Research shows over and over that establishing good routines and habits around our sleep can make the difference between insomnia and exhaustion and having a good restorative night’s sleep.
This blog is a continuation of my previous one, looking at more tips for a good night’s sleep. Our brains may have learned bad habits over a period of time and so we need to commit ourselves to undoing these bad habits and laying down new ones. This may take quite a lot of effort on our part but people usually experience positive changes quite quickly:
Practice relaxation techniques
Before bed or equally if you wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. Yoga, deep breathing and other techniques may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension.
Don’t take your worries to bed.
Anxiety about how much sleep you are getting can be counter-productive and keep you awake. Lower anxiety by learning to trust that your body and mind will sleep enough for your needs.
Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed. Some people find it useful to assign a “worry period” during the evening or late afternoon to deal with these issues. Some write a “to do” list before they go to bed so that their mind will be free of the need to make plans, others keep a piece of paper by the bed just in case they wake with a thought so important that they need to write it down – once written down, the mind can relax again!
Examine your lifestyle.
Are you highly stressed at work? Are you trying to fit too much into your life such as juggling work with child-care and no time at all for yourself? Sleep is an absolute priority – are there some small changes you can make to reduce stress levels?
Establish a pre-sleep ritual
Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath, breathing exercises or mediation or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.
Exercise can help you sleep better. Do this in the morning, afternoon or early evening. Exercise makes you feel awake so don’t do it in the three hours before bed. A brisk walk for 20-30 minutes is as good as anything.
Need some advice and support?
If you are experiencing sleep problems, or indeed any other emotional issues or life challenges and would like to talk things over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541.
Book a counselling session today!