Are you a member of the ‘wide-awake club’? Let's improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
Have you been struggling to sleep, or worse you wake up in the middle of the night and then can't get back to sleep? We are sharing 6 tips to improve sleep and reduce anxiety. And then the next day, you’re exhausted, grouchy, irritable and your brain just doesn't function? It could be a range of causes from anxiety, stress, or a sign that the change is on its way. Insomnia during menopause is due to falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone, both sleep-promoting hormones. But extended problems with sleep have been proven to increase our risk of heart disease, developing diabetes, and having a reduced immune system.
So which comes first, the anxiety or the disruption of sleep? Researchers have found that the relationship between sleep problems and anxiety is bidirectional. Meaning that sleep problems can cause anxiety, and anxiety can disrupt your sleep, which in turn impacts how you function emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Here are our 6 tips to improve sleep and reduce anxiety
1. Move your body – Mornings or early afternoons are best, try not to exercise too close to bedtime as it can keep you awake. Exercise has been found to both lower anxiety and improves sleep.
2. Control your environment – The darker, quieter, and cooler you can keep your bedroom, the greater chance you have of calming your mind and falling asleep. Taking a shower or bath shortly before bed can also help lower your body temperature and help you fall asleep more quickly. We recommend burning a scented candle while you bathe with essential oils such as rose geranium (nicknamed ‘the goodnight oil’) has a sweet, floral fragrance that calms and relaxes the body and mind. Its rose-like aroma is considered to have a gently relaxing effect on the mood and works as a natural antidepressant. Perfect to soothe the soul and help you go to sleep feeling relaxed. Try our Knysna 2.0 diffuser in your bedroom to infuse the room with calming fragrance.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol – Drinking too much caffeine can increase anxiety and inhibit sleep, whilst alcohol increases your heart rate and can either keep you up or if you manage to go to sleep easy enough, it can then wake you up in the middle of the night and then you struggle to fall back to sleep. Whilst drinking plenty of water throughout the day is good practice, be careful not to drink too much before bedtime, as trips to the bathroom can keep you anxious and awake.
4. Calm your mind – Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and breathing exercise can help you achieve calm, as well as simply walking your dog or listening to music while you walk.
5. Reduce screen time – Your phone, tablet, and TV emit light that keeps your brain awake, so try to limit them an hour before bedtime. Checking email or doing work right before bed can also trigger anxious thoughts and make it difficult to calm your brain. Keep a notepad and pen next to your bed to write down anxious thoughts, or the to-do list that may be stressing you, then listen to music or read a book to quiet your mind.
6. Ask for help – Sometimes managing anxious worry and improving sleep is more complicated, and assuming it is simply related to stress or menopause, it may not be the underlying cause, since covid many people have been suffering from viral fatigue & sleep problems. Never hesitate to ask for help if you need it from your doctor or a counselor.
Comment below if you have been suffering from any sleep issues.