Managing Stress for Better Sleep

April-Stress-SleepIs stress keeping you up at night? If so, follow these steps to reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep.

  • Identify your stressors and work toward eliminating them. Do you struggle to make ends meet? Do you live with pain? Do you dislike your boss? These are common stressors that can impact your sleep.
  • Talk about your stressors with the people who care for you.
  • Practice positive thinking to improve how you feel and to reduce stress levels. Avoid negative thoughts such as “I’m a horrible parent” or “We’ll never get out of this mess.”
  • Stay active. Exercise helps you to maintain a healthy body and to blow off steam. If you exercise before bed, give your body at least two hours to cool down for optimal sleep.
  • Eat well. Follow a healthy diet that is low in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol to have energy and to feel your best.
  • Manage your time and effort. Delegate responsibility when needed and make sure you have adequate free time.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Proper rest allows you to handle stressors more easily. When you are tired you become easily agitated and less patient with yourself and others.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

If you continue to struggle with stress or sleep, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can assess you for possible sleep disorders and may recommend a sleep test.