Many of us have experienced the frustration of not falling asleep easily. When you are feeling exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep, but as soon as your head hits the pillow, your mind starts racing.
Your mind suddenly fills with memories of the day and the list of what you need to do the next morning is replayed over and over, until the knowledge that you’re not asleep hits and any hope of a restful sleep vanishes.
Practising some relaxation exercises before going to bed can be the difference between waking up refreshed, or feeling like a zombie.
Create an optimum sleeping environment
For you to get the rest you need, having a good sleeping environment is important. Try to keep your space clear of clutter and work – this space is for sleeping and relaxing, not to dwell on your daily tasks.
It is also important for the space to be dark, quiet and cool in temperature. Your bed is meant to be a cosy haven and the room being too warm can hinder the chances of comfort.
Create a sleeping ritual
It has been recommended that you introduce a ritual into your evening routine. As humans, we tend to be creatures of habit, so the act of completing tasks we associate with sleep can help to make us feel ready for bed. The ritual could include the simple act of having a warming cup of decaf tea or a facial-cleansing session.
While the idea can be hard to process, scrolling through your phone or watching a movie right before bed isn’t the best idea. You may think it is sending you to sleep, but actually it is tricking your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Try reading a book instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media and if you really can’t help yourself, turn the screen brightness down.
Write down your thoughts
One of the biggest culprits in keeping us awake at night is our own worry. Instead of trying to solve problems in bed, spend some time writing down your concerns or making a to-do list. This way you have cleared your mind of any issues that may have popped into your head when trying to sleep and prepared for the next day, possibly saving you time.
Make time to breathe
It can be helpful to practise a breathing exercise to calm your mind before bedtime. Simply breathe in and slowly exhale, while visualising the tension leaving your body. Focus on the areas where you feel the most tension, such as your shoulders or neck and repeat.