Tossing and turning reaching out for your phone every couple of minutes only to mindlessly scroll through, refresh and re-refresh that screen over and over. Sounds wickedly familiar? Falling into a healthy sleep pattern has remained a constant carry forward new-year-new-me resolution for most of us over the years. It might be time for you to forgive yourself over the failed past endeavours and start afresh yet again.
“Anxiety piles up at night because anxious preoccupation is avoidable when a person is actively using their brain and body to carry them through the day, when your thoughts start connecting to the emotional part of your cognitive functioning, especially at night, the any anxious emotion that has been lying dormant all day has a place to go, and becomes the forefront of your thinking patterns.” says Dr. Kate Cummins, a licensed clinical psychologist.
We have curated a list of things that you could do to clear your mind and make friends with a sound sleep and a less exhausted morning that follows, because life is too short to be tired all the time. And you're too busy to spend one more minute in bed than you have to.
- Create a sleep time ritual - It is ideal to disconnect from any kind of screen an hour prior to sleeping time. A nice long bath can help alleviate any kind of underlying muscle soreness for days work. "The rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness," Try harboring habits like writing gratitude, meditation etc.
- Create a calm, tranquil, relaxing environment in your bedroom. Why do we only think we can have clean, relaxing, dream bedrooms at hotels? Bring the hotel vibe to your own room. Invest in nice sheets, a calming paint color for the walls, a throw rug…bring cozy chic into your everyday.
- Turn off electronics and rotate your clock away from you (don’t watch the clock or check your phone if you can’t sleep). Try not to worry if you can’t fall asleep, and remind yourself that your body will eventually take over and help you sleep. Set emotional boundaries for yourself; get off social media and anything with a screen at least 1-2 hours before bedtime. Instead, grab the drabbiest of your books.
- Check In with yourself - Maintaining a daily mindfulness journal helps us make peace with ourselves.You can make time for a little free writing, or simply take a few moments to reflect on the issues you're facing. It's always nice to pay a visit to your inner self. You can always team this activity with lighting a Bohemian Dusk Candle from our soy candle range and let the calming aroma of vetiver magically ground you while you indulge in a rendezvous with yourself.
- Use the power of your imagination: focus your attention on an image or story, so that your mind can let go of worries or thoughts that keep you awake. Begin to create pleasant scenarios in your mind. Visualize all the details of the image or story, as slowly and carefully as you can. Any time you find your mind drifting to an unrelated thought (a worry about the day or a “must do” for tomorrow), acknowledge it and let it go. Turn your mind’s eye back to your relaxing story. It’s okay if this takes time before it works, each time you practice you will get better at it.
- Try a simple breathing exercise - Close your eyes and notice your breathing. Turn all your attention to your natural breathing pattern and feel the air enter and leave your nose or mouth. Visualize the flow of air as it passes through your mouth, airways, down into your belly, and back out again. Survey your body for any tension, and as you exhale, feel the tension leave that part of your body. Visualize your breath reaching your forehead, your neck, your shoulders, your arms… and then releasing the tension as you exhale. If your mind wanders to another worry or thought, let it go and gently redirect your attention back to your breath.
- If you are awake for more than 20 minutes in bed, move to a different part of the house (one without bright lights). Do something relaxing for a while, until you begin to feel tired and come back to bed.
And lastly, remember that a regular sleep schedule is great, but don't be a slave to your plan or stress out if you're not sleepy at the "right" time. If you're not drifting off after 15 or 20 minutes, get up and engage in a little more of your preferred pre-bed relaxation activities and trust the process.
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