We are currently living in a fast and highly unpredictable age. Technology is rapidly changing and thus influencing our way of life to a high degree. All of this is transforming our way of life on a daily basis which can be very stressful.
Stress is believed to be a number 1 illness of our age and is closely linked to insomnia, both often causing very serious maladies such as cancer or diabetes. In order for you to have a happier and more fulfilling life, we have gathered 10 tips on how to battle stress and insomnia effectively.
1. Eat healthy
As Feuerbach once said: “Man is what he eats”. Being overwhelmed by daily obligations, many of us indulge in high protein and high sugar fast foods and forget to sit down and have a quality slow-cooked meal. To start your day stress-free drink a cup of chamomile or mint tea and have a fiber rich breakfast that can satisfy your hunger without causing you to feel bloated.
Avoid too much sugar as the surplus of energy can make your uneasy especially in the night when you should be getting some sleep. Same goes for processed foods as the high concentration of salt in it can drain your body of water making you feel tired.
2. Get rid of nasty habits
If you have some habits that can be at best described as unhealthy, just try and get rid of them. Opposite to a popular belief “nightcaps” (alcoholic drinks that allegedly help you go to sleep) are very bad for sleeping since alcohol drains your brain of water and makes you wake up in the middle of the night or, yet worse, you wake up tired in the morning.
As for some other nastier habits, seek the help of a professional. Drugs use up all of the serotonin in your brain, making you grumpy a few days after. Hey, we’re here to help, not judge.
3. Sleep on the right surface
The first thing that we associate with sleep is our bed. Make sure your bed fits your needs. Do you like to stretch out when you sleep? Then pick a large bed. According to psychologists sleeping in a tight and narrow bed can affect your unconsciousness.
You may not be aware of that, but while you sleep in a small bed, your mind feels trapped and you can wake up tired and uneasy. As for the mattress, a soft bed is not always the best one. Ideal mattress should be slightly soft on the outside and hard on the inside.
This one comes intuitively. Exercising is the most natural way for your body to spend energy and it makes your brain release serotonin, the hormone of happiness. Join your local gym and consult a professional trainer to sculpt your body the way you want it to be.
If you find gyms too expensive, try exercising in the open. Use the gravity to your body’s advantage: push-ups, pull-ups, and squats are the most effective and natural exercises you can get. Jogging or fast walking is ideal for losing weight, and the better looking you are, the happier you’ll be.
5. Avoid overstimulation
I have yet to meet a man that doesn’t enjoy video games or TV time. Those habits are not problematic by themselves, but if you tend to watch TV or play video games before bedtime, chances are your brain is going to get overstimulated and lose that natural state of fatigue right before you go to bed. Believe it or not, not even all books are good for sleeping, as some can get you overworked, so choose those that are pleasurable and light.
There is a reason why all those Buddhist monks look super chill and it’s meditation. Since we are living in an age of some many media and information it’s not that easy to just turn yourself off for a couple moments.
Meditating is hard at first since your brain is already overwhelmed with all the info, but try baby steps. Every day at the roughly same time, take a 10 minutes break from thinking. Try to immerse yourself in the present moment and the results will soon be visible.
7. Establish a routine
It sounds boring, we know, but it can help you in a long-run. Your brain craves predictability in your everyday life. Imagine what life would be like if every day was an adventure: sure, it would be great at first, but at one point you would just collapse emotionally.
At least, establish a routine about your sleep cycle: force yourself every day to go to bed at the same hour. It will be hard at first, but it will pay off.
8. Try to sleep at night
Humans are diurnal beings. That means we hunt at day (we work now, but it’s pretty much the same) and sleep at night. This is not a thing you can change because it’s hardwired into our brain and generations of humans have behaved that way. Use that to your advantage: the earlier you wake up, the more you will bask in that glorious sunshine and your days will seem longer and more fulfilled.
9. Spend more time with family, friends or loved ones
Whatever burden it is that you’re carrying with you, it’s always easier to share it with somebody else. Humans are social animals: we enjoy spending time with others, after all, that is the main advantage over other species.
It is even healthy as socializing is one of the remedies psychologists use to treat their patients. Even a pet can make your day easier since everybody enjoys a good cuddle.
10. Consult a professional
Sometimes, insomnia and stress can be indicators of some physical or mental conditions. The tips we provided here are for mild insomnia and anxiety. If you feel overwhelmed by stress that may be a signal that something is very wrong with your body.
The same goes for insomnia: maybe it’s not just the bed or the food. If your insomnia and stress are crippling you, go see a doctor and explain your condition. They will utilize their knowledge and find a way to make you better.