This article will show you how to have a good night’s sleep by relaxing and winding down from your every day tasks before going to bed.
1)Go to bed with regularity. Regularity is very important in sleeping well. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Having a bed time routine (like having a bath before bed) will help your brain wind down and prepare you for sleep.
2)Create a restful bedroom. Your bed is for sleeping only! It is not a good idea to use your bed for doing work, making phone calls, paying bills etc. Let your brain realize your bed is a place for sleeping by getting rid of anything work related. When you are in your bedroom going to sleep it should be not too hot, not too cold and as dark and quiet as possible. In the morning, switch a light on or open the curtains, light helps your body realize its time to get up.
3)Switch off. Allow your mind to switch off. Don’t work right up to the moment you go to bed. Finish any work at least an hour before going to bed.
4)De-clutter your mind. Write a list of what you have achieved during the day, or tick off your achievements from a ‘to do list’. These can be mundane, everyday tasks which are often the cause of most of our stress. Make a new ‘to do list’ of what you want to achieve tomorrow. A good way to de-clutter your mind is to write down your thoughts in a diary.
5)Breathe. Correct breathing is the most effective, easiest relaxation technique, yet few people get it right and many people think its just a matter of taking ‘deep breaths’. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest, as you inhale focus on pushing out your abdomen so your lower hand moves forward, as you exhale focus on pushing your abdomen in, while keeping your shoulders and chest still. Try to keep the exhale and inhale the same length.
6)Consider carefully the kind of food and drink you consume before sleep. Caffeine and tobacco before bed may disrupt sleep patterns making relaxing much more difficult, alcohol may make you sleepy, but too much will also disrupt sleep patterns. Warm drinks before bed such as hot milk, Horlick’s or Ovaltine are much better. You should also make sure you don’t have too many or too little calories during the day. Bed time snacks can help, however don’t stuff your face as your body will need to digest the food half the night. Milk, turkey and peanuts all contain chemicals that help the brain to go to sleep, so why not have a turkey and peanut butter sandwich before you go to bed?
7)Throw away your tension. If you’re worrying about something write it down, stand back and think about what you can realistically do. Write a possible solution down and then throw the piece of paper away and with it the associated tension.
8)Visualize. If you’re still tense try a positive visualization exercise. This involves imagining a place where you feel happy and relaxed. It could be a real or fictional place, in the company of a certain person or on your own. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells and tastes you want to experience. Focus on the other people there, the clothes worn and the weather. The more detailed the impression, the more affective it will be.