7 Relaxation Tips For The Sleepless

If you suffer from insomnia, you are not alone. Millions of people are afflicted with the inability to achieve deep, restful sleep. Causes for insomnia vary from too much caffeine to back pain and everything in between.

One of the most common reasons for insomnia is stress and the inability to turn off your mind when you go to bed at night. All of the anxieties of the day, all your worries about tomorrow and dreading the alarm clock in the morning keep us from relaxing enough to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.

Although those stresses are unlikely to go away as the clock approaches 10pm, there are ways to counter your anxiety and train your body for bedtime. The following are some tips to aid in this process:

1. Try to follow a schedule. For some, a consistent schedule is difficult, if not impossible. However, if you strive for consistency in when you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning, your internal clock will begin to stabilize.

2. Bed is for sleeping. Watching television, working on your laptop, reading a book or eating in bed sends the wrong signals to your mind and body. By avoiding these activities, you can train your body to recognize that when you lie in bed, it’s time to rest.

3. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to flushing or chills, muscle cramps, dry itchy skin, headaches, etc. Eliminating these conditions by staying hydrated will make sleeping more comfortable with fewer distractions.

4. Hum to yourself. Not out loud of course as that would keep your partner from sleeping, but hum a tune (without lyrics) in your mind. If your thoughts start to wander, direct them back to the tune in your head. This is a soothing technique and forces you to not think about the things may be causing any anxiety.

5. Avoid eating after 7pm. Loading up on food right before going to bed not only causes weight gain, but can also cause issues with digestion resulting in heartburn or stomach discomfort.

6. Avoid caffeine and nicotine before bed. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants. They elevate blood pressure and heart rate making it difficult to relax.

7. Flex and relax your muscles. Starting from your toes, deliberately flex each muscle group for a few seconds and then relax them. Work your way up to your facial muscles. Often times we are flexing a muscle without even realizing it. This technique forces the stress of the flex and makes the relaxed state of your muscles more pronounced creating an overall feeling of relaxation. Remember to breathe deeply in through your nose and out through the mouth during this technique.

Some of these techniques will take a little practice but overtime will develop into an almost subconscious habit. If you train your mind and body properly, it will eventually learn to relax on its own and you can get some well needed rest.

Comments

  1. It’s not just when you eat before bed, it’s also what you eat. If you eat a lot of protien it will keep you awake longer, while if you eat more carbohydrates before bed, you will get sleepy sooner. That’s a tip from an awesome nutritionist from Australia named Cyndi O’Meara from her book “Changing Habits Changing Lives”. For more info on Cydi and Changing Habits check out http://www.thenaturalhealthresource.com/changinghabits.php

  2. Hello.
    First I would like to say – great article. I would like to add one thought. To fall asleep instantly, you should also pay attention to the sleeping environment. Here are four simple things you should keep in mind to fall asleep instantly and sleep better – mattress should be comfortable, room should be dark, quiet and cool.

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