Stress Reduction | Nightly Relaxation Routine

For the longest time I have struggled with stress and sleeping at night. I’m sure some of you, if not A LOT of you deal with the same exact issues.

It started for me in 2010 when I began college. I would go to sleep, only to wake up at 3 a.m. staring at the ceiling. I’d toss and turn, and eventually end up getting up and making a pot of coffee. I wouldn’t really know what to do with myself, so I would study, do homework, or watch TV. Talk about the the longest hours of your life – you’re exhausted, but your brain and body just won’t rest.

I’ve gone through bouts of this for nearly 8 years now. It’s honestly exhausting, and you might know how I feel.  You want your bed to be inviting, somewhere you actually want to be at the end of the night, but it ends up being something you absolutely dread!

Since starting a new routine of nightly relaxation, I’ve found that my quality and duration of sleep is much improved. I’m hoping I can help you guys out with some tips and tricks!

magnesium

 I am such a big fan of Magnesium. It’s great for relaxing your nervous system, which means less anxiety! Chronic stress actually depletes your body of magnesium, so I highly recommend it. I take 250 mg in evening, but everyone’s body is different so you might want to take less than that if you’ve never done it before!

The second thing that has really helped me is Ashwaghanda. Ashwaghanda is an herb is traditionally used in the Ayurvedic world, and is becoming much more popular everyday. This herb is great for so many things! It can help with inflammation, improving the immune system, and combating stress. I take 250 mg in the evening, but this can be taken anytime of the day (as it doesn’t cause drowsiness).

I must say that I AM NOT a doctor! I’m only sharing my experience with you and am giving some ideas. I would do some research or consult a physician if you need more info on these supplements!

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Tea

I LOVE Sleepytime Tea. This stuff has helped me more than anything else. I’m only 26 years old, but I’m a real stickler for schedule and going to bed early ( I’m trying to get better about this haha)! So, around 8:30 I’ll get my kettle boiling and steep some tea. The taste itself took me a while to get used to, but I love it now.

The tea itself contains chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, and a few other herbs. All of these are great for relaxing the body. About an hour and a half later, I find myself super sleepy!

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aromatherapy

I know there is a huge craze around essential oils right now, and I’m not trying to sell you any products! I’ve been using oils since I was in middle school, and think they are great!

The first one I like to use is Lavender oil. Right before bed, I will put 2 drops into my oil diffuser, which will last most of the night. This smells so good guys, and it’s so relaxing. I’m sure you’re probably thinking that I’ve had my supplements and tea at this point, so I should be relaxed. You would be correct! I’ve tried this without the supplement and tea, and it really helped! So it is Stephanie approved 🙂

The second oil I like to use is a blend called Peace and Calming. It’s a blend of Orange, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy. This is my favorite oil that I have! I put 2 drops in the palm of my hand and mix it with some massage oil. I will apply some of the mixture behind my ears, on the back of my neck, and sometimes on the bottom of my feet.

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caffeine

This has been one of the hardest things I have had to do in the past couple of years. I began to abuse it by drinking pots a day! I was always so stressed and so tired, that caffeine was the only way I felt like I could get through the day. As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, my mind was on coffee. I know I’m not the only one!

If you have trouble sleeping at night, this could be the culprit. Caffeine has a half life of five to six hours. This means that five to six hours later, you will still have half of the caffeine you consumed earlier running through your system.

It took me about a month and a half to get over the caffeine addiction, and it was HARD. I went cold turkey for a week and the headaches were just too intense. Black tea was the only thing that helped me get over that.  I’m not saying you should do that! Cutting back a couple of cups a day is completely rational! Setting a time to stop drinking caffeine might help too.

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exercise

I got my Bachelors in Exercise Science, so I am a big proponent of getting outside and moving. Stress hormone levels can get too high in body, not allowing it to relax the way it should. Physical activity actually combats those hormones and lowers their levels! So, even if it is a short 15 minutes walk, do it! The hardest part is always starting, and I can almost bet you won’t be sorry you did it!

I hope some of these tips will help you guys. I know there are so many other things that can help improve sleep, but these are the ones that work for me!

Let me know if any of these tips help you out! I’d love to hear some of your nightly relaxation/sleeping tips, so if you have any for me, drop them below!

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