Sleep surroundings – before you go to bed it is important to make sure your bedroom is primed for sleeping. This means ensuring it is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature. Even those small lights from your alarm clock could be keeping your mind active, so invest in an eye mask if you cannot make your room completely dark.
The helpful nightcap – instead of reaching for the alcohol to help you drop off, why not try some camomile or mulberry tea? They are both known for their calming properties and won’t disrupt your blood sugar levels. It is also recommended that you leave two hours between eating and sleeping, and to avoid caffeine and alcohol before you go to bed.
Fit for sleep – exercising regularly will not only have a positive effect on your sleep, it will also help with stress management. Try to exercise three times a week and include a 15-minute cool-down period at the end of your session focusing on stretching and breathing. This will help to train your body to switch from a high stressed state to a calm one, which makes for good practice when trying to fall asleep.
At a stretch – a yoga pose famed for its calming properties can be beneficial when done just before going to sleep. Sit upright on your bed with your legs in front of you and lean over your legs, trying to touch your ankles. This is meant to be a relaxing stretch, so do not push your limits and breathe deeply into the stretch. The pose is known for calming the nervous system, bringing down blood pressure and reducing headaches.
Switch off – staying up late to watch television or work on your laptop is only going to disrupt your sleep cycle. The screens emit a light pulsation that activates the cerebral cortex of the brain, (that’s the thinking part), so you’ll find it harder to get to sleep. Try reading a book or writing instead if necessary.
If you struggle with sleeping you may find a hypnotherapist can help. For more information, please see our insomnia page.
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