There may be lots of reasons why you are having trouble sleeping. It could be that you have a lot on your mind, or maybe you experience aches or pains. Sometimes it’s not falling asleep that is the problem; it’s staying asleep. What can you do to ease your mind, and your aches and pains, so that you can get a good night’s sleep? We have several suggestions for bedtime routines that might help. One idea even goes against everything that you have heard about what “not” to do in your bedroom!
1. Take a shower or a bath before bedtime
If you are a bath person, and they relax you, you should be taking one right before bed. Make it a nightly routine so that both your mind and body learn that bath time means relax time. Light candles and play soft music if you prefer. Have a comfy head rest to prop up your head. Read a chapter or two from your book, or just close your eyes and relax. Bathtime can be meditation time, as well. Clear your mind and try to let go of all of your anxiety.
If you are not a bath person, a hot shower can be just as relaxing. Light candles and play soft music to help create a peaceful ambiance and let your mind and body relax.
Another great thing about baths or showers is that the heat of the water will help aching muscles. One important thing to note is that water should not be too hot. It should be just right for you. Too hot of water can actually stimulate your nervous system, making it harder to relax.
Adding epsom salts or essential oils to your bath can help ease back pain and sore or tense muscles. Try lavender essential oil to help relieve sore muscles. Plus, the aroma is calming and supports the spirit.
2. Use a heating pad before you sleep
Since muscle pain responds well to heat, it is good to use a heating pad to help relax your muscles and to ease the pain before you go to sleep. It is not recommended to use a heating pad while sleeping to prevent burns. If you must use one, make sure it is always on the lowest setting, and you are not laying directly on it. Some heating pads even come with a timer so that you can fall asleep with one, and it will turn itself off automatically.
If you use the pad before sleeping, it is suggested to use it for 20 minutes to about a half of an hour. Find a relaxing activity to do while you are using your heating pad. Read a couple of chapters of your book, write in your diary or watch a favorite tv show.
3. Stretch before bedtime if you have trouble sleeping
Stretching is a great way to help relieve muscle tension and to relax ─ both your body and mind. Perform simple nightly stretches or you can even try a 5 to 10-minute yoga routine to do right before bedtime. Here is a 5-minute yoga bedtime video for you to try. Try meditating while you are stretching ─ to help relax and clear your mind as well.
4. Try deep breathing relaxation techniques
Deep breathing helps the body to relax. While deep breathing, your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated which is the division of the autonomic nervous system that needs to be active for healing to take place. Even if you don’t have trouble sleeping, you should always take a few deep breaths before going to sleep. If you do have trouble sleeping, you can use some of these Relaxation Techniques before bedtime.
If you wake during the night, take several deep breaths, or do some relaxation techniques to help your body stay relaxed so that you can fall back to sleep.
5. Watch TV if it helps you to relax before sleep
Yep, this is the shocker. I know that every article that we read about getting a good night’s sleep tells us that TV in the bedroom is a big no-no! However, for some people, including myself, watching TV before bed actually helps to relax me ─ and take my mind off of things. Sometimes, I want to watch one of my favorite shows, but it’s getting late, and I just feel like being completely relaxed while watching it. For me, that means getting off of my couch and heading to my bed. I’ll turn the lights off, cuddle with my pillows and blankets and just be comfortable. When my show is over, I turn the TV off and go to sleep.
Now, some people like the TV to be on while they sleep. I have asked several people why this is, and the answer most commonly is that it gives them something to listen to. This makes sense because I know that laying in complete silence while having trouble sleeping is not ideal. It allows for the mind to wonder, which can lead to anxiety.
6. Listen to an audiobook
This one is for those of us who don’t believe in having a TV in the bedroom, but still might not enjoy the complete silence. Some audio devices have timers so that your audiobook will play for a time and then turn off by itself. Audio books work for some people, but not everyone, however. This is because some people find that listening to a story actually stimulates their mind as opposed to relaxing it. I would think this is something that you would have to try out and see how it affects you.
7. Make it a habit of reading a chapter or two before going to sleep each night
For me, reading is relaxing, and it makes my eyes and mind tired at night. Sometimes my book is so good that I want to see what’s going to happen, so I try to keep on reading until I just can’t anymore. I usually find myself falling right to sleep after reading. The key here is to find a good book that truly keeps your interest. Find a favorite author or two and make it a habit of reading each night before going to sleep.
8. Make sure you are sleeping in the correct positions if you have aches, pains or a health disorder
If you do experience chronic aches and pains or have a health disorder such as acid reflux, it is imperative that you learn of the correct sleeping position so that you can rest your body comfortably. Sleeping in the right position can help ease your pain so that you can sleep. Take a look at these sleep positions to learn more!
In conclusion, we know how frustrating having trouble sleeping really is. We have all been there. We hope that these tips will help to relax both your body and brain so that you can get a good night’s rest!
If aches and pains are what keep you up at night, ZEN Sports Balm is proud to offer all-natural, pain relieving formulas. They are safe to use at bedtime, to help you get a great night’s sleep! Take a look at our user’s testimonials!
Robin, and the ZEN Team!
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photo Sources– Pixabay.com