Feeling tired, irritable or just not working your best after a night of bad sleep? If lack of sleep is stressing you out, it could be affecting your blood pressure too.
Sleeping less than 6 hours has been linked to increased blood pressure. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, helps control your stress hormones and keeps your nervous system up and running. Since your blood helps regulate your stress hormones, the stress from not sleeping properly over a period of time can worsen your hypertension.
According to experts, you need to get 7–8 hours of sound sleep to control your blood pressure and prevent it from snowballing into other complications.
If poor sleep is raising your pressure and bringing you down, act now. These 5 steps should help set you up for a good night’s sleep consistently.
1. Be More Mindful
Know what triggers off your stress and find some stress busters to cope better. Try mindfulness practices like yoga, deep breathing and meditation to clear your mind before you hit the bed. You could even try having a warm shower or bath before bed to relax your muscles and mind.
2. Be Consistent
Set a time to go to bed every night and stick to it no matter what. Say you aim for a sleep pattern of 10 pm to 6 am, your body will get used to it and you will naturally fall asleep faster at that time.
3. Ready Your Room
A chaotic room makes for a chaotic mind, so tidy up. Keep your room dark, cool, and quiet without any distractions. Invest in a comfortable mattress.
4. Turn Off Screens
Turn off all your screens and put your phone on airplane mode at least half an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from devices affects your sleep hormones, keeping you awake longer.
5. Be More Active
Not only is physical activity known to reduce stress and relieve anxiety because of the endorphins released in your body, but it also helps you sleep deeper, which improves the overall quality of your sleep. It’s best to work out during the first half of the day. If you do exercise in the evening, be sure to wrap it up 3–4 hours before bedtime. Otherwise, it’s going to leave you overstimulated and delay sleep.