15 Ways to Ease Stress and Improve Sleep Patterns In 2024

Woman sleeping peacefully.

Without proper sleep, even the simplest of tasks like making breakfast, taking your dog for a walk, or checking your email, can feel like a huge challenge. People have difficulty falling and staying sleeping at night for a variety of reasons, including stress, anxiety, health conditions, restlessness, and from the overconsumption of caffeine.

If you sleep with earplugs and an eye mask, and are still unable to wake up feeling rested and refreshed, the good news is: there are tons of ways you can ease stress and improve your sleep patterns.

Health experts suggest that the average adult requires at least seven hours of sleep each night in order to function. There are few things worse than having to go into the office after a night of poor sleep and end up spending the entire day snoozing at your desk. Without a healthy amount of sleep, your brain will feel foggy and your immune system has a difficult time fending off diseases or illnesses.

In addition, poor sleep is linked to a higher body weight, greater risk of heart disease and stroke, decreased athletic performance, and poor concentration.

When it comes to getting a good rest, stress management and sleep goes hand-in-hand. Those who experience feelings of stress and anxiety often have a hard time turning their mind off at night. We’ve all spent a few nights sitting up in bed, developing business ideas or thinking about grocery shopping.

Stress and anxiety can actually lead to stress-induced insomnia, making it near impossible for you to snag those 7 hours of rest. Stress and sleep have a reciprocal relationship, which means that addressing one of these issues can positively impact the other.

At Big John’s in Kalispell, Montana, we understand the importance of relaxation as it directly impacts your physical and mental health. We know that adding a hot tub or swim spa to your home can improve many different aspects of your health. To learn the health benefits of outdoor swim spas, click here.

To help you get the best rest possible, we’ve rounded up 15 ways that you can reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep.

1. Set a Sleep Schedule

Setting a sleep schedule means that you try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will program your mind and body to know when to fall asleep and when to naturally wake up. Eventually, you won’t even need to set an annoying alarm.

A sleep schedule is essentially a routine for your body. Before going to bed each night, take a warm shower and replace scrolling through your cell phone with reading a book for 30 minutes. This is a much healthier bedtime routine than watching two hours of television while you polish off the pint of ice cream that was sitting in your freezer.

2. Hydrotherapy in a Hot Tub

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to heal various physical and mental ailments, a more natural alternative to traditional medicine. Relaxing in a hot tub or swim spa most definitely qualifies as hydrotherapy and can provide you with many health benefits.

Regular hydrotherapy treatments can reduce pain, improve balance and coordination, improve sleep, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, promote better cardiovascular health, ease pressure on joints, and much more. The jets in your hot tub will be able to massage your sore muscles while helping you relax, shedding the stress and worries from your busy day at work.

3. Avoid Caffeine

Though you rely on your 4 p.m. coffee to get you through the last couple hours at work, it’s anything but helpful when you’re trying to fall asleep later. Experts suggest that you should discontinue the consumption of caffeine at least six hours before bed.

If not, the caffeine will cause you to have a disruptive night’s rest. Instead of a coffee or energy drink, opt for a tall glass of water or a smoothie as neither of these will keep you awake all night.

Like caffeine, alcohol can also cause you to have difficulty falling and staying asleep so be mindful of your wine or beer consumption before bed.

4. Exercise in a Swim Spa

Exercising regularly can reduce stress levels and help you feel tired by the time you jump into bed. It also releases “feel good chemicals” or endorphins into your bloodstream so that you feel much happier after a workout session.

If you have joint problems or dislike driving to the gym each night, consider getting a hot tub or swim spa for exercise purposes. Swim spas provide you with the perfect opportunity to take some stress off of your joints while you conquer some cardio and resistance training. For more information on using a swim spa or hot tub for exercise, click here.

5. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

This means moving the television out of your room, hanging blackout curtains, and getting a comfortable bed with soft sheets. If you don’t feel comfortable in your bedroom oasis, falling asleep can be extremely challenging.

Experts say that the optimal temperature for sleeping is 65 degrees Fahrenheit so be sure that your thermostat is adjusted accordingly. Also, try plugging your phone into its charger across the room from your bed so that you aren’t interrupted by alerts throughout the night.

6. Spending Time with Family and Friends in a Spa

Hanging out with loved ones is an easy and super effective way to remove any stress you may be feeling. Instead of sitting in your hot tub or swim spa discussing work or politics with your family and friends, gravitate to discussion topics that bring you joy. These might be sports, television shows, future travel plans, or retelling stories of memories that you’ve shared together.

All you need to do to improve your mood and sleep is kickback in your bubbling hot tub with your best friend and a cold drink in-hand. How easy!

