Do You Find It Hard To Get A Good Night’s Sleep?
Is your mind busy when you lie down and you can’t seem to drop off? Or you wake in the night with your mind racing? Perhaps even when you do sleep you don’t feel rested when you wake up?
How about relaxing? Are you good at taking time for yourself to relax, to rest your body and mind? Because the art of relaxation, and the quality of your sleep go hand in hand. So when we practice relaxation techniques we are supporting our ability to fall asleep, and get the rest we need.
Because the benefits of sleep are huge! Even beyond the physical benefits of the body repairing and restoring itself as you sleep.
When we are well rested we are more likely to be able to stick to the habits that support our health wellbeing – taking time to exercise, and eat well. And these habits have a reciprocal, positive effect on your sleep quality.
And on top of that, when we are well rested we are better able to connect with others, and we have the resilience to tackle challenges as they arise.
So here are some easy ways that you can support your sleep habits:
- Practice breathing techniques. Start with simple breath awareness – just noticing how your breath feels in the moment. You can practice this any time to become used to it and the bring it into your bedtime routine. Once you feel comfortable focussing on your breath, try extending the exhale, making it longer than the inhale. This sends a powerful message to your body and your mind to drop into a more relaxed state.
- Some simple gentle stretching even while you are in bed can help you to bring awareness into your body and out of your mind.
- A gentle pressure on the eyelids from your fingertips, or an eye pillow can be very soothing for the nervous system.
- Just a couple of minutes sitting in quiet meditation before lying down to sleep can start to quieten the mind and prepare you for sleep.
- Don’t underestimate the power of routine and ritual! We are creatures of habit and we can create cues to signal that it is time to sleep. A herbs tea before bed, a set time that you switch off your screens, a bath or shower can all be used to make our sleep routine habitual.
Finally it’s important to take the pressure off. Often when we worry about getting to sleep this ironically will keep us awake. If you are having trouble sleeping try to reframe your thoughts about the need to sleep and focus instead on using the time for conscious relaxation. Perhaps listen to a Yoga Nidra, or guided relaxation. You may find you don’t even get to the end anyway.
Sleep + Relaxation are just one of the areas that we focus on in my Healing Habits 6 week programme, to create stable foundations for your wellbeing. For more energy, and less overwhelm.
If you would like support with your sleep + relaxation join the Healing Habits waiting list.