10 WAYS TO GET BETTER SLEEP
The trouble with nighttime is that all the problems from daylight hours have a horrible habit of spiraling out of control after dark. But relax—there are proven ways to stop those bedtime visits from the anxiety fairy.
It’s been a long, tiring day, and you’re feeling shattered. Finally, you crawl into bed, physically exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep…only to find your mind has other ideas. Instead of drifting off into weightless slumber, your brain fires up, your pulse quickens, and your head becomes crowded with endless worries you thought had been parked for the day. “Around eighty percent of people say their worries whirlwind out of control at night,” says Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of support group Anxiety U.K. “With stress, we tend to worry about a specific, tangible problem. But with anxiety, we’re less aware of what we’re worrying about, so our reaction becomes the problem, and we start feeling anxious about being anxious.”
And even if we do initially drop off, those worries can still crowd in if we wake up during the night. “The classic time to wake up seems to be between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.,” adds Nerina Ramlakhan PH.D., author of Fast Asleep, Wide Awake. “Suddenly, your brain starts to become very active, and problems that may well be solvable during the day become huge worries at night—made worse by the fact you can’t sort them out there and then.”
Here’s what to do when your body says sleep but your mind’s not listening.
Meditating a few minutes before bedtime can relax your mind and help you sleep better.