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.
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.
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.