Exhaustion is not enough to guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep.
There are times when stressful thoughts and tense muscles can still keep us awake even after a long and hectic day.
Fortunately, you can learn how to relax mind and body before bed to improve your sleep quality and allow you to welcome the next day feeling energized and refreshed.
What Keeps You Awake?
The first thing to do to learn how to relax at night and ensure high-quality sleep is to determine what keeps you awake.
According to an article published in Psychology Today, several factors can hinder sleep. Here are the three most common ones:
1. Your Worries
The most common reason a lot of us fall into the grips of insomnia is the worries that are burdening our minds.
From an upcoming deadline for a project that you have yet to complete to that small spat you had with your best friend earlierーthese thoughts can significantly impact the time it takes to fall and stay asleep.
Here’s a rule of thumb: it is easier to fall asleep in a colder room than in a warm one.
To be more specific, the optimum temperature you want your bedroom to have is around 18॰C.
Don’t forget to consider your body temperature, as well.
Finally, people tend to underestimate the effect of the liquids that we drink before going to bed.
First, caffeinated drinks are a big no-no in the evenings.
Second, while alcoholic beverages can make you feel drowsy, it can cause sleep disruption once the alcohol mellows down.
Lastly, drinking any liquid before bed, be that milk or water, can also potentially cause sleep disruption thanks to your full bladder in need of relief.
There are definitely other reasons why you might find it hard to fall asleep at night.
Identifying what those are is critical to ensure that your before-sleeping rituals won’t go to waste.
Still having a hard time discerning what they are?
Having a journal and taking down notes of what you are doing before going to bed or as you’re in bed already, along with the thoughts running through your mind, will be a big help.
How To Relax Mind And Body Before Bed
You now have two options. You can deal with the issue that’s been constantly stressing you out and wait for it to resolve to return to your ideal sleep quality.
You can also take matters into your own hands and try out the tips that we’ll be sharing with you today on how to relax at night and get some well-earned rest regardless of your personal burdens.
We will be dividing this topic into two categories for easy reference, starting with the tips that can help improve your peace of mind at night.
How Do I Rest My Mind Before Bed?
Apparently, journaling at night doesn’t just help in finding the root cause of your insomnia.
According to an article on PyschCentral, writing the things stressing you out can take them out of your mind and improve mental clarity.
Another way to keep your mind from drifting towards stressful thoughts is by keeping it focused on a different one.
Try to think of a calming memory or a favorite activity. Work out all its details.
If a stray thought suddenly finds its way back to your mind, then just acknowledge it and let it go.
Just go back to your original thought until you feel yourself slowly drifting away.
It does take a while for this to work, though. Don’t worry about it. That’s completely normal.
According to an article published by the National Sleep Foundation, continuous practice does help.
Finally, those who find visualizing a scene challenging can opt to focus on their breathing instead.
This is just like meditation, but instead of sitting up with a straight posture, you’ll be lying down and completely relaxed.
Again, just like the previous tip, this technique might take time to practice, but you can be sure that you’ll simply get better at it eventually.
It seems so simple, true, but performing breathing exercises remains one of the most relaxing things to do before bed.
How Do I Stop Being Anxious Before Bed?
Practicing the tips that we shared above on how to relax before bed can certainly help alleviate anxiety in the evenings.
However, they might not always work, especially for people struggling with an anxiety disorder.
According to another post by the National Sleep Foundation, sleeplessness is one of the leading symptoms of anxiety disorders.
This is a serious issue and must never be underestimated. If you feel that you might have one, then seeking professional help is an ideal option.
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is one of the most common treatment options available.
There are also a number of medications that can be prescribed to relieve anxiety and its symptoms, and yes, that includes insomnia.
How Do I Relax My Body Before Bed?
With your mind at ease, we can now move on to the steps that can relax your body. Here they are:
• Take a Shower
As mentioned, body temperature plays an essential role in achieving sleep.
Hence, those who find their body heating up at night might find relief in taking a bath or a quick shower.
This is definitely one of the easiest and fastest ways to relax before going to bed.
If you choose to take a bath, we recommend lighting up a scented candle that can promote sleep like chamomile and lavender.
• Do Some Stretching
Tense muscles can get in the way of your relaxation.
Fortunately, different stretching exercises can release those pent up tension and help you feel more relaxed before hitting the sheets.
• Deal With Any Pain
Lastly, one factor that can severely impact your sleep quality is pain.
Different oils can provide relief. Massage is another great option.
Still, consulting your doctor remains the ideal choice, especially if you’re dealing with chronic or crippling pain every night.
Relaxing Things To Do Before Bed
Here’s a question: what if your muscles aren’t really tense? What if you don’t really have any mind-boggling thoughts before bed?
What if you just find it difficult to fall asleep for no apparent reason?
That can be really frustrating, and we feel you.
Thus, below are even more tips on how to relax before bed and further get both your mind and body in a state of calm:
• Create An Ideal Environment For Sleeping
Have you ever considered that your bedroom might simply be not conducive enough for sleeping?
You might be overdue for a new mattress; the National Sleep Foundation suggests switching your mattresses every six to eight years.
How about your pillows? Old ones leave you more prone to developing allergies and breathing issues.
Black-out curtains can also help, especially if you find your sleep getting prematurely cut short due to sunlight.
• Dim Those Lights
Another way to induce sleep is to dim your lights.
Warmer light creates a more soothing environment compared to cool and bright ones.
They can stimulate your mind and make you feel more awake, after all.
• Turn Off Those Gadgets
Speaking of cool, bright lighting that can keep sleep at bay, that’s what your screen produces too.
We highly recommend turning off your gadgets before going to bed, or better yet, just leave them out of your room.
Going online, such as checking your social media posts or email, can potentially cause unnecessary anxiety just before going to bed anyway.
• Read A Relaxing Book
Do you remember getting sleepy reading a boring textbook while you were still a student?
That’s because reading can get your mind to a relaxed state. Why don’t you choose a cozy novel instead of your old textbook?
You want to be lulled to sleep, not bored to death. We don’t recommend reading adventure or fantasy, as well.
We can’t count how many sleepless nights we’ve had due to an exciting page-turner.
This is definitely one of our most favorite ways to relax before bed.
• Develop A Pre-Sleeping Routine
Finally, if one step is not enough for you, then you might want to consider combining multiple steps before going to bed.
Turn it into your pre-sleeping routine. You can start by doing light exercises or stretching.
Then take a cold shower, dress up in your favorite sleepwear, fix the thermostat, then cozy up in bed to write a few passages in your journal or to read a chapter of your current book.
How Can I Relax My Mind And Body To Sleep?
It can be very frustrating to have difficulties falling asleep.
Many things can cause insomnia, and determining the root cause can significantly help resolve the issue.
One of the most common causes, though, are stressful thoughts and tense muscles.
Fortunately, learning how to relax mind and body before bed can put both at ease.
Journaling your thoughts and doing breathing exercises before bed can help in relieving stress and anxiety.
Meanwhile, stretching or bathing with scented candles lit up can do wonders in relaxing your muscles and even alleviating pain that can further make sleep more enticing.
There are also other ways to achieve calm and relaxation.
Reading a book or putting together a bunch of cozy rituals to create a pre-sleeping routine also helps.
Good luck, or shall we say good night!
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