Sleep can often be tricky due to all the lifestyle and environmental factors that prevent you from winding down before going to bed. Sometimes this has to do with poor sleep hygiene, like scrolling your phone or drinking alcohol or caffeine too close to bedtime. Other times, this may happen because you feel anxious or stressed. Whatever the cause, lack of sleep affects your physical body and your mental health, leading to issues like irritability, lack of focus, and a weakened immune system.
A good night’s sleep is essential to restoring your body, mind and soul so you can feel your best the following day. To fall asleep more effortlessly, you can adopt a few bedtime rituals that help you unwind. We aren’t talking about anything complicated; your rituals can involve something as simple as practicing meditation or writing in a journal. Anything that promotes a good night’s rest will do the trick. Without further ado, here are our five hacks that will help send you off to dreamland.
Replace your phone with a book
Scrolling through Instagram or watching a movie before bed may sound like a great way to relax; however, it isn’t. Phones, tablets, and TV emit blue light that affects your sleep quality, preventing your brain from producing melatonin. Therefore, you should avoid using any electronics before heading off to bed. Instead, you can pick up an excellent book – this is a fantastic way to unwind, as reading can relieve stress and induce sleep.
Once you immerse yourself in the book, you manage to escape the stresses of daily life for a little while. This helps you create an oasis of peace and ease tension. Supposing you really must use electronics before bed, make sure to adjust the device’s hue to a warm tone. This helps you avoid becoming awakened and alert once your brain starts unwinding for bed.
Take a warm bath
There are plenty of studies that show the benefits of taking a warm bath before sleep. Your body temperature plays a significant role in regulating the circadian rhythm. As you go from hot to cold, your body slows down, helping you get into the right state for sleep. A relaxing bath also removes physical stressors, soothing soreness and muscle tension in your body.
Having a warm bath increases your body’s blood flow and gives you space and time to breathe more slowly and deeply, thus getting your body’s oxygen flow. Find the time where you can enjoy a bath, add some essential oils or bath salts, and then sit back and breathe deeply. At the end of this amazing ritual, you’ll likely feel more relaxed and prepared for a good night’s sleep.
If you struggle to fall asleep at night, you may want to add meditation to your bedtime routine. Several cultures have used this practice throughout history to achieve clarity and inner calmness. In fact, studies have shown that meditation lowers blood pressure, helps manage symptoms of depression and anxiety and even helps individuals quit smoking. Fascinating, isn’t it? Meditation is also an effective sleep aid, as it enhances the natural melatonin levels.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to meditate – there are many apps and YouTube videos that provide guided meditation sessions. All you have to do is prepare a calm environment. Make sure to change into your pajamas when meditating before bedtime. Being as comfy as possible while sleeping is essential, and your clothes play a significant role here. Therefore, invest in high end luxury women’s pajamas – they will help enhance your sleep, as they are both high-quality and comfortable. Remove all the distractions so you can meditate in a quiet and dark space, choose a posture that limits discomfort – you can either sit up or lay down in your bed – and you’re ready for your meditation session. You can even add some candles to this practice to create a soothing setting.
Try mindful journaling
Writing can be exceptionally effective for sleep. If you feel too stressed and your thoughts don’t let you unwind, sit down and write about your feelings. This practice is therapeutic because it allows you to make sense of your thoughts and feelings and gives you a chance to slow down and breathe. The mental and emotional health benefits of writing are endless – journaling decreases stress, helps you level out turbulent emotions and enhances your sense of gratitude. As this study shows, turning your worries into words leads to fewer intrusive and stressful thoughts and even improves your working memory.
Mindful journaling is about letting go of self-judgment and exploring what you notice. It’s the same as mindfulness – you remain in the present while observing your thoughts and feelings without being attached to doubts and self-criticism. There are no rules when it comes to journaling, so there’s no need to worry that what you write looks messy. This practice is a gift to yourself that allows you to connect more to your feelings, whether it’s contentment, anxiety or anger. Journaling makes you more compassionate towards yourself and increases self-awareness. It’s an excellent way to unwind before bed, as it helps you free your mind from all the thoughts.
Consider stretching or yoga
Stretching before bed is calming and stress relieving and helps your body rejuvenate itself while you sleep. Plus, it relieves muscle tension and enhances blood flow, which are both essential for getting a good night’s rest. Therefore, you should consider doing some simple stretching exercises before going to bed.
Alternatively, you can try some light yoga poses. You may feel like moving your body before bed is counterintuitive, but yoga has numerous benefits – it can boost your mental and physical health, improve your flexibility, boost muscle strength, increase vitality, enhance your mood, and of course, help you sleep better! Meditative movements like tai chi and yoga don’t only enhance sleep quality – they can also improve your overall life. This is because, during this practice, you focus on your body and breath instead of the everyday stressors.
If you have trouble sleeping, use these five hacks to unwind before bedtime. Building some effective habits is all it takes to ensure a restful sleep and wake up refreshed the next day.