Ever found yourself tossing and turning, checking the time as the hours go by, wondering if you’ll manage to get even a couple of hours in before the birds start tweeting? Of course you have; that’s why you’ve landed on this blog.
If counting sheep isn't cutting it, it might be time to introduce some seriously powerful tools into your bedtime routine.
In this blog, we'll explore the world of mindful relaxation, exploring various elements like progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, thought blocking, stretching, mindful observation and cognitive diffusion - giving you some emergency tools to have up your sleeve next time your brain goes into bedtime overdrive.
Using some of these tips in combination with taking our Sleepee supplement is setting you up for the best chance of sleep success.
1. Progressive Relaxation: Unwind, One Muscle at a Time
Imagine a gentle wave of relaxation washing over your body, starting from your toes and working its way up to the crown of your head. This is the essence of progressive relaxation, a technique that involves consciously tensing and then relaxing each muscle group.
As you lie comfortably in bed, begin by focusing on your toes. Scrunch them up, hold for a moment, and then release. Feel the tension melting away. Move on to your calves, thighs, and so on, until you've reached your forehead. By the time you've completed this full-body scan, you'll notice a profound sense of physical relaxation – the perfect precursor to a night of deep sleep.
2. Breathe to Sleep: Harness the Power of Your Breath
Our breath is a powerful ally in the quest for sleep. Slow, rhythmic breathing not only calms the nervous system but also signals to the body that it's time to wind down. Try the 4-7-8 technique: inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale audibly through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this cycle several times, allowing the soothing rhythm to guide you into dreamland.
3. Thought Blocking: Clearing the Mental Clutter
Ever find your mind racing with a million thoughts when you're trying to fall asleep? Thought blocking can be your ticket to tranquillity. Picture a stop sign or red light whenever an intrusive thought barges in. Redirect your focus to the mental image, gently nudging worrisome thoughts to the sidelines. With practice, you'll create a mental barrier that allows your mind to declutter and embrace the serenity needed for sleep.
4. Stretching: Easing Tension, Embracing Comfort
Physical tension can be a major roadblock to a peaceful night's sleep. Incorporate simple stretches into your pre-sleep routine to release built-up tension. Stretch your arms overhead, gently roll your shoulders, or perform a few easy yoga poses. These movements not only relax your muscles but also signal to your body that it's time to unwind.
5. Mindful Observation: Engaging the Senses
Engage your senses in a mindful observation exercise to ground yourself in the present moment. Close your eyes and focus on the sounds around you – the hum of the fan, distant traffic, or the rustle of leaves. Tune in to the sensations in your body, the feeling of the sheets against your skin, or the warmth of your breath. This sensory immersion redirects your attention away from racing thoughts, inviting a sense of calm conducive to sleep.
6. Cognitive Diffusion: Untangling from Distressing Thoughts
Cognitive diffusion involves distancing yourself from distressing thoughts. Instead of getting entangled in worries, visualise your thoughts as leaves floating down a stream. Acknowledge them without judgement, letting them drift away. By separating yourself from the intensity of your thoughts, you create mental space for tranquillity to take over.
Incorporating these elements into your evening routine can transform your bedtime experience. As you explore these techniques, remember that consistency is key. The more you practise, the more it’ll become second nature.
In your journey towards mastering the art of winding down, embrace the personalised nature of your routine. Tweak and adjust these techniques to suit your preferences, creating a bedtime ritual that works best for you.
Up for a challenge?
Why not join us on our free Two Weeks to Better Sleep challenge?