Less Stress Now: Set Yourself Up For A Good Night’s Sleep

woman-sleeping-in-bedWe all know sleep is rejuvenating, but did you know that it’s actually a time when the nervous system helps break down and release excess stress chemicals from your body? That makes sleep one of the best stress-busters.

Preparing yourself for a good night’s sleep starts about 3 hours before bedtime…

    • Dinner. Eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime to allow proper digestion. have a bedtime snack only if you’re truly hungry, and avoid sugar (a stimulant) and heavy or spicy foods that may cause heartburn.
    • Exercise. Although physical activity earlier in the day can help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer, avoid it within 3 hours of bedtime. It can get your system revved up instead of relaxed for bedtime.
    • TV. The very thing many people do before bedtime is the very thing to avoid. TV is stimulating to the physical senses and anything scary or violent (especially the news!) can cause stress chemicals to be released into the body.
    • Conscious Relaxation. Remind yourself that it’s time to relax. And make the time for it – it’s a great investment. Find some relaxing options that work for you: soft/relaxing music, warm bath/shower, 10 minutes of quiet time, snuggling with your pet (or your partner or kids!), restorative yoga poses, lavender aromatherapy, etc…