IT ALL STARTS WITH A GOOD ROUTINE
Let’s face it, stress is ruining your chance at getting a good night’s sleep. And it’s a vicious cycle because when you don’t sleep well, your body produces more stress hormones. The next day, you feel more stressed and again you’ll struggle to fall asleep the next night. And as an added bonus, stress hormones peak in the afternoon and early evening—when you should be relaxing in preparation for a good night’s sleep. “It can be really tough to disconnect and unwind during those crazy-stressful work weeks, and that’s when establishing good routines and mustering self-discipline really comes into play,” said Fulop.
FOCUS ON WELLNESS
When you’re super busy with work, family, and social obligations, it can be really hard to make time to for self-care. What that looks like will vary for everyone, but Fulop recommends adding these steps to your nightly routine, “sip a calming herbal tea, like chamomile, or diffuse essential oils, like lavender and frankincense, in the bedroom to help you slip into a drowsy state. I personally love the lavender scent because it’s so calming.”
And while I’m sure this is not what you want to hear when tired, but exercise can make quite the impact on your stress levels and how well you sleep.
STEP AWAY FROM THE TECH
As amazing technology is, we have to admit it can sometimes majorly stress us out. Fulop warns against being “on” all the time, “When it comes to work emails, there’s temptation to enter always-on mode – but make sure you draw boundaries so your bedroom doesn’t become a second office.” In her home, the bed is a no-phone zone, no matter how busy she is that week. That way she can associate her bed with relaxation and not stress.
Even if you’re not stressed out by your devices, that last pre-bed Instagram scroll can be doing a lot of damage. At night, light can confuse the body’s biological clock which means while you may be ready to hit the hay, your body thinks it is morning thanks to the influx of blue wavelengthscoming from your screen. If you can’t resist watching another episode of your favorite show or put down that page-turner on your tablet, then turn on the nighttime settings on your devices which emit a different, less disruptive, glow. There’s also a great app for your computer, Flux, that will shift your computer to a less disruptive light after sundown. For good measure, you can also try wearing a pair of glasses designed to filter blue light.