Sleep better when you’re feeling stressed out – expert

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Sleep expert at Dormeo, Phil Lawlor unveiled seven of his top tips for a restful slumber – especially when there are external forces that could be hiking your cortisol (i.e. stress) hormones. “Discover which daily stressors cause the most problems,” said Lawlor, adding that jotting them down could be therapeutic. If it’s money troubles, for example, “write down specific ways you and your support network, including family and friends, can help to reduce/manage your finances”.

Lawlor elaborated: “Although this can be anxiety provoking in the short term, writing things down on paper and committing to a plan can reduce stress.”

Speaking of stress, chronic upset can have negative consequences on the body.

Effective stress management techniques can include meditation and exercise.

To help combat stress, in addition to useful stress-busting activities, it’s critical to eat a healthy diet.

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“A balanced diet can support the repair of damaged cells and a healthy immune system,” said Lawlor.

“Eating nutritious and healthy foods can provide the extra energy your body needs to cope with stressful events.

“Another important natural factor linked to a healthy diet is good quality sleep.

“You may wish to keep an eye on what food and drink you’re consuming through the day. Avoid caffeine, energy drinks, spicy and acidic foods.”

Tea could also help do the trick. “What you might not realise is that certain herbal teas can also help with falling asleep,” Lawlor revealed.

“While caffeinated teas can increase stimulation, herbal teas have the opposite effect with chamomile tea widely used to promote relaxation and drowsiness.

“Other teas such as spearmint and lemon balm reduce anxiety along with improving sleep quality.

“Grabbing a cuppa an hour before heading to bed should give the herbal tea plenty of time to work its magic.”

The environment you fall asleep in is either conducive to sleep, or it isn’t.

“Maintaining a calm and relaxing home environment is important for your mental health and wellbeing,” said Lawlor.

“When your room is untidy and cluttered, you have more cortisol [the stress hormone].”

Thus, Lawlor recommends keeping the bedroom clean and tidy, which is ideal for a more peaceful sleep.

Outside of the home, if your workload is stressing you out, it could be keeping you up at night.

“Increased workloads will equate to increased stress and, sometimes, people are unable to switch off from their problems at the end of the day,” Lawlor expanded.

“If possible, delegate some of the workload to others, or discuss rising workloads with those in senior positions. Taking action can empower and de-stress you.”

Seven tips for a better sleep when you’re feeling stressed

  1. Write down your problems
  2. Eat healthily
  3. Meditate
  4. Exercise
  5. Delegate excess workload
  6. Drink herbal tea
  7. Create a calm home environment

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