How To Be More Relaxed: Better Sleep Health
Is it just me or do you also feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, going nowhere fast? We’re always on the move, rushing to a meeting or panicking about missing deadlines, in fact, according to therapists and health care workers we’ve made being busy an occupation. We have lost the ability to relax and be in the moment, which in turn has had a negative impact on our sleep patterns.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. Sadly, not getting enough sleep can lead to serious health issues, and even death. If you, like many others, struggle to fall asleep or have erratic sleep patterns you’ll understand why sleep deprivation is a popular form of torture. A lack of sleep or regular disturbed sleep patterns affects our mind, leaving us feeling irritated, out of sorts and in a constant state of fight or flight.
Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for our disturbed sleep patterns and lack of sleep is our inability to switch off at the end of a day. We feel guilty if we’re not answering emails and messages on our mobile at all hours of the night, or being available around the clock to employers and employees and we’re always overextending ourselves.
Learning to relax is beneficial, not only on terms of how we get through the day, but also how we sleep at night. Unfortunately there aren’t any quick fixes but making a few changes to your routine will help set the tone for a decent night’s sleep.
After a day at the office, it might be tempting to catch up on housework or your favorite TV series, but it’s best to avoid too much activity before bedtime. Reports suggest that your winding down time is absolutey essential to get you in the right frame of mind.
Try and do something that helps you relax, like a warm bath, listening to calming music or reading a book. The same way we get little ones ready for bed is how we should prepare ourselves too.
Food and drink
We all know it’s not good to go to bed on an empty stomach but did you know it’s just as bad going to bed when you’re too full. Your body needs time to digest the food so try eating two to three hours before you sleep. Also, avoid caffeine, nicotine and too much sugar – these are all stimulants.
Get into the habit of going to bed and getting up the same time every day. Establishing a good sleep schedule is an effective way to ensure a decent night’s rest. Try this out for a few nights, as it becomes more of a habit it’ll be easier to stick to it.
While the occasional nap might give you the boost you need, napping for too long can wreak havoc with your sleep patterns. Napping too much throughout the day usually means you won’t be able to sleep at night, which means more naps, which means more broken sleep…
This is much easier said than done for most of us but it’s important you try and manage your stress levels. Too much stress affects the normal functioning of the brain and more often than results in insomnia. Try to and ease your mind by being aware of the things that trigger feelings of stress and avoid them where possible.
Make sure your sleeping arrangement is a comfortable one. Check that your pillow isn’t too high, too soft or too hard. Ensure your mattress is giving you the right support and that the sheets and cover aren’t too heavy. The room mustn’t be too cold and the lights should be off or you should have a dimmer.
It’s important to remember we’re all different and what works for one person won’t necessarily be as effective for the next. Find your own way to relax during the day, whether it’s stepping away from your PC, having lunch in a park or even just sitting watching people go by. A relaxed mind and body is a definite step in the right direction to establish a healthy sleep schedule.
Do you have a tried and tested method that helps you relax? It would be great to hear from you.
Bio: Sarah is the Editor of Sleepy Deep, a website promoting the health benefits of getting a proper night’s sleep. Formally a sleep deprived zombie, she decided to make a change and perfect her sleep. She now benefits from a rejuvenating 8 hours every night.