Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year.
Sounds like an obvious statement I know but would you recognise the early, less obvious signs of stress in yourself?
Many people I see feel that stress has landed on them out of nowhere with no obvious cause, but the truth is that there have usually been signs of growing stress for a long time, they just haven't been recognized.
One of the early signs is difficulty sleeping, from difficulty dropping off at night, to waking mid night and not being able to get back to sleep, or even early waking (the 5am internal alarm), all can be signs of growing stress in your life.
Aside from recognizing and dealing with the source of the stress, what can you do to get that much needed sleep.
These are a variety of tips that have helped my clients and may help you.
- Don't go to bed by the clock, go when you are tired.
- Minimise screen time in the hour before bed, televisions and other electronic devices emit enough light to affect hormone production in our bodies and trick our brain into thinking it's time to be awake.
- Keep the content of what you are watching or reading light, nothing too dramatic.
- Keep the bedroom dark and cool-think about our cavemen ancestors, night was dark and cooler.
- If you have trouble getting to sleep try a relaxation CD or recording, you can find mine in the audio tab on my website.
- If you wake at night and you are still awake after 20 minutes get up; staying in bed tossing and turning will get your brain used to the idea that bed is somewhere to be awake!
- If you get up at night don't reward your brain for being awake, this is not the time for a midnight snack or a cup of tea, if you need a drink make it water and do something very boring, read the newspaper backwards.
- Get cool! Open a window, stand in an open doorway, the more you can cool yourself the more you will want to be relaxing back in bed in the warm.
- It's always advisable to get a check up with your doctor to rule out any physical cause.
If you have any other hints or ideas that have helped you, you can share them on my Twitter or Facebook page.
Feel free to download the relaxation track on my website, it's useful to play as you are falling asleep but NEVER play it in the car.