cat sleeping

How to relax your mind before bedtime

We all know the effects of not getting a good night’s sleep. It makes us slow and unresponsive and impacts negatively on our mood. However, poor sleep over long periods of time can have long term health implications. This includes weight gain, diabetes and mental health issues. If you are experiencing consistent sleeplessness, we advise you to visit your GP for further support. However, if you just need some help switching off at night in order to get a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed the following day, here are some tips that will help you relax before bedtime.

Reserve your bedroom for sleeping

With tablets and smartphones in every home, the bedroom has now become a second (or third) office for many people. And while, on the surface, it might seem like a good idea to quickly check your emails as you get into bed at night, so you don’t have that to worry about, doing this consistently will cause your mind to associate the bedroom with that activity. Similarly, watching television in bed or even checking Social Media accounts will have the same effect, making it difficult to switch off at night. You should, therefore, reserve your bedroom for sleeping in order to programme your mind to go into sleep mode when you get into bed.

Practise deep breathing

Deep breathing and other mindfulness techniques are a wonderful way to help switch your mind off at bedtime. It also helps to relax the body which is an ideal state to induce sleep. Guided meditations available online will help you to achieve this.

Exercise

Regular exercise is a great way to relax the body. The endorphins released are a natural stress reliever. Try and do whatever exercise you are capable of doing, even if it is just taking a short walk. Yoga or Pilates are also good for mental as well as physical relaxation. Explore your local area for a group to join. However, although exercise is good for your wellbeing, it is important you do not exercise less than three hours before you go to bed as your mind will still be stimulated.

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine is a strong stimulant and will keep you alert if you drink it less than three hours before bedtime. If you like a hot drink in the evening, consider replacing it with decaffeinated tea or coffee or try a herbal tea instead.

Keep a worry diary

It’s a familiar story: you get into bed and in the quiet of the nighttime, your mind starts to wander. And it will invariably wander onto the subject of all the things you have to worry about – meetings, gas bills, long journeys – none of which you can do anything about until the morning. Instead of thinking about them, keep a worry diary next to your bed. Then any time a worry comes up, you can write it down and address it in the morning, instead of thinking about it when you’re trying to sleep.

Replace your mattress or bed.

If your mattress isn’t providing you with the correct support, it will be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position at night. A new mattress will help you to find a better sleeping position. Similarly, an adjustable bed, such as those manufactured by Rise and Recline UK Ltd. can help you find a more comfortable sleeping position, particularly if you are suffering from back or joint problems.
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to our wellbeing and being unable to do so can take its toll on our long term health. For more information on how Rise & Recline Ltd can help you get a good night’s sleep, take a look at our full range of mattresses and adjustable beds.

Further Reading