When we lay in bed at night, our bodies follow a ritual of changes that lead us to the state of sleep. These changes occur throughout the whole body; the heart beats slower, our blood pressure decreases, and our breathing rate becomes slow and steady. Due to the radical decline metabolism, oxygen levels in the body decline, muscles relax, and neurons in the brain react at a slower pace. This inspires the brain to drift into a sound sleep.

If you consider the effects of stress (increased blood pressure, increased breathing, muscle tension, and nervousness), these are totally counterproductive to the bodily process of falling asleep.

When we are stressed, cortisol levels in the body increase dramatically. As the cortisol hormone excites and energizes us, falling asleep – and staying asleep – can be more of a challenge.

Everyone is stressed out about something different. But there are stress-management methods that work for most people and that can be implemented to control and prevent stress.

Particularly for sleep, aromatherapy is a powerful tool that’ll help you relax at bedtime. Essences of chamomile, lavender, bergamot, and vanilla are all known to have calming olfactory properties.

Many psychologists suggest that a good way to induce sleep is by unwinding for a few moments before deciding to fall asleep. Taking a moment to distract your mind before submerging into the world of your subconscious will present a state of relaxation to prepare you for bed. Read a book or a magazine, have a cup of herbal tea while you sit at the porch, and have a fun conversation with your wife or husband.

Aside from the immediate relief practices that I’ve just named, you must also focus on addressing the source of your stress. If you don’t tackle a problem by the root, then it will keep coming up and forcing you to lose sleep over it literally.

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