We’re living in a highly stressful world, which can certainly take a toll on our well-being. For some of us, this stress manifests in high anxiety levels during the day, and others struggle to fall asleep each night, regardless of how tired they feel.
Here are some simple tricks that may help you fall asleep a little quicker at night.
This practice comes from the U.S military, and here is what you need to do in it:
- Tighten your facial muscles briefly and then relax them, all the while allowing your tongue to loosen and relax too
- Let your shoulders drop to the ground while your dangle your arms loosely by the sides
- Relax your chest by inhaling and exhaling at a normal pace
- You must also relax your legs and thighs
- If you find thoughts entering your mind, allow them to pass without dwelling on them or making judgments.
- If possible. Envision a relaxing scene, such as lying on a sandy beach, looking at the glorious blue sky above or relaxing in a cabin high in the mountains. Whatever relaxation looks like for you, try to envision it.
This should help you fall asleep.
Let Your Mind Breathe
When you breathe anxiously or take shallow breaths, you can end up sending your mind into a frenzy and a state of deep anxiety, which makes it even more difficult to fall asleep.
Breathing patterns have a major impact on the autonomic nervous system. It regulates our heart rate, motivation, muscle tension and other forms of excitement or relaxation. To help your mind breathe, try this method:
- Place your tongue’s tip on the ridge of your upper teeth. Inhale and exhale doing that.
- When you are exhaling, exhale completely through your mouth with a whooshing sound.
- Then close your mouth and exhale till the count of four.
- Hold your breath and count till seven
- Exhale slowly while counting to eight, again with the whooshing sound.
Before the advent of technology, people enjoyed restful sleep despite the darkness and cold. Experts believe that perhaps this combination has a better effect than that of using gadgets and electronics before bedtime for relaxing.
Why not try the darkness and cool temperature combo to help your brain relax? If people in the past benefited from it, surely you can too.
Eliminate artificial light from your bedroom right when you are settling in. Also, ensure that there are no sounds, the temperature is cool enough, and you have created an ideal caveman environment before sliding into bed.
If it works, make this a permanent bedtime habit. At the very least, cut off using gadgets an hour before falling asleep so that your brain has enough time to go into sleep mode.
Establish Sleep Hygiene
It could be that your pre-bed habits and sleeping hygiene are not working for you. Try changing them if that is the case. You could:
- Exercise in the mornings instead of the evenings. Exercising closer to bedtime might cause stimulation and keep your mind and body from falling asleep.
- Try limiting your intake of nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants before your bedtime.
- Avoid consuming heavy, spicy and fatty meals before bedtime.
- Take a hot bath before bed. It will help your muscles unwind and prepare your body for sleep.
- Use a lavender spray if possible. Studies suggest that lavender has the power of causing a faster sleep onset. It might work for you.
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, nightwear and other bedding. If you do not feel comfortable in any of these, you might not sleep soundly.
Form a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Some people tend to relax with certain routines. Many find reading to be a great source of relaxation while others like listening to slow, classical music. If there is one particular habit that sends you into yawning-galore, then there is no harm in making that your bedtime routine.
Nip snoring in the bud
If you have a partner who snores, you’re most likely not falling asleep quickly, and if you do fall asleep quickly, chances are you’re not staying asleep. Investing in the right anti-snoring mouthpiece may be just what you and your partner need to enjoy a good and high quality night’s sleep.