Have you forgotten what it’s like to have a normal sleeping pattern? Simple lifestyle choices can make a world of difference to the quality of your sleep. If getting to sleep every night is a chore and you are all out of ideas for slipping into slumber, follow our 5 bed-time rituals to help you get your sleep back on track.

  1. Prep your bedroom – it’s your slumber sanctuary

Is your bedroom filled with clutter? Has your bed mattress seen better days? If the answer is yes, it’s time to give your bedroom the makeover it deserves. That could be all it needs to get your sleep back on track. Your mattress is vital to getting a good night’s rest, so be sure you have a decent one. Check out this bed buying guide by bed experts Snug Interiors. Then, remove all digital devices from the bedroom. They are known to interfere with sleep.

Prior to bed-time (perhaps when you arrive home from work and get changed), make sure all clothes are put away, make your bed and ensure your bedroom is at the right temperature. Close windows if it’s a little chilly or open them if the room feels stuffy and needs some air.

Have your bedroom looking clean, fresh and clutter-free at all times. Make this bedroom tidy-up a ritual every evening when you get home from work. This is your slumber haven and should be treated as such.

  1. Stick to a leisurely and relaxing bed-time routine

Don’t panic yourself to bed. Falling asleep on the sofa and then rushing yourself into bed in the early hours is a recipe for disaster. Try to have a set wind-down routine that gets you prepared for bed in a relaxed fashion. Try to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time each day.

Before you head off to bed, enjoy a cup of herbal tea with sleep-inducing properties. Sleep tea by Clipper is a lovely mellow tea containing herbs with sedative properties, such as Valerian root, lemon balm and chamomile. That’s our favourite, but there are many other brands to choose from.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, and don’t eat a heavy meal close to bed-time.

  1. The 4-7-8 breathing trick

This relaxing breathing exercise acts like a natural tranquiliser so is definitely worth a try. It’s also a great technique to use whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious. The 4-7-8 breathing exercise works by promoting slower breathing. It improves blood pressure, reduces stress and enhances wellness.

The idea behind the exercise is to retrain your breathing so you naturally breathe more slowly and deeply. Try to get into the routine of doing the exercise twice daily. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, this breathing exercise gains in power the more you practise. Here’s how:

  • Place the tip of your tongue on the ridge of your gums behind your upper front teeth
  • Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound
  • Close your mouth, expand your diaphragm and inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7
  • Open your mouth slightly and exhale, making a whoosh sound, for a count of 8
  • This cycle is one breath – repeat for a total of 4 cycles/breaths
  1. Activate your sleep pressure points

Acupressure has been around for centuries. The therapy uses precise finger placement and pressure over certain points on the body to improve blood flow and release tension. In Chinese medicine, the acupressure points follow specific channels in the body, known as meridians.

In Chinese philosophy, illness and tension occur when there is a blockage in the energy flowing along these invisible channels. While Western scientists are sceptical about this view, they acknowledge the healing benefits of acupressure, which they explain works as a result of the muscular relaxation and improved regional blood flow.

The four main acupressure points for relaxation and better sleep are:

  • Neiguan – at the base of the wrist
  • Shimien – at the bottom of the heel
  • Shenman – at the crease of the wrist, nearest to the little finger
  • Anmian – behind the ear, at the soft section before the neck muscles connect with the jaw line
  1. sleepLeave your problems at the bedroom door

As you enter your bedroom to get ready for bed, make a conscious effort to leave any worries at the door. If it helps, make a worry box out of an old shoe box, write down your worries and post them in the box outside of your bedroom door. You can always pick them up again tomorrow when you’ve had a good night of zzzzs.

The worry box is a tried and tested technique for getting rid of intrusive thoughts. This technique helps you to focus on the present moment and enables you to mentally schedule the dealing of worries to a more appropriate time. The physical act of writing your worry down and posting it into a box can have a surprisingly powerful effect in letting those thoughts go.

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If you are still not sleepy, you could go for cleaning the whole house. Have a look at this guide.

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