A healthy sleep schedule is one of the most essential components necessary to preserve our health and wellbeing for people across ages and demographics. Without proper amounts of sleep, our bodies suffer a number of extremely dangerous physical and psychological consequences. Despite sleep’s undeniable importance, most people do not get the proper amount of sleep each night to ensure peak mental and physical functioning. Unfortunately, sound sleep can be very difficult for people to come by in society today.
With so much technology at our fingertips, the distractions seem endless. The constant availability of the internet, movies on Netflix, television shows On Demand, new video games available for download at the press of a button, it is little wonder that people find it difficult to go to sleep at night. However, technology is not the only thing keeping us awake. There is more pressure than ever before to complete staggering amounts of work in short periods of time. College students and people in the professional world are often working long hours, and continuing to work well into the night in order to get their workload accomplished. It is easy to understand how the never-ending stress of one’s workload could make it difficult to sleep soundly at night.
This list of suggested relaxation techniques specifically targeted at promoting healthy sleeping habits will explore a few of the popular and simple methods for ensuring a good night’s sleep.
1) Watch What You Eat and Drink
Avoiding foods that have caffeine is absolutely essential for someone who is struggling to fall asleep at night. Coffee, chocolate, soda, espresso, cappuccino, some teas, and even some alcohols have high amounts of caffeine that could keep you awake at night. Drinking a caffeine-free tea or warm milk at night before bed is one technique that can help relax you before bed.
2) Listening to Music or Relaxing sounds
Some people benefit from listening to music or other relaxing sounds before going to bed. Using relaxation CDs when you are getting ready to go to sleep can help slow down and distract your mind. Using mellow, acoustic songs, classical music or even some of the subtle sounds of nature as a bedtime soundtrack helps many people fall asleep quickly and comfortably.
3) Reading Before Bed
Reading is another excellent way to distract your mind from any troubles and anxieties right before bed. Having whatever material you just read in the forefront of your mind before going to sleep may be an effective strategy for keeping negative feelings out of your conscious thought. Reading can also make your eyes and mind feel tired after a long day, so even on a simple physical level reading is an excellent relaxation technique for sleep.
4) Light and sound deprivation
Especially for those who live in the city, light and noise pollution can make it a challenge to fall asleep at night. One suggestion for people who have difficulty sleeping is to try and make you bedroom as light free and sound free as possible. Getting opaque curtains, earplugs, an eye mask, and ensuring that all lights and electronic devices are shut down can be an extremely effective relaxation technique.
5) Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Deep Breathing
Sometimes half the battle for those who struggle with sleep is getting the body to shut down at night. Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Deep Breathing exercises are two very popular relaxation methods that can promote healthy sleep. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a process in which you tense and then relax each muscle group in your body, focusing intently on that specific area. You start with the feet and hands, moving inward to the core until you have covered all the muscle groups. Deep breathing techniques involve mindfulness of the breathing process. One must inhale deeply to the point where the lungs expand, hold the breath, exhale fully, and repeat the process. Both of these techniques can help slow your body down physically to prepare it for sleep.