Getting a good night’s rest is not easy these days. The pandemic has caused too many sleepless nights due to the anxiety people feel about the whole situation. But even before the coronavirus became a widely-known term, around 70 million Americans were already suffering from sleep disorders.
Anxiety can cause sleep disorders, but the lack of sleep can also cause anxiety disorder. This makes it even more important for you to get a good night’s rest.
Counting sheep might come to mind if you want to sleep. But this might be outdated. So, we listed a couple of things you can do to help you relax as you’re getting ready to go to bed.
Perform Light Stretching
One thing you can do is to perform light stretching. You should take note that It’s not the stretching you do before you exercise. You should take your time when you perform these stretching exercises and focus on the movements.
Some people consider it as something similar to yoga. But it’s more of focused meditation that allows you to relax mentally and physically. You should stretch your entire body, including your ankles, feet, core muscles, hands, back, shoulders, and neck. Each time you stretch, you should feel the stress leaving your body.
Mindfulness is a mental state where you are intensely aware of your feeling at the moment. It is essentially a type of meditation. It allows your brain to release happy chemicals and lowers blood pressure. Mindfulness also relaxes any tension you’re feeling. It has a positive effect on you if you are feeling anxious, depressed, or in pain.
With mindfulness, you should focus on your breathing to clear your mind. The breathing exercise you can practice involves breathing through the nose for six seconds to fill your belly and chest. Then, you should hold the breath for five seconds before slowly exhaling for six seconds. You have to repeat the exercise while focusing on your breathing.
Do Something Relaxing
You can do something that’s relaxing and doesn’t involve your phone. You see, if you use your phone, you will end up risking your quality of sleep. The blue light from the phone can disrupt your circadian rhythm.
Instead, you can read a book since imagining the story allows you to escape the real world and help you fall asleep. This means reading a good fiction book would be ideal for helping you relax and fall asleep. You can also work on a simple or abstract jigsaw puzzle. A three-by-three Rubik’s cube can also help you sleep.
Writing your thoughts can also get any anxious feelings you might have from your head. It has a similar effect as meditation and is considered a type of therapy. You can also write your plans and goals for the future. It is also advisable to include how you can make these plans and goals achievable for you.
Some people find writing a good way to accept everything that happened to them when they write about them. It also allows them to clear their minds and get a good night’s rest.
Perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a relaxation technique you can use to relieve stress and help you with insomnia. It requires you to tighten or tense up a specific muscle group when you breathe in. When you breathe out, you relax the same muscles.
The principle is based on the premise that mental calmness is the result of being physically relaxed. To perform this, you have to stay on your bed and close your eyes. Then, you tense up a part of the body and relax while exhaling. Keep on repeating the process on the other parts of the body.
It’s important to relax just before you go to bed to ensure you get a good night’s rest.