Sleep Science Academy founder and your coach and guide to your best night’s sleep, Devin Burke, expands on the top daily habits to reduce stress and How to Improve Sleep.
A lot of science and research indicates that a daily mindfulness practice can help improve your sleep and reduce stress. Fortunately, today, mindfulness is a buzzword because we need more mindfulness.
There are numerous ways to practice mindfulness, but it is bringing more present awareness to what you are doing. You can be mindful doing anything, washing the dishes, taking a walk, and noticing the trees.
Again, mindfulness is essentially bringing your mind back to the present. I highly recommend establishing a daily mindfulness practice.
Your daily practice can be taking time for mindfulness meditation in the morning or the evening before bed. Any time is valuable, but training your mind to be in the present versus the future or analyzing and worrying about the past can do wonders for your cortisol levels, which can do wonders for your sleep.
If you’re not already practicing mindfulness, you should start today because it will make a massive difference in your life by practicing it consistently.
And that is the key, consistently.
2-A Stressless Environment
We live in a hyper-stimulated world; hyper-stimulation fills our environment. You can’t control all the environments you are in, but you can control some, specifically your home environment. You want to make your home a sanctuary.
If your home is messy, chaotic, highly stimulating, or hyper-stimulating, at least consider creating a space that is a sanctuary where you can go. A place where you can rest that is non-stimulating; it’s not complicated.
A sanctuary doesn’t take much space; it can merely be a little corner in your room, although I highly recommend making your entire house a stressless environment if you can.
The color of the walls, the things you choose, like your choice of furniture, and where you put things can create stress or a sense of rest and relaxation.
For example, opening an unorganized drawer (I know I have them at my house) suddenly creates tension when you look in because of the mess. Versus opening an organized and clean drawer (I have those also), which is less stressful than the chaotic one where you can’t find anything.
The more you embrace organization, the more you create a relaxing, stressless environment.
Choose the environments where you go with less stress. For instance, go for a less stimulating dinner venue than another option might be. You can create some intention regarding the environments you place yourself in.
You certainly don’t want to get super rigid about this strategy, but a little intention in your home and the places you choose to go can cause a massive shift in your level of stress.
Get Back to Nature
We need more nature and less tech. Our overwhelming connection to technology makes it extremely easy to get sucked into all the social media, bad news, and things going on in the world. We must be intentional to step out of that loop, and a great way of doing this is when we are in nature.
Positive, supportive relationships in our environments will also help with our stress load. This question may be familiar: Who are the five people you surround yourself with the most?
If you are trying to get better sleep, and the people around you have stress and stress you out, think twice about how much time you are spending with these individuals.
You must be intentional about the people surrounding you and the people you spend the most time with because they will rub off on you. You can’t control people, but you can manage your relationships with them, how you relate to the people, and who you choose as your company. You want to be mindful of this fact.
Amazing things happen when we laugh more, bringing more intention and joy into our lives.
I like to ask our clients at Sleep Science Academy, “How can you bring more joy and lightness into your life?”
This question is one I ask myself because, honestly, I can take myself and my work far too seriously, which creates stress, and I genuinely try to practice what I teach. This question is a great one to ask yourself and one I ask myself constantly because I want more joy and lightness, which leads to more laughter and stress-busting neurochemicals.
Mental check-ins, assessing our thoughts, are essential because our thoughts create our feelings. The next time you begin feeling stressed, check in with what you are thinking about.
These check-ins are essential because, again, our thoughts create what we feel, and we often are unaware of the thoughts fostering our feelings of stress. You can elect to do this anytime to create a calm, peaceful, and stress-free mind and body. It’s a choice.
This pick is sometimes challenging and other times more manageable, but we have a choice. We can choose the meaning we give things and must exercise that choice.
When we speak of physical stress in the body, selecting healthy food and clean water while consuming less sugar, caffeine, and junk food can make a huge difference in our stress levels.
As much as possible, you want to ensure your body gets clean water, food, less sugar, less caffeine, and less processed food, as these all create stress in our bodies.
The more we make healthier choices, the less stress we will experience physically.
Self-Care Is Healthcare
Today, we have sick care, not healthcare, but we can elect to practice self-care, which is healthcare.
Take the time to de-stress, get a massage, take a walk, go on vacation, play sports, or do things just to do them for fun and not with any utility behind it. Playing music, art, something – make time for yourself.
Whatever your passion, take time to practice it, as it will lead to less stress and better sleep.
Treat your body like a temple.
This idea should be easy to remember because our body is our temple, and we only get one. Take care of your body, and if you are not doing so, you can choose to begin today. The fantastic thing about our body is its resiliency; when you practice healthy habits, the body will respond.
You can start today!
If you’re abusing your body or in a downward spiral with a lot of stress in your life, draw a line and say, “Today is the day I am going to make some changes.”
Treating your body like a temple will make you less stressed.
This strategy is so simple people often overlook it: breathing, taking deep, belly, diaphragmatic breaths. There are many different techniques for this, and we teach many of them at Sleep Science Academy, but this one is super simple: the 4-6-8 or the 4-7-8 breath technique.
In this exercise, you inhale for a count of four, holding for six or seven (depending on your lung capacity), and then exhale for a count of eight.
You will notice a shift in your stress and energy after doing this a couple of times, and this is something you can do in the car. You can practice this exercise as you go to bed or start your day.
We are constantly breathing, and if you are not breathing, you’re not living. We often breathe from our chest and not our belly. Practicing simple techniques like the 4-6 or 4-7-8 will aid in breathing from your belly and can be transformational for your stress.
So, these are my five daily habits for reducing stress and achieving better sleep. Practicing mindfulness, creating a stressless environment, laughing more, regular mental check-ins, and proper breathing techniques can all make a substantial difference in your stress level and quality of sleep.
Although these concepts are straightforward, it can be challenging to implement all of them by yourself. Finding the proper support for navigating such issues can be the difference between success and failure.
Sleep Science Academy’s proven, science-based Dynamic Sleep Recalibration (DSR) program provides the support you need when facing these sleep issues.
Your personal certified holistic health/sleep coach will create a treatment plan fitting your needs and situation. Your coach will support and guide you through the process to a future full of restful nights and active, productive daytimes.
With our 100% cash-back guarantee of success, you have nothing to lose except sleeplessness and all of its problems. Why wait any longer? Contact us today and schedule your complimentary sleep consultation with one of our certified sleep coaches.
Learn more about the Sleep Science Academy Difference and start down the pathway to a future with less stress and anxiety and more peace and tranquility.