Sleep is nature’s miracle drug. It helps our minds function at peak performance and can help our bodies age well. It’s equally good for your mental and physical health, as you experience emotional stability, healthy weight management, and great skin. Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than a good night’s sleep. Here’s how you can enhance your sleeping experience.
Start Practicing Yoga
According to Harvard Medical School, yoga can help improve sleep by helping you learn to relax your muscles. Many people say that yoga reduces their stress levels, which is especially important for sleeping soundly. There are some easy poses you can do to prepare for bed, including child’s pose, forward bend, legs up the wall, and corpse pose. In fact, the simple act of stretching has been shown to relieve tension and help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.
Relax with Breathing Techniques
An important part of yoga is breathing properly. Certain breathing techniques have been proven to help with sleep. If yoga isn’t your thing, you can start off with practicing breathing techniques instead. One technique is the 4-7-8 method, which starts with you breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for seven, and then breathing out through your mouth for eight seconds. Another might involve focusing on your breath as it goes in and out your nose. One technique is called a “body scan,” which has you breathe in and out while focusing on flexing different muscles and relaxing. These can help you relax more easily and embrace sleep.
Make Your Bedroom the Coziest Place on Earth
Our bodies need darkness to truly rest. Get some blackout curtains or sheets and put them over your window. You can also use a sleep mask to make it effective. Get yourself comfortable blankets that can help you fall asleep easily. Turn down your temperature just before bed, but make sure you’re warm enough for sleep. If your mattress is uncomfortable, it might be time to upgrade. In short: Your bedroom should be designed solely for sleep.
Sleep on Your Back
According to Business Insider, sleeping on your side can have negative side effects, including shoulder and hip pain. It can also aggravate heartburn and other digestive issues. Sleeping on your back can be a difficult habit to get into, so put pillows on both sides so you move around less. Put a pillow underneath your knees as well.
Avoid Stimulating Your Mind at Night
It can be all too tempting to watch TV or spend time on your phone at night. If you have to do work, try to finish it at least an hour before bed. Having techniques to quiet your mind is vital as well. You can do this by making your bed a cue for sleepiness. This means going to bed only when you’re sleepy, avoiding naps, and getting out of bed when you’re worried or can’t sleep.
Use a Humidifier
Physicians will sometimes recommend humidifiers to help people breathe better. Dry air can dry out your throat and make you more prone to getting sick. A humidifier is also good for your skin. Some humidifiers allow you to diffuse oils that can relax you and make your room smell good.
Have a Skincare Routine
A solid nighttime routine can help your mind prepare to wind down and relax you. A skincare routine can be especially useful. Wash your face every night and put on some moisturizer. Your skin ends up being softer and cleaner the next day. You’re also cleaning any toxins and dirt your skin was exposed to throughout the day. Moisturizing helps repair the skin throughout the night.
Limit Alcohol Before Bed
Alcohol can be enjoyable, but even drinking just a little bit can impair sleep. If you do drink, do it earlier in the evening or have a small amount.
As long as you have a proper wind-down routine, have a comfortable bedroom and practice relaxation exercises such as yoga, sleep will come more easily. There are many benefits to sleep, both mental and physical. Take care of your body and it’ll take care of you.
Guest blog by Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com