Relaxation Exercises for Better Sleep
One of the most common problems people have today is lack of sleep. There are a lot of reasons for this, and just as many negative consequences. Getting your daily rest is essential to allowing your body to recuperate, regenerate its tissues, and relieve stress, among other things.
When you stop to think about the fact that people nowadays are always on the go or stressed about something, today’s article might come in handy. Let us teach you some relaxation exercises that will improve your sleep.
The time you go to bed is sacred
Did you know that? If not, let’s look a little deeper: your mind is a very powerful thing. But beware…that can be both a good and bad thing. You can sleep better or worse depending on what you’re thinking. When it comes to sleep, it’s not enough to simply lay your head on a pillow and “wait” for sleep to come. Some people fall asleep faster than others, but actually being able to relax so that the onset of sleep becomes a wonderful and welcoming feeling is a 180° about face.
There are a lot of natural ways to improve sleep without having to resort to pills or other sedatives, not the least of which is turning off your phone and TV while you’re in bed. These habits are detrimental to your health and, just like a drug, can cause dependency.
If you must watch something before you go to bed, it’s a good idea to avoid TV shows and movies that depict violence, death, bad news, sadness, or fear, because it stimulates your central nervous system and leaves it out of balance as you’re trying to go to sleep, making it more difficult.
And in today’s world we don’t go anywhere without our cell phones, including the bed. If you’re sending a text message or checking social networks right before you turn off the light and close your eyes, it will be harder for you to go to sleep. That’s why you should try as hard as you can to keep those devices away from the bed, and even disconnect your internet at night.
Another paragraph must be dedicated to the uses of your bedroom. We’re not saying it’s wrong to have breakfast in bed on the weekends, but you shouldn’t use your bed for studying, for example. If you want to get better sleep, you don’t want to associate your bed with that report that’s overdue for work. Your bed should never be used for study or work, and you’ll sleep better if you remember that.
Finally we get to the subject of food, which is even more closely related to how you rest and sleep. If your dinner was enormous, filled with fried foods, fat, and sugar – or if you drank a lot of alcohol or coffee – it might be hours before you can properly fall asleep. Beyond just eating earlier (at least two hours before bedtime), try not to overeat, don’t eat the same thing every night, and drink herbal teas instead of caffeinated beverages. Choose foods that are raw over highly processed options, or at least be sure to only eat them sparingly in the evenings.
Relaxation exercises for better sleep
Taking advantage of the night hours for sleep isn’t a trend – it’s a necessity. Sleep helps recharge your mind with positive thoughts as it rests deeply and in a completely restorative way. If you sleep well, you’ll leave stress, fatigue, pain, worry, and anxiety behind.
How can you do it? By trying a foolproof meditation technique combined with the benefits we described above, you’re guaranteed to sleep better. Once you start, you’ll never look back, and you’ll want to practice it every day.
Know that in the beginning, your mind won’t readily respond to this practice and it might be difficult for you to concentrate and relax, but don’t try to force it to adapt – and don’t get frustrated or give up. If you’re used to using other methods to fall asleep (like watching TV or taking sedatives), it’s going to be even harder to get your body to respond to natural methods. But don’t give up. Eventually you’ll find success.
Learning a few meditation techniques not only will help you sleep better at night, but will benefit you in nearly everything you do. Follow these steps:
Eat a light dinner
We already said it’s important that you not eat too much in the evening. When your body is working hard to digest your food, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. And if you fall asleep in the middle of digestion you’ll wake up in the middle of the night, or feel heavy in the morning. Do like so many other people do, who have a piece of fruit or a cookie or two before going to bed.
Give yourself a massage
Press the tips of your fingers (take care not to use your nails) against your scalp and move them gently from your forehead back to the nape of your neck. There are also massaging devices that can help, or you can ask your partner to reach areas where you can’t. This should take about five to ten minutes, and you’ll feel much more relaxed.
Listen to soft music
If you live in a city, no doubt you’re already used to the noise. But that doesn’t mean that it’s good for your health. Put on some peaceful music, preferably instrumental, like the kind that’s used in meditation classes or yoga in the Hindu, Buddhist, or ancient Chinese style. You can also choose classical music. Some people prefer to listen to certain sounds of nature like birds chirping, the cascade of a waterfall, or rain falling against a roof. Try one of these many musical options to see if any of them help you relax.
Practice conscious breathing
The act of breathing is too marvelous to be taken lightly. Before you go to sleep, sit up straight on the edge of your bed with your shoulders slightly rolled back. Breathe deeply through your nose, slowly, three times in a row. You can close your eyes to relax even more. With each exhale imagine that you’re releasing your tension, stress, and worry. When you inhale, imagine a soft, gentle light entering your body that is healing and warming you.
Move your hands and feet
While still in that seated position on the edge of the bed, move your feet up and down, sideways, and make circles with your ankles. Do the same thing with your hands and wrists and see how much better it makes you feel. You’ll go to bed relaxed…and sleep like an angel.