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'Tis the Season to Curb Stress: Tip #6 Get Enough Sleep

rsz_2couple_sleeping.jpgOne of the most powerful tools you have to lower anxiety and stress levels is sleep. When you don't get enough sleep, your brain's emotional centers become overreactive, which increases anxiety. Instead of staying up late to binge-watch a tv show, prioritize sleep. You'll feel so much better after you've gotten enough undisturbed rest because while you sleep, your brain goes to work to get everything clean and ready for a new day.

 

Do you get enough sleep? What is your before-bed routine? 

 

Check out the other tips and kick that holiday stress to the curb!

 

For additional brain health tips and tools, visit Staying Sharp now.

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Social Butterfly

My routine is to have a glass of wine after my evening nap, then go to bed for the night.  🥱

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Contributor

I'm struggling.  I can't sleep and I am always thinking.  I can't shut off my brain.  There is always something I'm worrying about.  Just recently one of my children left home to live in another state and it set of my anxiety.  It's 6am right now and I've been up since 4am after going to sleep at 11pm.  I don't know what to do.  

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Community Manager
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I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling to get good rest @dg64364906@Vexed provided a lot of helpful tips, hopefully, you are able to utilize them so they work for you. I count sheep when I can't sleep, but my sheep are my breaths. I count each inhale and exhale, and really focus on my breathing. Focusing on the breath is a mindfulness practice, and it helps to activate the body's calming response.

 

I also recently learned that if you can't fall asleep, a good way to reset your brain is to get up and go into a different room. Hang out for however long you'd like, and then go back to your bedroom. This will retrain your brain to recognize that the bedroom is the place for sleep.

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@dg64364906 , that happens to a lot of us. You are not alone. The hard thing is to keep your mind from the worrying, planning or whatever you can't shut off. That is hard to do and different for everyone. That is why the long heard term of "counting sheep". That has been around a long time.  Something to take your mind off of things to fall asleep. You need to think/imagine something that doesn't bring on or trigger the emotions or bothersome things to bear. Hard as it is.

 

Some use rain sound machines, music, some may still count sheep and there are many things to use for that effect. I sometimes imagine playing with a slinky. Then picture it going down a set of stairs (was always cool looking), Just about anything that is calming and not important enough to worry about to let the mind go and relax.

 

Though hard to do, it is a few small suggestions that might help you concentrate on something other than your worrisome thoughts enough to let go and stay asleep or get back to sleep.

Good luck with it and hope you get some rest.

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