If you struggle to fall asleep, take heart. Falling asleep does need to be a source of stress as there are some simple things that can be done to relax your body and ready you for a wonderful night’s sleep.
1. Make sure your bed is designed for you
Just as we all don’t wear the same size clothes or shoes, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to beds and bedding. More than anything else, your mattress matters and it pays to sleep on one that is well-suited to your body type, sleeping preferences and any health concerns you may have. Mattress experts at organisations such as Sleepy’s can assist you in finding the optimal mattress for your body and sleeping preferences.
Similarly, a wide range of choices exists when it comes to linen, pillows and bedding. Choose items that will enhance your rest and sleeping experience and allow you to enjoy healthy and hygienic sleep.
2. Pay attention to your sleeping conditions
To sleep well, you need to be in an environment which is quiet, at a comfortable temperature and is clean. For most people, the best quality sleep is experienced when the room is a little cooler in temperature and is dark. Ideally, all lights will be turned off and if a nightlight is needed, it should be positioned a distance from your bed.
Think carefully about what you wear to bed too. Your sleepwear should be soft and allow your skin to breathe. It is best to have some room between your skin and the material of your clothes.
3. Exercise before you sleep
Exercising before you sleep does not necessarily mean running laps or lifting weights. By simply doing some exercises to relax your mind and muscles, you can effectively prepare your brain for sleep. As much as possible, try not to worry about going to sleep, as stress of this type can be enough to keep you awake. Instead, try systematically relaxing and contracting muscles in your body. Start at your toes and move all the way up to your neck, and then work your way back down your body and back to your toes.
4. Focus on your breathing
Through awareness of your breathing, you can help your body relax and prepare for rest. Try counting your breaths and concentrate on taking full, deep breaths. You should try inhaling for four seconds, take seven seconds to hold your breath and extend your exhalation over eight seconds.
5. Repetition works
The old theory of counting sheep may actually work for you. If it’s not sheep, you may like to try watching yourself putt a golf ball, plant vegetables or do any other activity you may enjoy. By visualising yourself doing something familiar and repetitive, and by counting these activities, you are likely to relax and drift off to sleep.
Knowing strategies for falling asleep and putting these techniques into practice can help your body rest and give you sleep which is both restful and energising. Which will you try first?