Importance of Being Sleepy-pt8: 5 more tips
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In this part of our sleep tips series I want to take you through getting to sleep. No, I’m not going to sing you a lullaby, don’t worry about that! But here are 5 great tips for getting to the Land of Nod (find out more about my other blogs and the rest of this blog series on sleep here)
1. Save the bedroom for sleeping
If your bedroom is currently full of gadgets, flashing LEDs, noisy fans and a pile of paperwork you promise you’ll get to eventually, it’s time for a de-clutter! Set aside a separate area of the house for your work and leisure activities so you can keep the bedroom as a relaxed and pleasant space for sleep and sex.
2. Sleep when you’re tired
I know we’ve stressed the importance of having a regular routine, but if you’re really not feeling tired there’s no point jumping into bed then tossing and turning, stressing that you’re not sleeping. Engage in a non-stimulatory activity such as reading, listening to music, day-dreaming, or sorting the laundry, until you feel ready to get into bed and doze off.
3. If you can’t sleep immediately, relax
We’re not all lucky enough to be asleep within 2 minutes of putting our heads down, and that’s OK! Don’t beat yourself up over not being able to sleep. Focus instead on getting some serious relaxation time in. You’ll feel rested, even if you’re not actually sleeping.
4. Focus on your breathing
When our stress levels are up, our breathing tends to become increasingly erratic, so focus on breathing in and out at a regular rate. By counting your breaths in and out your mind is focused on your body which should start to relax. Try breathing in deeply for a count of four, and then out for a count of four. Extend this out-count gradually, until you’re breathing in for 4 and out for 15/20/30. You should feel your whole body relax as you expel the air in this controlled way.
5. Have a warm bath or a cool shower
The body drifts off to sleep as its temperature drops, so temporarily raising it slightly, or actively cooling yourself a little bit can speed up this temperature drop and help you nod off sooner rather than later.
Let me know how you get on! Tomorrow, more on sleep
Finding it hard to de-stress, take time-out or switch off? Check out my free 6-step e-book - 'Emergency Stress CPR'
Dave Algeo, Stressed Guru is a speaker and writer committed to spreading the message - well-being and success need each other. Get in touch to find out how he can help your organisation develop greater success with wellbeing, or learn more about his speaking and workshops.