**Content Provided by The Sleep Advisor**
I sometimes struggle to fall to sleep with so many things going around in my head and I know I am not alone so when I was offered an article with ideas to help I jumped at the chance and I am sure it will help some of you too.
How to Relax and Stop Worrying to Get the Good Night’s Sleep You Deserve
Sometimes getting to sleep can feel like the hardest thing in the world.
It’s funny how the bedroom is meant to be a peaceful place, but as soon as the lights go off, that little voice in our head immediately starts shouting – critically appraising events from the day passed and worrying about events tomorrow that may never happen.
However big or small the thoughts, real or imagined the worries, one thing is certain – they are stopping us from getting to sleep.
The result? A night of tossing, turning and kicking at sheets…and a bleary eyed, irritable you come daybreak.
Well all hope is not lost, I’m here to put an end to your sleepless ways. Read on below and I’ll let you in on three tired and tested tips to get you the good night’s sleep you so deserve.
Screen it out
Thanks to improvements in medical science we now know more than ever about the importance of a good night’s rest. Ironically our increase in knowledge comes at a time that as a society we have never slept worse. Sleep disorders are on the rise across the board.
The reason for our lack of sleep are manyfold but our addiction to screens is definitely somewhere near the top of the leaderboard.
You’ve likely heard about the dastardly blue light emitted by our beloved devices. Unfortunately our unevolved caveman brains struggle to differentiate between it and natural daylight. Our brains are still hardwired to associate light with alertness. Seeing too much of it close to bedtime inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone which leads to drowsiness.
But that is only half the issue. It’s also what we are consuming through our devices that keeps us stressed and awake. Social media, rolling news and constant access to emails and messages mean that many, if not most of us, head to bed completely and utterly overstimulated.
This leads to a racing mind and frustration when we can’t fall to sleep quickly.
Part of the solution then is to limit your exposure to screens in the evening and especially in the hour or two before bed. There will always be time for another tweet!
Wind down time
Shunning screens before bed is just part of the answer. We also need to schedule some wind down time. This is a period before bed when we slow down and get our bodies and minds in the mood for rest.
Central to a successful wind down strategy is to avoid beginning any task that could be remotely stressful. This means no tax returns, no business phone calls, no work of any kind.
Instead replace the stress with easy, low impact activities. Ironing, washing the dishes, reading a book, listening to music, having a bath, packing your bag for the following day. All require limited brain power and are perfect for a pre-bed routine.
I always find baking to be a relaxing way to destress before bed. Plus it means I get fresh bread in the morning.
For more tips on how to get a good night’s rest, check out what the experts at the Sleep Advisor have to say.
Giving up screens and a good wind-down routine will certainly help quieten the voice in your head come bedtime but if you still can’t get control of your ‘monkey mind’, then I recommend adding a little meditation to your day.
In fact meditation is something I would recommend for everyone, not just those of you who suffer from sleep issues.
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you head off to a ten day silent retreat at the top of a mountain in Tibet. Rather just set aside ten minutes a day to sit quietly. The time of day is not strictly important. What is important is developing a routine and sticking to it.
Why is it so good at helping you sleep? Because through meditation you’ll learn that the voice in your head is nothing to worry about. Rather than getting caught up in the thoughts and worries that come to mind as you lie in bed, you will become adept at letting them pass.
Never meditated? Don’t worry there are countless resources out there to help you. Be warned however, like learning any new skill, it may be difficult at first. In fact, the first week might frustrate greatly as you become aware just how overactive your mind truly is.
But trust me on this, stick with it. The more you practice the more you will benefit. And the benefits are real. After a few weeks you will find that when you switch off the light at night the voice is noticeable a lot quieter.
There you go – three small but very powerful adjustments to make to your daily routine that will help you stop worrying and learn to love bedtime again.
They won’t all be easy to implement but it’s worth giving them a try. What’s the worst that can happen? You lose some sleep!
**Content provided by The Sleep Advisor**