack of sleep, or sleeping only in short bursts, makes it more likely that you will respond more negatively to even the mildest of stressors, like an unexpected phone call.
If you’re looking for some small changes to your routine, the first thing you should do is keep a sleep record. If you notice a pattern to when you’re waking up in the middle of the night, you should see what is causing you to wake up.
If you find yourself waking up with aches and pains, you should look into getting a new mattress. You’re supposed to replace them every five to ten years but many of us don’t do that.
One thing you don’t have to stress about when it comes to buying a new mattress is the cost. There are several great online mattresses that are less costly than in-store alternatives.
You should also get yourself a good, old-fashioned alarm clock so you aren’t relying on your phone to wake up in the morning. When you wake up and look at your phone, the first thing you see is a screen full of notifications. Your busy phone screen can create a stress response first thing in the morning which is not how you want to start your day. You can avoid this by waiting until after you eat breakfast to check your phone. This delay also gives you the opportunity to leave your phone out of the bedroom at night, to avoid the temptation to check it when you can’t sleep.
Another simple way to improve your sleep is to practice yoga regularly.
Yoga practiced twice weekly can reduce work stress and help you sleep in turn. Another benefit of yoga is that it is a form of exercise that’s not too vigorous to do before sleeping. Practicing daily has been found to reduce insomnia symptoms in yoga lovers. It could also help you sleep more deeply on a regular basis, which is something we can all use.
You can learn to do yoga from anywhere, whether you choose to go to a studio or to learn from a variety of places on the internet. Fitness Magazine even created an 8-minute workout specifically designed for relaxation. Make sure that you are doing a calming routine so that you relax instead of getting your heart pumping.
If you find you’re stressed to the point that even these tips and tricks are not helping, you should talk to a doctor about some medical possibilities, such as counselling or medication.
Writer bio: Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favourite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.