In these unprecedented and challenging times, you may find yourself worrying more than usual. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many of us are finding that anxiety is affecting our sleep.
Lack of sleep can affect your mental health, but mental health problems can also affect how well you sleep and how much sleep you get.
Sleep is absolutely vital for our daily performance. From bodily repair, cognitive function and general all-round health, it’s recommended that we get around eight hours of sleep a night – but for those suffering from anxiety, that’s not something that comes so easy.
How to improve sleep when you feel anxious
Anxiety can cause many different psychological and physical symptoms. From racing thoughts to tense muscles and a faster heart rate, to finding it difficult to fall asleep or waking during the night, anxiety can make it difficult to get the rest we need.
There are many different methods and strategies that you can put into place. As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of mattresses, we know a thing or two about sleep. Try our top tips below to beat sleep anxiety.
Keep a routine
You may be working from home, but try to maintain some control on your sleep/wake sleep schedule. Not only will the routine keep you focused, it helps to keep the body’s internal body clock in sync. Avoid the temptation to take lengthy naps or sleep in, as this can throw your schedule off-track and upset your body clock.
Exercise can aid better quality sleep and the endorphins pumping through your body are also great mood boosters. Exercise not only improves heart health and blood pressure, it can help you to build and strengthen your body and can work to relieve stress. Regular exercise can help in lifting your mood and getting your sleep back on track.
Get as much natural light as possible
Working from home, social distancing or self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic may mean you’re struggling to enjoy being out in the natural light, and this could be negatively affecting your mental and physical wellbeing. Where possible, try to go out for a quiet daily walk, spend some time in your garden or on your balcony, and open the windows to help fresh air circulate around your home.
Invest in your mattress & bedroom environment
Don’t neglect the basics when it comes to sleeping better. Your bedroom environment plays a big part in achieving a good night’s sleep. It should be cool, quiet and dark, and your mattress should be comfortable and supportive. Natural fillings such as wool and silk can help keep you cool during the night, especially as the weather gets warmer, and modern fillings such as memory foam and gel will help your bed adapt to the contours of your body.
Stay away from devices
It’s recommended that we stop using electronics an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from phones, tablets and laptops can keep us awake. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, you may find yourself watching the news or scrolling social media late at night, and feeling anxious as a result. To avoid this, set yourself an hour of downtime before bed, and keep phones, computers and clutter out of the bedroom – this is the room where you should feel calm and clear-headed, not distracted by work or news.
Finding ways to relax before you fall asleep is key, and especially when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. Practice relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises. You may find it helpful to use apps that offer guided meditation, mindfulness techniques or even white noise to help you feel calm and relaxed. Alternatively, read a good book or listen to soothing music. Whatever makes you feel better, it’s important that you take time just for you each evening, to help you truly relax and rest.