Do you find it difficult to switch off at the end of the day? Is your mind still racing as your head hits the pillow, and however many darned sheep you try and count, sleep remains as elusive as a lottery win? If so, what’s the answer? Read on to discover some top tips.
Create a Sleep Routine
If you’re a mother you’ll know a bedtime routine is key to getting babies sleeping better, whether they’re newborn or school age. But, when we reach adulthood and independence, bedtime routines go out of the window.
A soothing bedtime routine will help both mind and body relax and prepare you for bed and, more importantly, sleep. Followed consistently, a bedtime routine can be a significant sleep aid and help you learn to fall asleep naturally. You can find out how to create a sleep routine here.
Learning to practice relaxation techniques can reduce stress and muscle tension. They can also help to lower blood pressure and control pain. And, if you want to learn how to relax and fall asleep, relaxation exercises are the simplest and easiest things to help.
The goal of most relaxation techniques is mental and physical relaxation, and the best ones are those that break the thought patterns that keep you up at night. Some of the most effective techniques involve tensing and relaxing muscles in various parts of the body. Others include meditation, guided imagery, and deep breathing exercises.
Try this simple body relaxation technique before you get into bed:
- Lay on your back on the floor with your feet slightly apart, your hands by your sides, and your palms turned upward
- Close your eyes and concentrate on every part of your body, beginning at the top of your head
- Start by tensing your forehead, hold it, then release, move on to your eyes, face, and jaw
- Then focus on tensing and releasing each muscle group as you move down through the trunk of your body, down along your legs, and ending at the tip of your toes
- Stay in this relaxed condition for a few minutes. Concentrate on your breathing, making sure from deep in your stomach and flows slowly and evenly
- Stretch slowly before standing
The above exercise will tell your body and mind that it is okay to settle down, leaving behind thoughts of worry, fear, and stress.
Meditating is an excellent way to relax the body and mind. It doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, and you don’t need any equipment. The purpose of meditation is to calm anxious thoughts and focus on the present moment. It’s an exercise that benefits both the brain and body, as it can help slow your heart rate and focus the mind.
Deep Breathing Exercise
There are many breathing techniques you can learn to use to promote relaxation and relieve stress. The deeper and slower that you breathe the more relaxed and sedated you will become.
Try this breathing technique when you first get into bed and add it to your sleep routine:
- Take a deep breath.
- Breathe in through your nose and visualize the air moving down to your stomach.
- As you breathe in again silently count to four.
- Purse your lips as you exhale slowly.
- This time count silently to eight.
- Repeat this process six to ten times.
The results of this technique are immediate. You will feel your shoulders and arms relaxing. Your chest will feel less constricted and you will feel less stress and tension.
Remember, not every technique works for everybody, so take your time trying an assortment to find the right one for you. And very soon, you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
Until next time darlings
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