If you ask us, the only thing worse than not getting enough sleep is tossing and turning and worrying about not getting enough sleep. With so much going on, slipping into a peaceful, relaxed state of mind may be a little more challenging than usual.
These 5 tips will help you filter out the noise, counteract stress and drift off to dreamland.
Reset Your Nightly Routine
So many things have changed in a short amount of time. Disruptions to your daily routine can affect your sleeping habits too.
If you've been getting to bed later than you’d like, get ready for bed 15 minutes earlier each day until you’re at your desired bedtime. It’s best to adjust your sleep schedule gradually so you're less likely to lie awake at night.
Don’t Watch the Clock
Cover your alarm clock, move your phone to the other room or put your smartwatch to sleep. This will help you focus on relaxation techniques and calm your mind instead of getting anxious watching sleepless minutes tick by.
Put It Down on Paper
Something keeping you up? Jot it down.
You don’t have to be a great novelist to use journaling as a way to wind down. Keep a journal and pen next to your bed to make it easy. If this type of writing doesn’t come naturally, start by writing down your worries, your thoughts or your immediate to do list. Rest easy knowing that you can tackle everything on your list in the morning.
Breathe into Sleep
If you’re trying to sleep, but you’re still feeling stressed, try a breathing exercise. Just a few minutes of breathing can help calm your mind and body.
Here’s an exercise to try:
Sit tall in a comfortable chair, relaxing your shoulders.
Pay attention to your breathing for a few minutes.
Fill your belly with air as you inhale, and feel the air leave your body as you exhale.
Take a few more breaths.
How do you feel?
Relax Your Muscles
Relaxing your body relaxes your brain. It’s called Progressive Muscular Relaxation.
While still in bed, take stock of your body. Lie on your back. Close your eyes.
Start with your head and work your way down:
Forehead and eyebrows ... Wrinkle, relax.
Shoulders, arms … Tense muscles, relax.
Feel your knees … See where this is going?
Feel your feet. Sense their weight. Let them relax and sink into the bed.
This exercise only takes 12 to 15 minutes and can help you fall asleep or get back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.