Sleep Getting a good night’s sleep can be a challenge in the best of times, but finding the rest you need is even harder when you are feeling anxious, depressed or worried about the future. When those mental health challenges come into play, the sleep that once came easily becomes difficult to find, and that lack of rest can have a profound impact on your waking hours. If you are not getting the rest you need due to stress and anxiety, there are steps you can take to resolve the situation and sleep more soundly at night. Here are some simple strategies for putting your anxieties on pause and getting the rest you need. Establish a Routine When you were a kid, your parents told you when to go to bed, and you slept soundly through the night. Now that you are all grown up, you might not think you need that kind of routine, but you could be wrong. Having an established sleep routine, including a regular bedtime, can help you overcome the anxiety and worry you face when trying to get to sleep. You may need to make accommodations at first, especially when you do not feel sleepy, but over time you can create a routine that will improve your sleeping patterns and allow you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Avoid Media Exposure Before Bedtime Watching the news and browsing social media are enough to make anyone anxious, and the more you consume the worse off you will be. If you want to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy good dreams, trimming your media diet is a good place to start. There is nothing wrong with keeping up on current events or watching the news, but excessive media exposure can drive your anxiety and make a bad sleep situation even worse. Try turning the TV off and putting the phone on the charger a few hours before bedtime; you might be surprised at the difference this simple strategy can make. Create the Right Sleep Environment It is hard to go to sleep when your sleeping space is not comfortable, and a good night’s sleep always starts with the right sleep environment. If your mattress has seen its better days, now is the time to replace it. If your sheets are not as soft as they used to be, a simple upgrade could do wonders for your sleep. You can further enhance your sleep environment by installing blackout blinds to keep the room dark, adding a white noise machine to block out traffic sounds and other distractions and setting the temperature to a comfortable level. You may need to do some experimenting to find the right combination, but the results will be well worth the effort. Use Natural Sleep Supplements Certain varieties of tart cherries contain high levels of natural melatonin. This superfood naturally boosts melatonin production, a hormone your body produces to help you sleep. And this is because it naturally contains the hormone. As it turns out, consumption of this dark red fruit can help us sleep better. In one randomized, double-blind study published in The European Journal of Nutrition, this fruit’s extract was found to boost melatonin levels, sleep time and quality of sleep. That’s why the cherry is even being studied as a possible treatment for insomnia. When searching for a source of these tart cherries, try to find organic certified ones, as many pesticides are used to keep the appearance of the fruit “nice”. Depending on where you are located, Purium Apothe-Cherry, is a great product. Learn to Meditate If you have employed the strategies outlined above and are still not experiencing peaceful sleep, you may need to ramp up your efforts. Learning to meditate can help you relax and unwind when life is stressful, and regular meditation can have a positive impact on your emotional state and even your physical well being. There are tons of books on meditation, as well as smartphone apps, online classes and even intensive in-person sessions. No matter which option you choose, establishing a regular meditation habit could help you sleep more soundly in an increasingly stressful world. High levels of anxiety can make getting to sleep and staying asleep harder than they need to be, but there are steps you can take to fight back. If sleep eludes you and you feel tired every morning, the strategies listed above can help you overcome your anxiety-induced insomnia.