What can I do to relax my mind before going to sleep?
• Not Sleepy? Stay Up
You should try to go to bed simultaneously every night, but some nights your brain will buzz, and you won’t be ready for sleep. When this happens, don’t lay down just yet. Having racing thoughts can cause insomnia. To deal with this, do something relaxing until the thoughts subside. Alternatively, you can take a warm bath or sit in a comfortable chair and listen to soothing music. It will reduce the amount of time you spend in bed and give you more time to sleep.
• Make a To-Do List
Work projects need to be completed, make calls, and look after kids. It’s hard to drift off while remembering every last thing you need to do when you wake up. If you write it down, it will allow you to let go of this mental load. Before going to bed, write down everything you need to do the next day. Getting it off your mind will make it easier to go to sleep.
• Let Your Muscles Fully Relax
You will let go of stressful thoughts more quickly if you release tension from your body. Try lying down on a flat surface and allowing your body to go limp. Inhale deeply and let your body relax. Squeeze one section at a time, and then release. Work on your toes first. Afterward, you can focus on your heels, knees, thighs, belly, etc. Let your forehead be the last. Notice how relaxed your body feels when you’re done.
• Slow Your Breath, Slow Your Mind
When you breathe, you have a ready-made method for relaxing your body and slowing down the thoughts that keep you awake. To do this, place your hand on your heart and feel how it beats. Deep breaths should be taken for 4 seconds, followed by a long, slow exhalation. This should be repeated until your heartbeat slows down. At the same time, your thoughts should calm as well.
You will find it easier to fall asleep at night if you can calm your mind as needed. Finding a focal point for your meditation practice is helpful if you’re new to it. At first, you might have trouble tuning out your thoughts and listening only to the sound of your breath or the phrase “I am at peace.” It’s OK to stop after a minute or two — but try again tomorrow. As time goes on, you will be able to meditate for more extended periods.
• Call Out Your Worries
Unchecked worries and “What ifs?” can grow inside your mind. Just say them aloud, and you might see them go away. This tactic can be tested first by memorizing the alphabet’s letters. When you get a few letters in, say something out loud. Notice how your ABCs slowed down? This is what can happen when you voice your concerns.
• Channel Your Inner Yogi
Many people claim yoga improves their sleep quality. Before you go to sleep:
1. Practise the child’s pose.
2. Keep your big toes close together while you kneel on the ground.
3. Put your knees as far apart as your hips, and sink your chest to your thighs.
Your forehead should touch the ground. Do you have hip or knee problems? You might want to try the “corpse pose.” Lie on your back and place your arms at your sides with your legs apart. As you exhale, feel yourself sinking into the earth. Stay in either pose for 3-5 minutes.