Is there something that keeps you up at night? For many people, it’s usually an active mind caught up in anxiety and worry, sadness or even depression. Here are a couple of things you can do to de-stress and get better sleep.
1. You can try doing some simple yoga poses before you go to bed.
A survey by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than 85% of people who did yoga reported lower stress levels and 55% reported sleeping better. These 7 gentle yoga poses have been reported to relieve tension and increase relaxation before sleep.
2. Make a gratitude list every day.
Many studies have established a link between gratitude and feelings of wellbeing. Practicing gratitude can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing such as getting better sleep, reducing anxiety and depression, lowering blood pressure and many more, according to professor of psychology at UC, Davis Robert A. Emmons. Also, think about keeping a journal of things you are grateful for. There is no fixed or strict way to go about this so feel free to bring out your imagination and creativity.
3. Bathe before you go to bed.
One study on lowering blood pressure and heart showed that taking a shower or warm bath an hour or two before you go to bed can help relax the mind and body. Heat helps you de-stress as well as relax all the tired and tense muscles throughout your body.
4. Read a book.
Reading a bedtime story for about 5 to 6 minutes can help lower stress by about 68% according to a study done by the University of Sussex. Dr. David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsychologist, described getting lost in a book as the ‘ultimate relaxation’. You can escape all the stresses and worries of the world. It’s advisable to read an actual book as opposed to reading on a smartphone, iPad or Kindle. If you don’t have a book you can read at the moment, try listening to some Headspace Sleepcasts. You can choose from a wide collection of different narrations, where relaxing voices and sounds guide you through magnificent landscapes – helping you to relax and unwind slowly. Try reading a book tonight and gauge the results.
5. Get some Headspace.
One of the main reasons Sleep by Headspace was launched was the fact that many members admitted to practicing meditation before going to bed to de-stress and get better sleep. While meditation is not all about stopping or clearing away thoughts, it is about learning to be calmer and at ease with your thoughts. Meditation can therefore help your body and mind to gradually power down and fade away into dreamland. Sleep by Headspace can help you with your evening meditation routine for better sleep and maximum relaxation.
6. Get comfortable
Making your sleep environment as relaxing and peaceful as possible will go a long way to helping you get a great night’s sleep. Your bed should be comfortable and your mattress supportive. Take a look at these Sleepy’s mattress reviews. The bedroom should be kept cool and tidy to aid a restful sleep.
Peter Beaumont is a senior reporter on the Guardian’s Global Development desk. He has reported extensively from conflict zones including Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East and is the author of The Secret Life of War: Journeys Through Modern Conflict. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org