Our contributor Arin Agase is back again today to give us the lowdown on streamlining our sleeping habits. Want to be happier and more productive during the day? Read on for her eight tips!
Adhering to relaxing habits and falling asleep around the same time each night will condition your body to maintain a steady internal rhythm and more readily welcome sleep each night.
Do you have a lot on your mind? Are you feeling worried or overwhelmed? Flush that negativity down the toilet! Write down a few things you’re grateful for each night; this will help you release anxious thoughts and quiet your mind. To reap the full benefits of this exercise, journal each night—remember, our bodies thrive on routine.
Turn it all off.
You already knew this one was coming, right? The noises and lights from your electronics will keep your brain alert when it should be winding down. Do not sleep next to your phone! (If you use it as an alarm clock, simply move it to the other side of your room.) As soon as I stopped sleeping next to my phone, I saw an immediate improvement in my ability to fall asleep quickly.
Take a bath.
A hot bath can help you relax and wind down after a chaotic day. I take one each night, and it’s my favorite part of the day. Try to do this right before bed! My brain begins its shutting-down process while I’m taking my bath, simply because it knows what comes next. Also, use a lavender wash—the scent is so soothing.
Give deep breathing a go.
Deep breathing does great things for your brain and body. Focus on each slow inhale and exhale. And try this “4-7-8” breathing exercise!
Change your pace.
If you haven’t fallen asleep within 30 minutes of getting into bed for the night, you should get up. Try reading a book or walking around the house. Do not turn the TV on—electronics should stay off.
Visualize something nice.
Conjuring up a beautiful experience can often put your mind at ease. (If you’re a yogi, this is likely a practice you implement regularly.) Picture yourself in a place that’s relaxing, refreshing, magical. Focusing on sensory details is an important part of this exercise, too—for example, if you’re envisioning a beach, imagine the water crashing upon your toes. How do the waves sound and feel and smell?
Your body isn’t going to feel tired enough for sleep if you haven’t made it work much during the day. If you’re sitting at a computer from dawn until dusk, your bones aren’t working hard enough! Typically, the more active you are, the better your sleep will be. These workouts don’t have to be strenuous—just get your body moving! Hit a cycling class or take a few walks around the block.
Written by Arin Agase