Sleep plays a huge role in our physical and mental health. Sleeping supports healthy brain function and allows your whole body to rest and heal. A good night sleep also improves learning and wellbeing, whereas sleep deprivation alters some parts of the brain and how the immune system responds to threats.
So, if you are stressed, anxious, nervous, worried and can’t fall asleep easily, here are 13 tips to help you sleep.
1. No technology in the bedroom
Turn off your phone, your TV, the WiFi and reduce screen time before bed as it stimulates brain activity.
2. Himalayan salt lamp
If you don’t have one already, get one ASAP, you will not regret it. Himalayan salt lamps clear and purify the air, shine a relaxing and soothing light, improve the mood, reduce insomnia and asthma, and increase serotonin levels. I love the atmosphere they create and I have one in the bedroom, the office and the living room.
3. A warm drink
A warm drink can definitely help you get sleepy. Golden milk and herbal teas (caffeine free teas), particularly valerian and passiflore (passionflower) teas are excellent to relax. You can read more about Golden Milk and get the recipe here.
4. Essential oils
Essential oils are amazingly powerful and can be a great tool to help you sleep. I recommend using a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow. Vetiver, Ylang Ylang and Roman Chamomile oils are also great to help the brain shut off for the night. Search which essential oil would release or enhance a specific emotion you are after on my friend Heba’s Emotion Library.
5. Do not eat too late
Allow at least 2 hours to digest before bed. It is actually recommended to wait between 2 and 3 hours. Some foods enhance sleep while others energise you. Waiting to digest before lying down will help your body avoid reflux and heartburn. Try to eat foods rich in tryptophan, such as dairy products, cheese, nuts, seeds to induce sleep.
6. Forgiveness with Ho’oponopono
Clear any argument, resentment, anger or frustration you may be experiencing before you go to bed, so that you can sleep soundly and peacefully. You will not sleep well if your mind is angry and agitated. There are 4 little but powerful words that can help you release anger and frustration. See the post on Ho’oponopono to learn how to practise this powerful prayer.
Being thankful and grateful for little things has a huge impact on our overall wellbeing. Keep a gratitude journal in which you write at least 3 things you are grateful for during the day. If you don’t have time to keep a gratitude journal, you can simply say out loud or in your head what you are thankful for. It can be big or small things, events or people in your day. It is a great occasion to reflect on the day and to appreciate little things.
8. Epsom salt bath
What better way to end the day? A warm and soothing Epsom salt bath! You can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils too. I love it, it’s so nurturing, and relaxing. For an even more cocooning and unwinding atmosphere, light up a candle, play soft relaxing or meditative music and have a glass of wine while reading your favourite book!
Meditation is an excellent way of clearing your mind after a long day. It can help you keep a perspective on your thoughts and emotions without letting them affect you. Simply sit in a quiet environment, close your eyes, lengthen the spine, and inhale and exhale deeply. Listen to your breath. Or what about a mindful body scan in bed, relaxing one body part at a time? Your whole body will feel heavy, relaxed and ready for bed.
10. Yoga poses for better sleep
- Leg up the wall
- Child pose (if you have a bolster at home, they are fabulous)
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Give yourself a mini treatment in bed. It’s ok if you fall asleep because the flow of energy will continue overnight and you will feel re-energised the next day. You can read more about what reiki is and its benefits in this post.
12. Leave your worries outside
Do you know about Guatemalan worry dolls? They are great for kids but can be helpful for us too. Guatemalan worry dolls are handcrafted tiny dolls. When worried, tell the dolls about it and place them under your pillow. During the night, the dolls take over your worries so that you can sleep peacefully. A similar exercise is to write your worries on a piece of paper and ask for guidance over night. Leave the piece of paper in a drawer, out of sight, forget about it, and you will likely have an answer to your worries in the morning.
13. Delta/Beta waves music
We still process sounds when sleeping and some sounds can be very powerful in relaxing the brain. Music using beta and delta waves are best. You can listen to this YouTube video to induce drowsiness and relaxation, so that you easily drift off to sleep.
I hope these tips will help you relax and sleep in peace. What works for you? What do you do when you can’t sleep? Leave a comment below to share your favourite tips on falling asleep.
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