Calm your anxious thoughts, relax your body and settle in for a better night of sleep
It's been ten long weeks since you last had a decent night sleep. You've tried going to bed at a reasonable time, you switch off your phone and put it out of reach, you've sprayed your pillow with lavender scent and you've even tried counting sheep yet here you are, lying awake in the middle of the night because you just can't drift off.
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While there’s no ‘quick-fix’ for the current issue we’re facing and the negative effect it's having on our mental health, there are small steps you can take to ensure your mind and body switches off when it's time for lights out.
take a warm bath
Like many self-care routines, a warm bath (or shower) is a wonderful way to relax after a long day. The drop in body temperature you experience after getting out of the bath help signals our pineal gland to begin the production of melatonin, a hormone which plays an essential role in our daily cycles of rest and activity.
CREATE A TO-DO LIST
If you’re familiar with the feeling of lying awake at night mulling over the list of things you need to get done the next day, you’re not alone. However, doing this can only lead to sleep anxiety. To help, make a habit of writing down the top five to seven things you need to get done the next day before bed. This will help ease your mind and keep you organized the next day.
journal your thoughts
Journaling is boasted for many benefits including stress reduction. It’s a great way to write down the worries that may be prohibiting you from a good night’s rest. Set aside five to ten minutes a night to jot down the thoughts and emotions that you’ve been putting on hold all day.
Yoga is widely known as one of the best exercises to keep your mind and body in tune with one another. Doing yoga for sleep has a multitude of benefits—from helping you relax to promoting healthy sleep. Certain yoga poses like the wide-legged forward bend, head to knee stretch, and sphinx pose are a great way to stretch it out and relax before bed.
open up your senses
Aromatherapy is a popular technique for stress management. Certain scents have the ability to relieve stress and anxiety. Scents such as lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, and bergamot are great options. Put a few drops in a diffuser or on a cloth on your nightstand before you go to sleep.
If none of the above methods work for you, don't fret. Hope is not lost: you can and will fall asleep. Try building yourself a bedtime routine, rituals - if you will. By establishing a nightly routine, you will train your brain into knowing when it's time to switch off and rest. Try some of the handy methods below:
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