We all go through periods where life becomes more challenging. Our minds race, worrying about our relationships, jobs, and financial situations. Our bodies respond by releasing adrenalin and cortisol, increasing our heart rate, making breathing shallow, tightening muscles, and giving us heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers. Truly, stress and anxiety are no joke.

What’s worse, highly stressful days often lead to highly sleepless nights. A recent study showed that nearly half of all Americans suffer insomnia related to stress at one point or another. What’s more, over a third of those report their stress leaves them feeling extremely fatigued.

It’s no wonder. More adrenalin—the hormone that gives us our fight or flight response—and a higher heart rate can translate into a lot of tossing and turning at night. That’s because our bodies are sending us a signal that we are in danger and it’s not safe to go to sleep. Under these conditions, even if we’re lucky enough to fall into a slumber, we’ll probably wake throughout the night.

And then there’s the issue of not having enough time in the day. When we’re overworked and staying too busy, our minds never have time to decompress. Our bodies can’t discern when it’s time to wind down, and that results in a poor night’s sleep or even no sleep at all. Overstimulation is a big contributor to insomnia.

Tangentially, being overly busy also contributes to a bad night’s rest by keeping us from practicing healthy habits. If there’s no time to exercise, hang out with friends or family, or even read, our stress level increases even more. Scheduling in time for the more enjoyable parts of life makes for a more relaxed mind.

Tips to Help Overcome Anxiety

So if your mind is racing along with your heart, your muscles are seriously tight at night, and you’re tossing and turning with no relief, try these tips to help overcome anxiety and start sleeping more soundly.

See the Light

Circadian rhythm—basically our brain’s very own alarm clock system that regulates sleep—runs on light. When it’s dark, our brain produces melatonin to make us sleepy. When it’s light again, that production stops and we wake up. To ensure the best sleep at night, make sure you’re getting enough sunlight during the day. If that’s just not the environment you live in, consider investing in a “happy” light that simulates natural light.

Get Moving

Regular exercise does a body good. Working out and getting a good sweat going releases endorphins. These feel-good chemicals make the brain calmer and happier, reducing stress. And reduced stress often translates into better sleep!

Indulge in Some Self-care

Meditation, yoga, massage, deep breathing techniques, listening to soothing sounds, a little aromatherapy, or even a long hot bath can do wonders. Muscles unclench as the mind and body relax. And from there, sleep won’t be far behind.

Make Yourself Comfortable

Having a calm, warm, relaxing space will do wonders for your sleep. So invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding. Ban work, screens, and televisions, as blue light emitted from these devices, acts as a stimulant to the brain and interrupts the natural circadian rhythm. Instead, make your bedroom a sacred space for sleep (and romance) only.

Try Using Heavy Blanket

Many people find that a weighted blanket is an incredible sleep aid because it feels like a big hug. In fact, 78% of people studied say they feel more relaxed with a weighted blanket. Pro tip: Heavy blankets come in different weights, and most people prefer one that is equal to 10% of their body weight.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Drinking too much coffee or soda during the day—often in response to being tired from lack of sleep—only exacerbates the problem by keeping you up at night. Try a soothing green or herbal tea instead. Ditto for alcohol. Although it may seem like it helps you fall asleep, alcohol is notorious for interfering with sleep quality during the night. Drink water and stay hydrated for a better rest.

It’s been shown that we spend one-third of our lives sleeping. If you’re missing out on some of that, your mind and body will suffer. So don’t stress about it—do something about it. Implement a new routine to overcome anxiety and start getting a good night’s rest again.

Author's Bio: 

Umar Bajwa is a blogger and professional content writer loves to write about lifestyle, fitness and health related topics.