Getting a good night sleep is essential for you to be able to relax properly and so reducing stress; not to mention you will function much better in every day life too with the correct amount of sleep.

The amount of sleep decreases with age; so at 60 you may need roughly 5 – 6 hours. Many people think that it is 8 hours; it’s actually the amount you need in order to be alert, awake and be able to function properly in throughout the day. It is your own body clock and everyone is different.

You will know when you are not getting the right amount of sleep or having a bad night, when you are dropping off in the middle of the day while someone’s talking to you or when you suddenly wake up to find milk and cereal in your face and hair, with everyone laughing at you. It may be this one event or a simple comment from someone that makes the light-bulb in your head switch on and realise that it is a problem that needs addressing.

Although stress could be the cause of sleep problems, there could also be many other reasons too; bad diet, things being too noisy, constantly thinking of things in bed, lack of exercise, not winding down properly and so on……
There are different ways to overcome these issues that could be affecting your sleep patterns and I will discuss some of these so you can maybe find a balance. Just remember, don’t give up too easy and try them all if needs be until you find your way; it could take months, so be patient!

1. Light up your life and nostrils with scents and oils. Pick out some oils with relaxing aromas, put them in a warm bath (not hot or they will evaporate) and massage yourself with diluted essential oils (5-6 drops) and a carrier oil (1 tablespoon), like grape seed. This helps to control stress, insomnia, relieves pain and relaxes both body and mind. Chamomile induces sleep but you could also drink this as a tea form if you prefer. Lavender is best used for sleep problems and helps to reduce anxiety levels, depression and stress. I bet at some point your mum put this on your pillow when you were younger.

2. Meditate. So you have things racing around your mind; tasks that need to be done tomorrow, etc. Meditation will not only drop your stress levels but your blood pressure/levels and also help with the effects of anxiety. So throw on your comfiest clothes (your pj’s perhaps) and sit in a comfy chair or on the floor, with your back straight, eyes closed and breathe deeply. As you exhale, let go of any negative thoughts and feelings, as well as the overload of information in there and just tell yourself ‘you’re relaxed each time you breathe in and out’. Do 2, 20 minute sessions before breakfast and in the evening.

3. Breathing and snoring (sleep apnea). Snoring can be the cause of smoking, drinking or being overweight. If your BMI is over 25 and your collar size is over 16.5 inches then you’re overweight. This means that your muscles in your windpipe will not be able to support the fat around it when you sleep. So cut down on the cigarettes and booze and get on a treadmill! Clear your nose before you go to bed and buy some chin strips if your mouth opens, as most snore this way. Alright I know you won’t win any beauty contests but it will prevent sore throats and dry mouths in the morning. If your snoring gets bad to the point that you stop breathing, then you have sleep apnea. This is where you snore loudly and then go quiet due to your throat closing so you can’t get any air and then you panic and wake yourself up. You may find that you have headaches as well, so ask your GP for advice.

This can go either with the stress article or separate or even as a sub article to the stress one.

Needs pictures like a stress ball, laughing, light bulb, snapping a pencil, and so on.

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