In this modern and technological world that we live in, the number of individuals suffering from sleep disorders has increased. This is because we lead turbulent lifestyles, and constantly use electronic devices that alter sleep patterns for a lot of people, making it difficult to control.
Sleep problems are associated with a lot of health conditions, and not knowing how to control them can lead to serious physical and psychological problems that could affect quality of life.
That’s why it is absolutely fundamental that you stop ignoring this, and learn to improve your sleep to rest well.
Relaxation exercises can be a great alternative to keep in mind when fighting insomnia and improving sleep quality. They help release tension from the body and prepare the body for good, uninterrupted sleep.
If, in the last few days, you have been unable to sleep well, do not overlook these simple exercises and advice for improving sleep quality.
Relaxation exercises for better sleep
Step 1. Find a place in your house to be still, away from noise, and put on something comfortable to wear. You can also set the mood by putting on soft music to concentrate with.
Step 2. You may practice either sitting or lying down, but always make your comfort a priority. Your position should never feel forced.
- No. 1: If you prefer lying down, bend your knees and separate your feet 20 to 30 cm apart. This will put your back in a resting position. If, on the other hand, you prefer sitting, support your head on the back of a chair, as you will need some sort of support for this exercise.
- No. 2: Place one of your hands on your abdomen and another on the top part of your torso, between your chest and neck. This will allow you to better sense the movement of your diaphragm while breathing.
- No. 3: With your eyes closed, breathe deeply and slowly. Imagine the path that your breath travels when moving through your body.
- No. 4: Notice how the air in your abdomen moves the hand on your belly, but how your chest doesn’t move. Try to hold your breath for 3 to 4 seconds.
- No. 5: Slowly exhale while counting back from 5 to 0. Notice how your abdomen returns to resting position.
- No. 6: Repeat these steps for a few minutes, concentrating on each of the movements. Slowly you will start to feel your entire body moving into a state of relaxation.
In order for these breathing exercises to work as a relaxation technique, it is very important that you control the speed of your breath, as well as the amount of air you breathe in during each exercise.
Try to follow a slow, paused rhythm as much as possible. Breathing too deeply could make you feel dizzy if you begin to hyperventilate, or too much oxygen enters the blood.
Recommendations for better rest
To improve the effects of these relaxation exercises, it’s also good to remember a few recommendations which will lead to better rest with less interruptions.
Follow a schedule
Set a schedule for going to sleep and getting up. This will get your body used to sleeping without distractions during a set period of time.
Avoid taking naps
It’s not bad to rest for 15 minutes throughout the day. But it is not a good idea to rest for longer than this amount of time, or doing so just a few hours before going to bed.
Make your bedroom a sleeping temple
Where you sleep should be comfortable, free of electronic devices, and it should have dark curtains and a good blanket.
Have a light dinner
Eating just before going to bed or having large dinners before resting could also disturb your sleep.
Experts recommend eating a light dinner at least two hours before going to bed.
A lot of people prefer to watch TV, play on their phone, or use some other kind of electronic device when they can’t get to sleep. Light emitted from these devices, however, has been proven to have a negative effect on health and could be causing your difficulty in getting to sleep.
That’s why it’s best to read something or do some sort of thinking game to stimulate sleep, and incidentally, your brain as well. This is wonderful therapy for your brain and it will also improve your memory.