The Little Behavior Changes That Can Have A Big Influence On Your Stress Levels

February 14, 2015 1:48 PM

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Look, you know this. The worse your sleep, the more vulnerable you are to thoughts and reactions that amp up your stress -- which, in a painful irony, makes it harder to sleep. We talk in great detail about how to improve your sleep, but here's one biggie: You need to create a buffer zone between wake and sleep. This is a conscious, structured time to shift out of your busy mind and into the calmer state that allows you to sleep. To do this, try setting a go-to-sleep alarm. You likely use one to wake up -- but why not give yourself a cue to put aside your work, chores, devices and even worrisome thoughts? First, decide when you want to be in bed and ready for sleep. Then set two alarms: one to cue the wind-down (say, to turn off the TV and begin your bedtime routine) and another for 30 minutes later to let you know it's time to hit the hay. You'll be doing yourself a favor by getting through the days without getting frazzled. Read more about how to build better sleep habits.

A packed schedule can be exciting -- a sign that you're killing it at work and at home. And yet, when you're overbooked to the point of stress, you're dancing so fast you stop noticing how exhausted or anxious you really are. Push yourself to be productive on every front all the time, and you will h...

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