Ways to Calm Your Nervous System for Better Sleep at Night
Learn ways to calm your nervous system to fall asleep and stay asleep with ease so you can wake up feeling refreshed, energetic, and focused.
There is nothing more frustrating than feeling tired and wanting to go to sleep, but not being able to do so.
You may have been dreaming about the moment that you can finally get into bed, shut your eyes, and get that quality sleep you have been missing.
You find yourself dragging throughout your day because you didn’t sleep well the night before.
Except, when you’re finally ready to go to bed, your mind and body have other plans (that don't involve sleep).
In fact, they are too activated to let you fall and stay asleep so you can take your day by storm. And so the vicious, low energy and poor focus cycle continues.
One of the biggest reasons for this is a nervous system that is overly activated. That’s right, your own nervous system is keeping you from falling asleep.
One of the best ways to fall asleep and stay asleep like a baby is learning ways to calm your nervous system. We do this by:
1) Understanding the nervous system and its role in poor sleep
2) Learning ways to calm the nervous system for better sleep
Ways to Calm Your Nervous System: Understand the Autonomic Nervous System for Better Sleep
One of the best ways to calm your nervous system before bed is to better understand the way that the nervous system works.
Our autonomic nervous system consists of two systems that work together to regulate our stress levels, sense of calm, heart rate, and breathing.
The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for an activated state. This will be activated when we are under stress, feeling anxious, exercising, or responding to danger.
It is often an overactivation of this branch of the nervous system that makes it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
The opposing counterpart, the parasympathetic nervous system, is responsible for rest, relaxation, and digestion.
In order to be able to sleep soundly at night, the parasympathetic nervous system needs to be activated so the mind and body can be calm.
Therefore, learning to activate the parasympathetic nervous system is one of the best ways to calm your nervous system for better sleep.
5 Ways to Calm Your Nervous System
There are many ways to calm your nervous system for better sleep at night. As mentioned above, the best way to do that is to engage in activity that directly activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Consider the following five strategies to calm the body and mind for better sleep at night:
Exercise is one of the best ways to train the parasympathetic nervous system in general.
Because our heart rate is increased by the sympathetic nervous system and lowered by the parasympathetic nervous system when exercising, exercise is an excellent way to train the nervous system to be calmer.
Exercise also helps the body to respond faster to exercises designed to calm the nervous system, such as deep relaxation exercises.
Exercising also helps reduce muscle tension, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
2) Deep Breathing
One of the best ways to calm the nervous system for better sleep is with deep breathing.
Deep breathing physiologically activates the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and a calmer mind.
3) Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is an excellent way to calm the body before bed. This includes tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to help the body and mind relax.
Progressive muscle relaxation has been shown to be especially useful for preparing the body for sleep.
Yoga is a specific form of physical activity that has been shown to be a great way to relax the nervous system.
Not only does yoga involve exercise, but it also focuses on deep breathing and reducing tension in the body.
This combination can be helpful in training the nervous system and preparing it for better sleep at night.
Biofeedback is a more advanced strategy to relax the nervous system. Biofeedback uses electronic devices to monitor physiological responses in the body, such as heart rate, breathing, and body temperature while individuals are engaged in deep relaxation exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
This is an advanced way to understand how the body is responding to different deep relaxation exercises that you may be practicing.
Calming Your Nervous System for Better Sleep Summary
There are many reasons for poor sleep at night. However, one of the biggest culprits is an overly active nervous system that makes it hard to fall and stay asleep.
Learning to calm the nervous system is one of the best ways to relax the body and mind so you can fall asleep, stay asleep, and take your day by storm.
Sick of poor sleep getting in the way of your energy, focus, and efficiency? My Master Stress Method has helped hundreds of frustrated professionals struggling with sleep and stress transform into energetic, focused, and confident individuals.
Book a discovery call so we can talk about how you can take charge of your life and stop the struggle with poor sleep and stress, for good.
---About Dr. Julia
Hi! I'm Dr. Julia. Health psychologist, stress and sleep expert, and creator of the Master Stress Method.
I have worked with thousands of individuals in major hospitals, university medical centers, and primary care settings to improve their stress levels, sleep, and overall emotional and physical well being.
My current focus is helping busy professionals prevent and manage the high stress that is getting in the way of their productivity, mood, sleep, and their ability to reach their full potential.
My Master Stress Method has helped hundreds of stressed out, overwhelmed, and burned out clients significantly reduce their stress and anxiety, improve their sleep, and maximize their productivity, in just weeks.
I can't wait to help you stop the struggle with stress, for good. Let's chat :)