When it comes time to sleep most individuals will find their minds racing through thoughts. Whether they are worried about things that did not go well or fears about not meeting upcoming deadlines they will find it hard to fall asleep with all these anxieties. Understanding how to sleep better may help you to get more restorative sleep—which will likely help you to feel better all-around.
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How to Sleep Better at Night
Comfortable mattresses, better pillows, softer sheets—these are all common approaches many take to help sleeping at night. We’ve written articles in the past discussing which mattresses are the best for promoting a good nights sleep. We’ve written articles about the best natural sleep aids one can take to promote healthy sleep. In this article you’ll find some some great tips that don’t involve spending money to help you wind down at night. Working to help ensure a better night’s sleep can help you ensure better quality of life overall. With a revitalized sense of energy you’ll be able to better handle your days, better cope with stress, and feel a better natural rhythm in your life. For many, getting in touch with this may be as simple as picking up a book!
#1 Spare Some Time for Winding Down and Avoid Blue Light
If you go straight to bed after taking your dinner the chances are that you will remain awake for many hours because it will be hard for you to sleep. Instead of just jumping straight to bed you should always take some time to wind down. About an hour or 45 minutes before bed you should avoid doing anything that can stimulate your brain. These things include texting or playing games on your computer, smartphone and other gadgets that produce blue light.
Exposure to the blue light makes it hard for you to relax and it also affects your ability to fall asleep. According to a study by the Harvard Medical School exposure to blue light boosts attention and keeps you more alert which may make it hard for you to relax 1. There are also other studies that show that the blue wavelengths tend to increase the potency of the alpha wavelengths that are responsible for alertness and suppress the delta brainwaves which induce relaxation and sleep 2.
#2 Read a Book
Anything that will take your mind away from your many worries will help you relax before bed. Reading something in bed seems to work for most people. Unlike electronic gadgets, printed material does not produce any blue light and reading will make you sleepy after a long day. And this is regardless of whether the book is interesting or not.
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According to a publication on Science Focus, reading an absorbing book takes away focus from the anxieties that might keep you alert which in turn helps you to drift into a sleep mode gradually 3. Reading a boring book is thought to have an especially mind-lulling effect as well. Also, it is important to ensure that you have a comfortable reading pillow to prevent back and neck pain which can make it hard for you to sleep. Pillows and mattresses are often not given the attention they deserve for affecting one’s sleep quality.
#3 Take a Hot Bath before Bed
A hot shower is always very relaxing and making it part of your bedtime routine will make it easier for you to fall asleep. The hot bath will relax your muscles after a tiring day, and it will also help to raise your core temperature which is what you need for a good night’s sleep. However, it is important to make sure that the water is not too hot because it will do more harm than good. Also, make sure that you take your bath 15 to 30 minutes before bed to get the best results.
Making the bedtime shower a daily routine will also help you relax, and it does this by making the mind recognize that it is time to wind down and that it is the end of the day. Adding some essential oils or herbs to the warm water to create an aromatherapy bath is another way to sooth your mind and body so that you do not have any trouble falling asleep.
#4 Do Some Gentle Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation have been in use as methods of relaxation for thousands of years. Although both can take many years of practice to master, you can still get some benefits from either without having to comprehend all the techniques. Doing some gentle yoga poses for a quarter an hour before bedtime will help to relieve the physical and mental tension that can keep you awake.
It is important to make sure that you keep things simple by doing basic stretches and twists. And this is because any rigorous movements can trigger the release of an excess amount of adrenaline which is not good when trying to relax. Meditation, on the other hand, is very useful when you want to get rid worries and mental tensions.
#5 Take Deep Breaths
If you are having difficulties sleeping or relaxing at night, this might be a source of even more stress because of the worry that you will not be able to fall asleep or snooze for long enough. In the long run, the stress and anxiety will lead to a vicious cycle, and you will always get some physical and mental tensions every night. Practicing some breathing techniques can help you counter your nerves and relax your body and mind as you prepare to go to bed.
A simple technique that works for most people will entail breathing through your nose and breathing out through the mouth. You should do this at intervals of five seconds and counting will also help your mind drift away from your worries. Continue with a deep breath for a few minutes or until you feel your muscles relaxing and your heart rate slows down.
#6 Take Some Herbal Bedtime Tea
A small cup of herbal tea before bed is a simple but very efficient method of relaxing. Combining herbal tea with the other relaxation techniques above will help get rid of all the tensions so that you can enjoy long and restorative sleep.
Chamomile is the most popular and also one of the most potent herbal teas. This herb has some sedating effect, and there is enough research to show that it helps in relaxing both the body and mind 4. You can make chamomile tea from both fresh and dry flowers. Lavender is another excellent herb for your bedtime tea, and the good thing about it is that it smells nice which can also help your relax. Taking a small cup of lavender tea will ease your body and mind and help you fall into a long and relaxing sleep.
It is not possible for most people to live without any worries but what matters more is how you handle them. Knowing how to relax after a long and stressful day is vital for sleep and also for your overall health. With the six easy ways above in mind, you should not have any difficulties trying to calm your mind and ease the tension. Combining a few of them produces the best results, but there are also many other things that you can do including exercising a few hours before bed and keeping a consistent bedtime routine and schedule.