“The connection between insomnia and an increased risk for heart attack isn’t clear, but sleep problems might have an effect on blood pressure or inflammation, which can both be risk factors for a heart attack.”
–HealthDay article on a new European study
First and foremost, if you’re regularly having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor.
In many cases, stress and chronic anxiety can cause sleeplessness. Of course, you would be less stressed if you were sleeping well, but you can’t reduce your stress if you don’t get good sleep. It’s a frustrating catch-22.
If you sometimes find yourself having difficulty falling asleep, here are some things to consider.
1. Evaluate the comfort and noise levels in the bedroom.
If you don’t wish to invest in a comfortable mattress and bedding, it may be time to reconsider. You should ideally be spending about a third of your time in that bed.
Is your room too loud? Too quiet? Consider having a fan around to circulate air and replace the sounds of the house settling (or even the dead silence) with a consistent, comforting presence. Focus on the fan’s hum and breathe deeply as you fall asleep.
2. Experience sunlight, get exercise.
If you work a graveyard shift or if you rarely exercise, both of these things can make it difficult to sleep when it comes time.
Work-wise, if you’re stuck with your shift, find a way to get some daily sunlight. Likewise, you may tell yourself you’re too busy to get exercise, but find a way to get even 15 minutes in during your day. You’ll reap the rewards when you settle down for sleep.
Stressed or depressed? Don’t spiral, seek relief.
If you think your lack of sleep is due to overwhelming stress or depression, we urge you to talk to a professional.
A few stress management tips:
- Exercise! We’ve said it already, but it’s incredibly important.
- Soothe. You’ll know what helps you relax more than we do. Perhaps it’s a good book, a warm bath, or a nostalgic scent. If nothing comes to mind, try all three!
- Help. Listen to your friends and family if they need to vent, volunteer your time, or tackle a home improvement project. Stepping outside of yourself is a wonderful stress relief method. You’ll rightfully feel as if you’ve made a difference.
- Unplug. Step away from your computer and silence your phone. Ironically, that’s when it’s easiest to recharge.