Have you ever been exhausted from the day, only to lie in bed and find that your mind is racing and you just can’t fall asleep?
Funnily enough, sleep can evade us when we most need it. From the stress and anxiety of the day, worrying about tomorrow, and even the elements in your bedroom—these can all be contributing factors as to why you cannot fall asleep. Sleep deprivation can be harmful to our mood and our health, and it is recommended that adults get anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to rest the mind and rejuvenate the body.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try these five methods for a restful and peaceful evening chasing dreams.
Exercising a Few Hours Before Bed
Exercise can help you fall asleep faster. Many people hit the gym in the evenings after work. Often, exercise is the last thing we want to do with our tired bodies and minds at the end of a long day, but exercise can be a key factor in sleeping well. Keep in mind that exercising too soon before you go to bed can have reverse effects, as it amps up your energy level. Hitting the gym a few hours before bedtime can help tire you out and can contribute to an easier transition for your body and mind as you go to bed.
The 4-7-8 Method
Breathing exercises can work wonders for sleeping. This is an excellent way to trick your body into relaxing, allowing for better rest and reaching a deep sleep. The most commonly used method is the “4-7-8” method.
Try this method in a few easy steps:
Place the end of your tongue just above and behind your front teeth and keep in there for the entire breathing exercise
Next, with your mouth closed, inhale for four seconds through your nose and hold it there as you count to seven
Finally, exhale through an open mouth as you count to eight, and repeat three times
This breathing exercise helps lower your heart rate and encourages your body to relax.
Create a Sleep Environment
Set the mood in your bedroom before bed. Many people watch TV or browse through social media in bed. Playing music with a slow rhythm at a barely audible level helps, as does the scent of lavender, dim lighting, and cozy bedding.
All these elements send signals to both brain and body saying that it is time to wind down and relax. This activates the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and we will find that we can fall asleep easier when the mood and energy is right in the room.
We need time to adjust from the transition of a busy day to sleep rest mode, and these methods encourage your body to fall asleep faster.
Use Temperature as a Tool
Temperature is also another way to fall asleep faster. Setting your bedroom at a cooler temperature also signals the body that sleep is needed and coming soon. When we sleep our body temperatures drop slightly, so a cooler room will drive you into the sheets to get cozy.
A fan can help cool your room and provide white noise for those who like sleeping with soft sound. Another trick is to take a warm shower or bath before bed. Warm water helps us relax and moving from the warm shower to the cool sheets can help us fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Hide That Clock!
In the event of waking up or tossing and turning all night, many of us are constantly checking the clock to see what time it is.
Repeatedly checking the time on a bright screen or bedside clock only increases your anxiety as we stress about how much time we have left to sleep and why we are still awake. If you remove or hide the clock, and you remove the stress of checking the time altogether.
Belly Button Healing
This method is new and incredibly effective at releasing held stress and tension in the body. When the muscles of the abdomen are tense, the brain receives messages that there is unease in the body and relaxation is hard to come by. Belly Button Healing is the regular and mindful stimulation of the navel to release stress, tonify the organs, and get your vital life force energy (ki) moving in your body to clear any energetic blockages.
While these methods aren’t a universal cure for insomnia or difficulty sleeping, they are surely worth a try. Even just setting the intention to turn down the lights and turn off all devices one hour before bedtime could make a world of difference.
I invite you to give the tips a shot and see what resonates best with you and your needs.
Here’s to a good night’s rest and an energized morning! If you’ve discovered a method that has helped you transform your sleep patterns, please share with us in the comments below.