We all know that to ensure a good night’s sleep we need to relax before bed. But what are the best ways to do this? And what things should we avoid?
The need to relax
The busyness and stress of everyday life can take a toll on your body, meaning you’re well and truly tired by the end of the day. But what about your mind?
For many of us, this is the time when our brains begin buzzing. Negative things that happened during the day come to the fore. Thoughts of all we have to do the next day swirl around our head. And if you’re under any due stress, it’s the quiet time of night when these issues tend to raise their ugly heads.
The truth is, it won’t matter how tired your body is, unless you can relax your mind before bed, you’ll find sleep difficult to come by.
Calm your mind
There are several strategies you can use to prepare your mind for sleep, especially if you have a lot going on.
Write things down — Write a list of all the things you need to accomplish the next day, so you can let them go.
Tap into music — Music can have a powerful effect and can affect brainwaves, heartbeat and breathing. Research shows that listening to classical music for 30 minutes has a significant calming effect.
Take a bath — Water can be particularly calming so try a bath before bed rather than a shower.
Use your sense of smell — There are certain scents that have been shown to promote relaxation and help you sleep. One of the most commonly known is lavender. Other scents that can help include vanilla, bergamot, geranium and sandalwood.
Exercise — Exercise releases endorphins, the natural chemicals that enhances your mood and relaxes your body. Regular exercise can help reduce stress as well. Just make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime. A gentle walk after dinner may do the trick.
Breath deeply — Deep breathing exercises can also calm your mind and reduce your heart rate. Try these when you get into bed.
Have a cuppa — Herbal tea is perfect to help you unwind from your day. Camomile tea can help lower your anxiety while peppermint tea is good for the digestion. Just make sure your brew is caffeine-free.
Things to avoid if you want to relax before bed
If you want to get to bed fully relaxed, there are certain things you need to avoid. These include:
Screens before bed — The blue light emitted by digital devices can interfere with your body’s internal clock, making it harder to go to sleep.
Arguments or difficult conversations — These will just excite your emotions, or cause you to worry. Save them for the light of day.
Exercising before bed — While exercise helps promote sleep, doing it too close to bedtime will have the opposite effect.
Alcohol before bed — Alcohol has been found to impair your sleep quality.
Eating too much — Eating too much food can make you feel full and bloated and impact your sleep. You should also avoid fried or fast food, spicy foods, and anything containing caffeine.
Relax in comfort
There’s no denying that you’ll always sleep better on a high-quality mattress. At BedGuard we have a range of mattresses to suit everyone, so come in store or browse online today, to ensure you’re relaxed and comfortable for a good night’s sleep.