Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. As a nation that is terribly sleep deprived and driven to work non stop. Sleep can often be elusive to many. Our minds are going at a rapid rate so it can be quite challenging to slow everything down and allow ourselves time to rest. Practicing some simple relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep.
Here's a list of simple tips to help you relax and slip into dreamland:
- Dim the lights in the hours leading up to bed. This means turning computers off, phones, or any lit screens that affect our natural cycles of sleep and wake.
- Take a warm bath with essential oils that have a sedative effect. Oils like Lavender, sweet marjoram, vetiver, amongst many others all are known to be stress relieving, tension reducing, and can help relieve insomnia.
- Listen to soft music.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.
- Place your legs up the wall while in bed. This soothing, restorative posture calms the nervous system, eases muscle fatigue, soothes the mind, and helps restore healthy, restful breathing. With slow, rhythmic breathing, you will be tapping into your “rest and digest” nervous response. Be prepared to melt deeply into your sleepy time.
- Deep breathing. Close your eyes, and try taking deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last. Work towards extending the exhale longer than the inhale, and linger as long as you comfortably can at the bottom of the out breath.
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