Your Nightly Routine Might Be Stressing You Out
Your nightly routine is something you look forward to after a long day of work. But what you end up doing before bed can have a significant impact on the quality of sleep you get. The less quality sleep you get, the more you may stress, and the more you stress, the more likely you are to practice unhealthy after-work routines. To understand more about this phenomenon, The Sleep Judge broke down the routines of over 1,000 participants and analyzed associated stress.
Sleep Is Important
Science says sleep keeps stress keeps a third of Americans up at night. With these people getting six hours or less of sleep most nights, it’s no wonder they wake up without energy, grumpy, and anxious. We’ve all been told we should get eight hours of sleep, but it doesn’t look like many people are hitting that goal. But why is that the case?
The short answer is because of stress. Over 50% of Americans reported being stressed after a typical day, according to The Sleep Judge study. People found themselves stressing over relationships, work-related problems, and personal health, to name a few. The percentage of Americans worrying about these things pales in comparison to the 30% of Americans who stress about their finances.
While we’re stressing about our daily lives, the much-needed sleep we crave is dwindling. As people try to combat stress, they may turn to some things for their nightly routines. However, while some nightly routines help you get to sleep, others can do the exact opposite. Knowing which activities will actually lead to sleep can set you up for a better tomorrow.
How Do You Decompress?
The survey asked over 1,000 people from different age groups and industries how they relaxed after work. Whether it was men or women, the highest percentage of people decompressed by watching TV. The argument is still out as to whether TV before bed is good or bad. The background noise can make getting to sleep easier, but others claim the artificial light forces our bodies to sleep more poorly. Is it possible that watching TV before bed is hurting your quality rest?
The survey also found that the least stressed people listened to music or played video games, while the most stressed individuals cooked, played with their pet, and vented to someone. Thirty percent of people surveyed used substances like alcohol or drugs to relax, with around 50% of men and women choosing to smoke marijuana. Take a look at the ways you decompress after a long day. It’s an important part of any after-work routine.
Decompression gets us ready for the main act: sleep. According to the survey, most people took a shower or brushed their teeth. Some decided to read, meditate, and practice yoga, while others took care of some last-minute emails, checked social media, or cleaned. The survey found stark differences in stress when compared to individuals’ habits.
In fact, the most stressed people checked their email or played on social media before bed. And those who slept with their phones slept worse. Getting woken by text alerts, phone calls, or any other notification interrupts any quality sleep you may have been getting.
A Successful Tomorrow
Getting a quality night of sleep prepares you for a better tomorrow. What you do for your nightly routine affects how well you rest. When asked, the participants of the study suggested going to bed earlier, preparing food ahead of time, and waking up earlier as the best ways to be more successful. These all seem obvious, but can be hard to accomplish if you don’t have the right routine.
Put down the phone, let the email wait until the morning, and turn the TV off. These have shown to lead to more stress and poorer sleep. Read a book, meditate, do some yoga, or find something that equals those activities proven to lower stress. Sleep is crucial for a healthy and happy life, so build a routine that allows you to get more quality shut-eye.