Anxious Before Bed? Here’s What To Do To Get To Sleep

by | Oct 2, 2019

Unable to “switch off” at the end of the day? You’re not alone. An inability to mentally detach is a key signpost of anxiety, and a recent Australian Psychological Society study found that Australians have the highest anxiety levels in five years.

With 26 per cent of us suffering “above average” anxiety and 35 per cent reporting ‘significant distress’, having science-based strategies up your sleeve at the end of a stressful day is key. Not only will this enable you to unwind your mind with greater ease, but also, lessen 3am wake ups and allow deeper, more rejuvenating sleep. Enjoy.

how to sleep when youre anxious before bed

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1. Jump in a cool shower

As published in North American Journal of Medical Sciences, a cool shower decreases cortisol levels, the hormone to make you feel alert and awake. Subsequently, the body creates melatonin, the hormone to make you feel sleepy. Specifically how cool? Research notes if you can handle 14 degrees, you’ll see the greatest reduction in your cortisol levels, and further, boost (happiness hormone) dopamine by 250% too.

2. Practice mindfulness whilst you shower

Close your eyes, visualise the droplets running down every inch of your body and imagine the healing power – as noted above – of the water. Research shows mindfulness aids anxiety and overall wellbeing – more so than education around mental health. Not sure how to do it? Focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath, envisage the water skirting your body and bam – you’re doing it.

RELATED: 8 Signs You’re Struggling With High-Functioning Anxiety

how to sleep when youre anxious before bed

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3. Apply magnesium oil

Magnesium is one of my #1 go tos – clinical research highlights it reduces the activity of your sympathetic nervous system, lessening cortisol, and therefore, anxiousness. In addition, applying magnesium via a massage rather than orally maximises positive effects: studies show regular massage improves symptoms of anxiety by more than 50 percent over the course of three months. I recommend Salt Lab Magnesium Spray: it’s free from fillers and additives, and sourced from the Dead Sea – amplifying mineral content and thus relaxation for your mind.

For more tips, connect with me, Olivia Arezzolo, The Sleep Specialist, on Instagram.

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Your First Look At The Tour de France Femmes 2022 Route

For decades now, cyclists and their fans have been clambering for a women’s Tour de France. While the sport offers numerous events in the realm of road to gravel racing for female cyclists, they all tend to fall short to the kind of European stage race that has continued to attract the best competitors in the men’s field and, for those watching at home, left them inspired to purchase a bike and get outdoors. It’s safe to say that for many who aren’t even familiar with cycling, the Tour de France is well known. The event is bigger than the sport itself, having produced some of the most well known names in sport, even if controversy continues to surround them and the race itself which has long been plagued by doping scandals. Even so, the fact remains that few races possess the same kind of frantic energy, prestige and wonder as the Tour and not surprisingly, the sport’s female stars have fought for years to see a lasting, prestigious women’s stage race run alongside the men’s Tour. 

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that a women’s edition of the race will go ahead in 2022 that closely follows after the men’s race. According to Tour de France organiser, Christian Prudhomme, the women’s race will begin after the men’s Tour. As Prudhomme told The Guardian, “It will take place next year, that’s certain. It would have happened this year if it had not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, obviously, and above all if the Tokyo Olympics had not been after the [men’s] Tour, so the best riders may not be available. But the decision has been taken. There will be a Tour de France femmes in 2022 following closely after the [men’s] Tour.”

Now, the sport’s female athletes have been granted their first look at the 2022 race route which was recently unveiled in the Palais des Congres in Paris by newly appointed race director Marion Rousse. Even the unveiling was significant, with the elite women sitting alongside the peloton’s elite men in the Paris auditorium for the first time. It marks a shift in the landscape of cycling, one that puts women on an equal playing field as their male counterparts and signals a long-awaited leap in the profile of women’s cycling. Rousse described the “honour” of being the director of the women’s Tour de France, adding that: “The women’s races we have now are jewels to cherish.”

As the unveiling depicts, the women will begin on the Champs-Elysees before the route then zigzags east towards the Vosges Mountains and the Haut-Rhin, taking in sprint stages, gravel tracks that wind through the vineyards of Champagne, before ascending to high-altitudes in the final weekend. It will culminate in the 24 per cent gravel climb to Super Planche des Belles Filles. 

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“We wanted to start from Paris,” Rousse said of the women’s Tour. “With only eight stages, we couldn’t go down to the Alps or the Pyrenees, the transfers would be too long.” It was also announced that the women’s Tour de France champion would pocket a staggering 50,000 euro (approximately $78,190 AUD), with a further pot of $312,760 for Tour stage winners. 

Lizzie Deignan, winner of the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix this month, spoke of the announcement as being “an important day for cycling, not just women’s cycling.”

“It is a key indicator that the sport is still progressing as we are now able to compete in the most well-known bike race in the world. I think the organisers have done a really good job preparing the route for this edition.”

Deignan went on to add: “It will showcase the best that women’s cycling has to offer with a stage suited to every type of rider, something I was really hoping for. The route has been designed to offer entertaining racing from start to finish, but also to reach a crescendo with the final stage finishing on the Super Planche des Belles Filles, one of the hardest climbs in professional cycling.”