3 Tips for Managing Stress for a Better Night’s Sleep

We all know how wonderful it feels when we get a great night’s sleep, we wake full of energy and ready to take on the world! Despite all of us knowing how good sleep is for us, it seems less of us are getting enough of the good stuff, and our health is suffering as a result. One of the biggest causes of missed sleep is stress. We flick off the lights and lay our head on our nice soft pillow, but instead of drifting off to the land of nod the little voice in our head begins to list all the worries we have for the following day.

Stress and sleep are strange bedfellows. The more stressed we are, the less likely we are to sleep well. But then the worst we sleep the more likely we are to develop anxiety, stress and even depression. A cruel cycle indeed; it’s all quite unfair! What can be done to break this cycle? Well, below I’m going to let you in my top tips on how to get more sleep and reduce your stress levels.

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Get into A Routine

Regularity is probably the most important thing anyone can do to help improve their sleep. The human mind craves routine. Doing the same thing at the same time helps the brain build associations and with its shortcuts.

Go to bed at the same time every day, get up at the same time. Whether it is the weekday or the weekend, try and keep to the same time. Note, your body doesn’t care about weekends, Saturday is nothing more than a social construct. You will soon find your brain knows what time sleep should be and will start to prepare for it.

The same principle lays behind a having a good pre-bed wind-down routine. Avoiding screens in the hour before bed will help your overstimulated brain slow down. Replacing any activity that involves even the remotest possibility of stress with low key, relaxing things instead will do wonders.

So, that means no more tax returns, flight booking or attempting to help your son with their math homework before bed. Instead, why not slow down, read a book, listen to some music, or even take a nice hot bath.

For other ideas on what makes a great pre-bed routine, plus a host of other tips on how to improve your odds of a good night’s kip, check out the Sleep Advisor blogroll.

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Take A Nice Hot Bath

Speaking of baths, AH! What is more relaxing than soaking into the bubbles and having a nice long bath before bed? A lot of people swear by it, Oprah Winfrey for one. If it is good enough for the queen of daytime, it’s good enough for us!

Pre-bed bath enthusiasts often claim it’s the toasty warmth of a good soak that lulls them to sleep. Well, they are partially right. Having a hot bath before bed is great for inducing sleepy times but not for the reason they think.

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When you have a hot bath, a process known as vasodilation takes place, this is where the blood rushes to the skin. Hence why you get rosy cheeks. When you then step out of your nice warm bath all this heat at the surface of your body is transferred to the cold air around, and you experience a massive thermal dump, and your core temperature plummets. It’s this cooling effect that is incredibly soporific.

Having a hot bath, or an ice-cold shower will have a similar impact. It’s just a hot bath is a far more pleasurable experience. Both are ways to help you de-stress at the end of a long day and get your body and mind in a good place for sleep time.

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Calm That Monkey Mind

One method to calm that chattering voice in your head at night is to take up a little meditation. And no, before you ask, meditation is not just for monks and hippies. Though, these two groups do seem pretty relaxed!

Everyone can benefit from the effects of a little meditation. It’s free and requires nothing but a place to sit. To genuinely feel the benefit it does, however, require the commitment of at least 15 minutes each day.

It might sound dramatic but meditation over time essentially works by reprogramming our brain.

I know that sounds outlandish, the brain scans substantiate such claims.



Daily sessions of simply sitting and observing whatever images and ideas that float through our mind’s eye, help us realize how futile it is to worry about every little thought. This helps to free us from negative patterns of thoughts, reduce anxieties and de-stress. Find a quiet corner and give it a go.

Well there you go – three simple and completely free (if you don’t count bath salts) ways reduce your stress levels and help improve your odds of a great night’s rest. A little unsure, well, why not give them a whirl. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You miss a bit of sleep!

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Meet the Author

Hi there, my name’s Sarah, and I’m a sleep addict. I simply can’t get enough of the good stuff. When I’m not lying in bed dreaming (mainly of Chris Hemsworth) I spend the better part of every day researching and writing about sleep. I genuinely believe the world would be a happy, healthier, and even safer place to live if we all took sleep a little bit more seriously. Sweet dreams!

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5 Easy Holiday Self-Care Practices

With the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season, it’s easy to allow yourself to become overwhelmed with everything on your to-do list and everyone who wants to spend time with you. it’s during this time that we tend to neglect ourselves the most. For that reason, I have a collection of holiday self-care practices perfect for the occasion.

