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Stay Home, Stay Well: Reducing Anxiety to Improve Sleep

Written by: Kristen Luft 

As we wrap up stress awareness month, it’s important to highlight the factors that impact stress. In order to healthily manage stress, your body relies on many necessary functions, including sleep. 

Getting enough quality sleep can be hard, especially when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Changes in your daily routine, the constant news cycle, health concerns, and financial worries are just some of the ways the current pandemic is affecting all of us, so you aren’t alone if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night during this time.  

The good news is, there are a few ways to help relax your body and mind throughout your day and at bedtime to improve your sleep. Below are a few strategies for occasional sleep problems. If you experience persistent sleep issues though, it might be a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional. 

  1. Try a bedtime routine that includes relaxing activities. This gives your body and mind the time to slow down after a busy, stimulating day. Try taking a bath, drinking tea, playing relaxing music, meditating, or reading a book before bed.
  2. Add exercise to your day. Exercise has incredible health benefits, and for good reason! An at-home workout or jog throughout your day may help you fall asleep faster at night. 
  3. Get out of bed. That may sound counter-productive, but if you can’t fall asleep for more than 20 minutes, getting out of bed and doing something relaxing may be just what you need to calm your brain and body. This can also reduce any sleep-related anxiety that you may feel when you are lying away stressing about not being able to fall asleep 

Good sleep might be just an arm’s reach away. For more information on sleep disorders, tips, and tools, visit sleepfoundation.org. 

Stay Home, Stay Well is NAMI Wake’s new blog and video series focused on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In our attempt to create a more mentally healthy community, we will be providing resources each week. We know this is a difficult time in everyone’s lives right now. Our hope is that you find helpful tips, information, and resources in this series on how to stay mentally well at home. 

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