Even small changes in your sleep quality during the night can affect your levels of emotional stress and anxiety during the next day, according to one study.
Fact: A night without sleep could raise your anxiety levels up to 30%.
So how do you improve that sleep quality, according to the National Sleep Foundation:
- Optimize your bedroom environment. Make sure your room is on the cooler side (between 60 and 70 degrees), remove bright light sources, and consider white noise machines or blackout curtains. And don’t forget comfy pillows and a mattress you love.
- Stick to a schedule. Getting your body used to a nighttime routine will help prep your body for a better night’s sleep. For example, that may mean taking a warm shower, reading a book, or drinking some (non-caffeinated!) tea before bed. Try to stick to similar sleep and waking times every day.
- Limit your naps. Naps can be great, sure, but if you regularly nap for more than 20-30 minutes, it can disrupt your nighttime sleep even more.
- Avoid certain foods and drinks before bed. While that nightcap may help you fall asleep quickly, it will harm your sleep quality and make it less likely that you’ll wake up feeling rested. Avoid caffeine within the hours before bedtime as well. Certain foods can also cause issue—try to avoid fatty or fried foods, spicy meals, carbonated drinks, and citrus fruits before bed.
- Keep your bedroom a tech-free zone. Ban your smart phones, tablets, and laptops from the bedroom! The blue light from these devices can disrupt your sleep—and having these devices by your bedside can make it tempting to scroll through your social media feeds into the night. Swap out your phone’s alarm app for an old-fashioned alarm clock instead.
To try to get more deep sleep, specifically, the American Sleep Association (ASA) suggests making sure you’re giving yourself enough sleep time overall. That’s because deep sleep typically comes later in the sleep cycle.
Additionally, some experts say vigorous exercise can help boost your amount of deep sleep, says the ASA. Try adopting an aerobic exercise routine if you’re finding yourself awake all night. Running, swimming, or jogging can be great options—just remember not to schedule your workouts before bedtime, which could make it harder to fall asleep.
And if you’re still struggling to sleep or suspect you have a sleep disorder like insomnia, don’t be afraid to seek help from the pros. Your primary care doctor is an excellent place to start, and they may also refer you to a specialist. Some cognitive behavioral therapists also specialize in treating people with sleep problems like insomnia, according to the Mayo Clinic. https://www.healthcentral.com/article/sleepless-increase-anxiety?fbclid=IwAR2zXxYO0zSXi9UPXfZLucQBYENe-g_5Im1v9dQGjd1q3ilYcY6ciGDmIJM
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