Holiday Baths

A bath is one of my favorite ways to decompress around the holidays. You just cannot go wrong by relaxing in a hot tub with some bubbles and a candle. To set up the perfect bath for relaxing, head over here! Perhaps for this season, mix it up with a holiday or Christmas bath bomb or candle scent!

Create A Relaxed, Cozy Environment

Another great way to practice holiday self-care is to make sure your environment instills calm, cozy, and relaxed vibes. There are a ton of ways to do this, but ultimately, it is whatever works best for you. You might turn up the heat, dim the lights, light a candle, curl up with a blanket, or make some hot cocoa. You can read more about getting that cozy Christmas feeling here.

5 Easy Holiday Self-Care Practices

Have Somewhere to Escape to

If you’re over-worked, stressed, or introverted, one of the best ways to practice holiday self-care is to ensure that you have somewhere you can escape from the hustle and bustle of people and the never-ending to-do list. Take some time each day or even week away from everything stressing you out and be by yourself. Your escape can be anywhere and you can do anything when you are there. For me, I escape to my bedroom each night where I curl up in my blankets and watch some of my favorite YouTube channels. This is my holiday self-care escape. Where do you like to escape to during stress?

Brief Yoga or Meditation

Perhaps yoga is not for you, but meditation and yoga are great ways to take your mind off holiday stress and decompress. When you find yourself feeling tense, stressed, or overwhelmed, take a minute to be in the present. Take a walk or do some yoga and just be. Head over here to read more about using meditation during the holidays.

5 Easy Holiday Self-Care Practices

Say No

One of the biggest and most important on this short list of holiday self-care practices is practicing saying no. During this time of year everyone is doing so many things and it can be so incredibly overwhelming. Being able to turn down requests is probably the most effective way to de-stress and take care of yourself this holiday season. If you take nothing else from this post, please practice saying no and be aware of your limits. If you have taken on too much, do not take on any more, and ask for help! There is no shame in turning your projects or tasks into group endeavors.

This is a very brief list of holiday self-care practices, I’d like to know how you manage your holiday stress and take care of yourself. Let me know if the comments below!

5 Easy Holiday Self-Care Practices



How to Set Up the Perfect Bath for Relaxation

You’ve come home from a stressful day at work or school. How do you de-stress? A Bath! Setting up a nice relaxing bath is a science. It requires not only a relaxing bath but a relaxing bath environment. I am here to tell you exactly how to set up the perfect relaxation bath. This article contains affiliate links

STEP 1: Clean the Bathroom

No one can relax in their bath if the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. The key here is a quick clean.

First, rinse out the tub! If you do nothing else before a bath rinse down the tub. This is especially important if you don’t regularly clean your bathroom. I have a dog and I constantly find dog hair in my tub that I don’t want in my bath. A quick rinse will get rid of any stray hairs, dust, or whatever else.

You can stop there if you’d like, but I know I can’t relax in my bath without cleaning up just a little bit more. Before a bath, I pick up clutter off the floor.

Lastly, quickly wipe down the countertop. Put away any stray items and run a wet cloth over the countertop

Now you are ready to prepare the bath.

STEP 2: Set the Scene

Next, you want to get candles. Set them wherever you’d like. I put mine on the counter because of the size of my tub. But they are a nice addition to the tub’s edge!

Now, light the candles and dim the lights. However, you don’t want complete darkness for obvious safety reasons. I leave the light on in my bedroom and turn the bathroom lights off for the perfect dimmed effect.

STEP 3: The Bath

You have cleaned up, set the scene, and now it’s time to prepare the bath!

The Base of Relaxation

First, you fill the bath (duh). I like a really hot bath so I crank the heat up! But fill it with a temperature suitable for you. Next, add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt. This helps to relax your muscles, perfect!

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Scent

Add a scent next. Lavender is my favorite relaxation scent, but if you prefer something else, focus on that scent. I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water. This creates a light lavender aroma.

Add to this aroma with lavender candles.

Fun Additions

If you like a bubble bath, add some scentless or lavender-scented soap. I never have these products available to me. So instead, I add a lavender-scented bath bomb. Then again, sometimes I’ll add both.

If there are other products you’d like to add, now is the time to add them. Otherwise, your bath is all ready for you!

STEP 4: Get In!

This is everything you’ve been waiting for, so get in and ENJOY! The most effective relaxing bath lasts for at least 20 minutes, but don’t look at the clock. Have some quiet, electronic-free ME-time.

Bath Must-Haves:

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