Do you toss and turn all night, stressing about money and paying your bills? Stress gets in the way of quality sleep, and many people report that when they don't get enough sleep, their stress increases even more. Studies offer up more negative results of sleeplessness: losing sleep destroys your ability to concentrate and make good decisions; and according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, your brain even starts to - UGH - eat itself!

It's time to stop this vicious cycle.

Take the time to read these tips to help you get to sleep so you can tackle your life's challenges more effectively in the morning. Getting more sleep will allow you to make better decisions in your life and in your finances! Your mind, body, and bank account will thank you.

Reducing Stress

Woman meditating indoors crossed legs

The main culprit is often a lack of internal monologue time" copyright

According to sleep experts, when you're losing sleep, the main culprit is often a lack of "internal monologue time" during your waking hours. If you wake up to the news on your phone, listen to a podcast on your way to work, work all day at a computer, and then watch Netflix until you pass out, you've effectively eliminated any chance for an internal monologue before bed. Is it any wonder that your mind races when you try to go to sleep? It's the first time all day when your brain is not being distracted by some form of input.

You should carve out some time to think without distractions before you head to bed. Your brain needs this time to sort out its emotional responses and review daily happenings to make sense of the world. If you don't make the time to do this, your mind will wait until you are lying in bed, and it will stop you from falling asleep.

The brain naturally wants to think through daily challenges — it just needs an opportunity to do so. Without this time for quiet personal reflection, the brain tends to fill up with unsolved problems and unresolved internal conflicts from the day. If you are prone to "catastrophizing" your day-to-day interactions, you need time to sort out the proper emotional response internally. Don't wait until bedtime to sort yourself out!

Are you ready to learn how to reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep?

Clearing Your Mind

Here are eight ways to devote time to yourself and reduce stress to help you sleep. Minimizing distractions is key; you want your mind to turn inward and focus on itself.

1. Meditation

Young woman meditating in her laundry room

One way to achieve inward reflection and focus is to meditate" copyright

One way to achieve inward reflection and focus is to meditate. If you're interested to try meditation, but unsure how to begin, we encourage you to download a meditation app, such as Headspace, to help you capture and maintain your focus.

Meditation is easy to do, free, and available everywhere. Keep in mind that meditating doesn't have to mean sitting cross-legged on a mat listening to native flute music. Some people find going for a walk to be a great mind-clearing activity; others cleanse their psyches in the shower. Find the activity that works for you, and let your mind clear and organize itself. If you devote ten minutes each day to clearing your mind, you will see an immediate improvement in your ability to fall asleep. The key to success with meditation is consistency — it takes practice to be able to empty your mind on demand.

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