7. Turn Off Electronics

Spending an hour scrolling through Instagram each night before bed can seriously impact the quality of sleep that you get. The blue light that is emitted from electronics can actually interfere with your circadian rhythm, making it difficult for you to have a restful sleep.

If you absolutely have to use your electronics before bed, purchase yourself a pair of glasses that cancel out the blue light rays. Try to discontinue the use of all electronics two hours before bed. 

8. Gardening and Caring for the Exterior of Your Home

Gardening and maintaining the outside of your beloved home is a great way to reduce stress, boost mood, and tire your body out for bedtime. Caring for the exterior of your home can include mowing the lawn, pruning trees and bushes, and power washing the outer surface of your humble abode.

If you’re on the market for some power tools that can help you improve the look of your home, visit our page on Lawn and Garden Care. Similar to your own physical appearance, feeling proud of how your home looks can provide you with increased confidence.

9. Say “Goodbye” to Long Naps

Don’t worry, short naps are still okay but long naps need to kick dust. Having naps that span for one to two hours each day can make it very hard for you to fall asleep later, which is why naps should only be around 20 to 30 minutes in length.

Plus, it’s important that you don’t nap too close to bedtime so avoid hitting the couch for a snooze after heading home from work in the evening. Naps should never become a frequent occurrence and should only be taken if you had a poor sleep the night before.

10. Aromatherapy in a Hot Tub

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that involves the use of specific essential oils in order to heal the mind, body, and spirit. While essential oils should not be added directly to the water in your hot tub or swim spa, they can be diluted and put into a diffuser near your spa.

As you relax and unwind in the water, you’ll be surrounded by the sweet, calming smells of natural oils. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, marjoram, and bergamot are the best for promoting sleep and reducing anxiety.

11. Cooking Healthy Meals with a Grill or Smoker

Even though this isn’t what you want to hear, certain foods like chocolate, cheese, curry, ice cream, and chips can cause poor sleep. Instead, take the time to prepare healthy and fresh meals on your grill or smoker. Try grilling fish and serve it alongside a bed of roasted vegetables and a leafy green salad.

After consuming the meal, you’ll feel satiated and ready for rest. Eating foods like almonds, walnuts, fish, vegetables, and whole grains can help you have a good sleep.

Find additional healthy recipe inspiration in our blog post “Simple BBQ Recipes Under 500 Calories You Need To Try”.

12. Consider Natural Supplements and Vitamins

Taking specific vitamins and supplements like iron, magnesium, melatonin, vitamin B, potassium, vitamin E, and valerian root, can actually improve the quality of sleep that you get. Melatonin is a supplement that should not be taken frequently.

However, the other vitamins can be taken more often. If you find that you struggle with restless legs and sore muscles at night, add magnesium capsules to your daily vitamin regimen.

Vitamin D is also extremely important when it comes to sleep as a deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to sleeping disorders. While vitamin D is usually derived from exposure to sunlight, many people are deficient and require supplementation.

13. Relaxing with Loved Ones by a Wood-Burning Stove

There are few things more relaxing than sharing stories and delicious food with loved ones near a wood-burning stove. The noises of a roaring fire can actually cause you to relax and destress, which is why many people have wood-burning stoves installed in their homes. If you’re wanting to purchase a wood-burning stove to keep your house warm, click here.

14. Spend Less Time in Your Bedroom

Your bedroom should really just be designated for sleep and, well, adult activities. If possible, work and watch television in other rooms so that your bedroom is only used for resting. This will trick your body into feeling tired upon entering the room each night.

If you absolutely can’t avoid spending time chipping away at work from your bedroom, make sure you aren’t sitting on the bed. Instead, get a desk and put it as far away from your bed as possible. Laying on your bed throughout the day will make you feel restless when you’re trying to fall asleep later.

In no circumstances should you ever eat in your bedroom. If you do, you’re just asking for a terrible sleep.

15. Try Yoga Before Bed

Practicing yoga inside of your home or stretching in your outdoor hot tub before bed is a great way to decompress and remove any of the tension that is caught within your muscles and joints. For the optimal experience, play some relaxing acoustic covers from your speakers, light a few candles, and stretch all of your worries away.

Even 15 minutes of yoga or meditation before bed can drastically improve the quality of sleep that you’ll get. For those looking to create a relaxing stretching routine that can be performed in their swim spa or hot tub, check out our blog post “Everything You Need To Know About Hot Tub Yoga”.

Improve Your Sleep with Big John’s

If you found the information in this article helpful, find more useful health and lifestyle tips about hot tubs in our blog. Our experts at Big John’s are always here to help and that’s why we have a fully-loaded owner resources section.

If you’re ready to take the next step and find the best hot tub for your lifestyle, contact our experts at Big John’s today. We can’t wait to help you find a hot tub or swim spa that brings you happiness while fitting within your backyard living space.