10 pre-sleep habits you should get in to
Sleep is an essential and important part of our daily cycle, when work is done in the body and brain to repair and restore balance and health. Insomnia can take many forms: difficulty getting to sleep, wakeful and restless sleep, early waking before fully rested, and difficulty to get back to sleep. Let’s look at the first of these, difficulty getting to sleep. The key here is adopt healthy pre-bedtime habits. Some of these include:
What You'll Need
- Alarm Clock
- Pen & Paper
- Willingness to try to follow these steps for a week and see if your sleep has improved!
What You'll Do
- 1) Leave all digital devices aside at least half an hour before bed time.
- 2) Don’t eat a heavy meal for at least three hours before bedtime. Your body is not designed to digest heavy food at this time of day.
- 3) Aim to be in bed by 10.30pm and asleep by 11pm. This is when your body’s natural rhythms want you to slow down and rest. If you are in the habit of going to bed later than this, bring your bedtime forward fifteen minutes at a time until you are back in synch with your body’s clock.
- 4) Make sure your bed and bedroom areas are places of comfort, calm and space. Get rid of clutter and mess. Remove everything that activates your brain into busy-ness. You are going here to rest.
- 5) An overactive mind is the enemy of sleep. Take some time to let go of the day. Review what happened during the day backwards. Run through your day from finish to start. People often drift off before they get to teatime when they do this! If not, notice where there are any unresolved issues from the day. Let them be for now. Now is not the time to solve these things . Your mind will work on them better while you are asleep.
- 6) Have a notebook by your bed and make a note of anything that sticks in your mind and you can’t let go of. What action you would like to take tomorrow in relation to that? Write it down. Let the book hold on to it and take care of it for now.
- 7) Empty your head onto paper. Write down all the remaining things that are circling round your mind and leave them there for now
- 8) Start What Went Well journal. Bring to mind three things that went well during the day. Make a note of these in your notebook, and write down how come these things went well. Acknowledge yourself for your part in this.
- 9) Slow down your brain waves by taking four deep breaths in to the count of four and exhaling slowly to the count of four. Take three more breath like this. Four breath in all. Repeat this cycle three more time, sixteen breaths in all. Most people are asleep before they get that far.
- 10) Imagine your breath entering into and filling up your heart area, underneath your breastbone (sternum). As you breath into this heart area, allow the breath to bring in a sense of care and appreciation with it. Allow this feeling of care and appreciation to fill up your heart and rest there. Whether you drop off to sleep or not, this exercise is highly restorative and restful.
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