Do you have trouble falling asleep? How can you pinpoint what’s keeping you awake, and what steps can you take to help fall asleep faster so that you can get the longest night’s sleep possible? Follow these five tips to get the most out of your rest.
1. Put away all distractions.
We live in a day and age where are smart devices are an extension of our arm. Put these items to rest so that you can rest, too.
Put your phone to the side at least an hour before bed, and turn off the television. Light and sound can supercharge the brain and keep your mind from slowing down as you head to sleep.
2. Journal it out!
It is easy for your mind to keep you up at night. To keep these thoughts from cluttering your headspace when you could instead be sleeping, give journaling a try!
An hour or two before bed, set aside time to write about your day. Not only can this help to process the emotions you experienced during the day, but it can also help you to be prepared for the next day. With these thoughts and ideas jotted down, you can drift off to sleep with a clearer head.
3. Save your carbohydrate consumption for the evening.
Do you ever feel sleepy after a heavy meal? This is in part due to the consumption of carbohydrates. As the body digests the carbohydrates from your meal, they produce serotonin and tryptophan in the brain which can lead to drowsiness.
This doesn’t mean that you should consume large amounts of carbs before bed. Instead, eat a balanced dinner with vegetables, lean protein, and a portion of carbohydrates such as brown rice or sweet potatoes for dinner at least four hours before bedtime. This gives your body plenty of time to digest and process the food.
4. Relax your body.
Tightness in your muscles which can contribute to discomfort and difficulty falling asleep. Counteract this by stretching to release this tension! These stretches can be done easily in your own bed.
- Begin by sitting with your legs crossed and slowly bend forward, stretching your arms to the foot of the bed. Hold this position to stretch your lower back.
- Next, extend your legs straight ahead of you and reach for your toes. This will further stretch your back. Grip your toes and gently pull them towards you to stretch your calf muscles.
- Now, sit straight up with your legs crossed again. Slowly rotate your neck clockwise and counter-clockwise. Then move your shoulders in circular motions forward and backward. This will help to alleviate stress in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
- Lastly, stretch your arms by reaching them straight up towards the ceiling. Lower them, and finish by reaching your left arm across your body, followed by your right.
With your tight muscles now limber, you should more readily fall asleep – and sleep more deeply.
5. Relax your breathing.
The 4-7-8 breathing method is commonly used to alleviating common respiratory issues and lessen symptoms of anxiety. This can also be utilized to calm your breathing and relax the body and mind when preparing for bed.
Begin by sitting or lying in bed. Focus on your breathing and allow yourself to breathe for a minute or more at your normal pace. Now, inhale quietly through your nose for four seconds. Hold this for seven seconds before exhaling through your mouth for eight seconds.
Repeat this for four breathing cycles, and allow your mind to relax and as you fall to sleep.
A full night's sleep is essential to a healthy, productive day. Make sure to follow these tips to get to sleep fast and soundly! Wake up well-rested, refreshed, and ready to start your day on the right foot.
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