A good night’s sleep lays the foundations for a successful and positive day. Therefore, it’s important to make sure we do everything we can to ensure that our minds are calm and relaxed before and during sleep. This blog post will go through some tips to help you feel more relaxed around bedtime, so you can feel your best during the day.
Reduce Screen Time Before Sleep
Using electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets before bed stimulates the brain which makes it more difficult to fall asleep, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and frustration over the implications of not being able to sleep, and what could happen the next day. These devices can also cause emotional stress due to social media pressures and not feeling in control of online situations.
Therefore, we recommend having a downtime period before bed to help relax the brain and process the thoughts from the day. Activities such as reading, journaling, or drawing are great for winding down and preparing for sleep.
Exercise During the Day
Exercise naturally makes us more tired as it increases our energy expenditure during the day, increasing our need for recovery. Additionally, exercise has many health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, which can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
This does not need to be intense, strenuous exercise, it can be as simple as increasing your step count by taking short walks throughout the day. Mindful exercises such as yoga and pilates are great options for calming the mind before sleep.
Reduce Caffeine Intake Late in the Day
Caffeine is a natural stimulant commonly found in coffee, tea, and energy drinks. The substance has a long half-life which means even drinking coffee in the early afternoon can affect sleep in the night. The reason for this is that caffeine can block the release of sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain, disrupting the natural sleep process. It can also make it difficult to fall in to deep sleep (REM sleep) which is when most of the body’s natural healing occurs.
If you have a high caffeine intake during the day and struggle to fall asleep at night, it is recommended to reduce the overall intake, especially in the hours leading up to bed time.
Make a Mindful Bedroom Environment
To create your own sacred space perfect for sleeping, many different items can be used to relax the senses. Candles and Fragrances are great options to create a relaxing environment as they help to sooth the brain through ambient lighting and luxurious scents.
Many different plant species are also excellent at improving indoor air quality by removing toxins from the air, which will help to create a natural oasis perfect for drifting off at night.
Overall, the integral areas of mindfulness for sleep involve naturally preparing the body for recovery through creating a bedtime routine where you can focus on your thoughts from the day without external distractions. This is a great way to notice how you’re feeling and process any stresses and anxieties.
It is important to be mindful of our activities during the day and how these can affect the quality of our sleep, such as reducing caffeine intake and becoming more active.
If you’d like to learn more about meditation and mindfulness, please see our other blog posts and mindfulness courses.