Nothing is more frustrating than being ready to sleep and then realizing despite being tired that you are wide awake. It’s natural that all your worries and concerns can race around your mind nonstop when it is quiet. After all, you have more time to think and less distractions at night, however, sleep is incredibly important to our overall well-being. So what is a person to do?
Thankfully there are some simple practices you can do to turn your thoughts off and drift off into a comfortable night’s sleep. Some of these will take some practice, but once you get them down be ready for fewer restless hours.
Five Best Relaxation Techniques for Better Sleep
1. If you aren’t sleepy, stay awake. We know this sounds counterproductive, but hear us out. By laying in bed unable to sleep you are only going to get more frustrated and stay up even longer so get up and do something to relax. Make some hot chamomile tea and snuggle up in your comfiest chair. Listen to some soothing music. Take a warm bath scented with lavender. These are all things that get you out of bed for a bit, but help you stop thinking about how you are laying in bed not sleeping. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your mind will slow down and how easily you’ll fall asleep by not being in bed.
2. Turn off the negativity. That favorite crime show you are obsessed over? Yeah, maybe don’t watch it before bed if you struggle to fall asleep. This also includes scrolling through social media, watching the news and even certain music. What you feed your soul before bed matters and negativity will certainly not help you cope with any stresses you may be face and in fact only emphasize them. So turn it off and start focusing on the positive before bed. You’ll feel better and fall asleep faster.
3. Use your breath and let your muscles relax. Our breathing is a powerful and underutilized tool in our stress prevention arsenal. It’s easy and something you can do without anyone knowing you are doing, but boy is it affective when the stress levels start to rise. Simply slow your breathing- 4 seconds in followed by a long exhale and focus on your muscles easing up at the same time. Start with your toes and work up to your head. By the time you are done your heartrate should be slower, your body loose and your mind more at ease.
4. Call out what is worrying you. It is amazing what we internalize without even realizing we’ve internalized it, so get it out. Say what is worrying you out loud or write it down. Getting the negativity out of your head and into the universe makes it feel smaller and more manageable. As a result, you will feel calmer and ready for restful sleep without that awful stress rolling around in your head.
5. Do yoga. Maybe holding perfectly still and breathing isn’t your thing. We get it. Some of us need to move it out, but it’s important that the moves are calming and still breathing focused which makes yoga an excellent choice before bed. Your body will get a nice stretch and your mind will be more focused on performing the poses than revolving around stress you can’t completely control. Good night!