10 Steps to Relax Your Mind and Body When You Cannot Sleep.
Relaxing and falling asleep can be very problematic for a lot of us. If you are anything like me, it can take me hours to shut down the chatter so I can relax the mind and body and finally get some shut eye. My problem is; I am forever thinking about the problems of the day and trying to solve them, worrying about family, relationships, health concerns, deadlines and the list can go on and on.
There have been days when I literally jumped out of bed and began writing a list of things I needed to accomplish, because heaven forbid, I might not remember those items when I wake up. Besides who wants another stressor hanging over your head all day. Can you relate? 🙂
So let’s just get on with this list. These steps have certainly helped me to reduce my stress and get a good nights sleep and I hope they can do the same for you.
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1. Turn off the Gadgets
You should be turning off your smart phone, computer, television, gaming electronics or iPad at least an hour before you plan on turning in for the evening. Did you know the light from these screens and the stimulation you receive from watching them, keeps your mind and brain in the “on” position? Give your brain a break and turn them off!
2. Guided Meditation
Listening to a guided meditation can be a powerful tool and do wonders for relaxing your mind and body. The relaxing voice causes you to gently slip into this slumbering state and slowly doze off into never, never land. Be sure you are in a quiet place, free of any distractions, close your eyes (no peaking) and lie down in a comfortable position. Let the guided meditation take you away!
You maybe interested in this Guided Meditation I specifically created for my clients to reduce the stress and anxiety in their life.
3. Simple Yoga Poses
Practicing a couple of yoga poses before bedtime will help you reduce stress and calm the body. How do I know this? I am a yoga instructor and have been practicing yoga for over 15 years. This practice was instrumental in reducing my stress during a very difficult time in my life. Check out these Yoga Poses in one of my recent blogs.
4. Keep Your Feet Warm
You cannot fall asleep if your feet are cold. Be sure the thermostat in your home is not too low and you are properly clothed, especially your tootsies.
As a general rule, the feet should be covered twice as much as the rest of your body. I suggest trying these Carhartt wool socks. They come in a variety colors and have always worked for me. I have tried several other brands but always come back to the Carhartt socks. Just saying!
5. Mindful Breathing
To start mindful breathing; breathe in slowly from your nose and when you exhale be sure it is twice as long as your inhalation. The ratio to inhale to exhales should feel comfortable so you will continue with this process. The counting will help keep you focused, relax the mind and allow you to gently fall asleep.
6. Write Down Your Worries
If you write down what is worrying you then it gives those stressful, anxious feelings a home of their own. Basically, its another place they can reside besides your head. Once they are written down in black and white, they can no longer create turmoil and fill your mind with negative thoughts. Relax, breath and try once again to get some shut eye.
7. Drink Herbal Tea
Chamomile Tea has been used for years as a natural remedy to decrease anxiety, stress and treat insomnia. In fact, chamomile is known to be a sleep inducer. However, there are many different teas available on the market today to help you slip into dreamland quickly.
There is something very calming and relaxing when you are sipping on some warm liquid right before bedtime. So relax, put your feet up and start sipping some warm tea.
8. Keep Your Environment Dark and Cool
Ideally, you want your bedroom to be a sanctuary where the noise is a minimum and the room is dark, this triggers the brain to rest and relax.If you cannot achieve a dark room, may I suggest room darkening curtains or shades. I worked midnights for over 10 years and without these room darkening shades I would have never achieved a goods night rest.
Also be sure the temperature in your room is at an ambient level. If you are too hot or too cold, you will be restless and not sleeping soundly.
Aromatherapy has been around for years but it has becoming increasingly popular due to the medicinal properties and the benefits they can deliver. Pure Essential oils can enhance your mood and help you relax and sleep.
I am a huge proponent of essential oils and have been using them for years. I currently have three diffusers in my home that cycle on and off all day long.
Using essential oils in a diffuser is a very effective way to experience aromatherapy. One of the most popular essential oils for promoting better sleep is Lavender. Place at least 4 drops of lavender in a diffuser and place it in your bedroom for a relaxing and restful sleep.
The benefits of these oils are too numerous to name, however, it’s been proven to relieve pain, soothes burns, promotes sleep, helps with bladder infections, colds, congestion, corns on your toes and the list goes on and on.
I use these oils for any ailment I have and it has worked EVERY TIME!! If you are ever interested in purchasing Young Living Essential Oils, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Limit Caffeine and Sugar
This one is personal to me. I do have one little ole vice and it’s called coffee. I LOVE coffee and I can drink it ALL day long. Did I say all day – Yes, I did!! But if I don’t stop drinking caffeine by 6 pm, then I know all too well, I will be counting sheep until 1 am.
If I could offer any personal advice when it comes to caffeine and sugar… That would be to stop eating sugar or drinking caffeine before 6 pm. I am not a big sugar eater, however, there are times I have snacked on a piece of dark chocolate and again I am wide awake and ready to tackle the day at 2 am and who wants to get up at that time. Plus too much caffeine or sugar can cause stress and anxiety.
So let’s do a quick review of those 10 Steps so you can get some shut eye tonight!!
1. Turn off any and all Electronic Gadgets
2. Listen to some Guided Meditations
3. Do Some Simple Yoga Poses to relax and de-stress
4. Keep Your Feet Warm- You cannot fall asleep if your tootsies are cold
5. Practice Mindful Breathing – Breath slowly in and out through your nose
6. Write Down Your Worries – have a notebook next to your bedside
7. Drink Herbal Tea – Chamomile works the best!
8. Keep Your Environment Cool and Dark It promotes tranquility and peace
9. Aromatherapy – oils enhances your mood and helps you to relax
10. Limit Caffeine and Sugar – these are big sleep disruptors, limit your intake