Sleep can be a struggle when your mind is overtaken by anxious thoughts. It can be difficult to not only get to sleep but also have a restful sleep, and I’ve found that quality sleep is so important when coping with anxiety and depression especially with the winter months fast apporaching. There are medications you can get from your doctor, but I try to use those sparingly as it can be easy to become reliant on them, and I’ve found they make me groggy in the morning. Maybe they work for you, and you always wake up feeling great in the morning but for those of us who aren’t so lucky what do we do?
Going back to my piece on managing news anxiety, one of the easiest things you can do is avoid the news leading up to bed. With everything going on in the world fresh in your head it’s easy to let your mind wander and worry, especially right now when everything in the world is so uncertain and stressful. If you have to read or watch something when you wind down make it something that will de-stress you like a good book, your favorite TV show, anything that’s not going to cause you stress.
While watching what you put into your mind is important, so is watching what you put in to your body. A nice cup of herbal or chamomile tea before bed is a fantastic way to relax, it’s been used to relieve stress since ancient times. Carb-heavy foods should be limited anyway when you’re trying to manage anxiety, but it’s even more crucial to avoid in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Another fantastic tool I use to help sleep is music. As I’ve mentioned in the past, [music is an important part of my life](), and that’s even true for sleep. Most nights I will put on some relaxing, calm music, usually without any lyrics, and it focuses my mind on calm and relaxation. I’ve put together a playlist just for helping me sleep, appropriately titled “Bedtime”, and I’ve decided to share it with you on Spotify and Apple Music. It’s a little on the nerdy side, but the music is relaxing and I encourage you to use it as a starting point for your own playlists.
I know it’s easier said than done, but try to get a good night’s rest over the weekend. Use the time to experiment as see what works for you.