3 Relaxation Tips for Better Sleep and Health

All opinions are mine and mine alone.

3 Relaxation Tips for Better Sleep and Health

I’m going to start off by letting you in on the secret to a healthy life – drumroll please…there is no big secret! Exercise more, eat healthier and sleep more. That’s it. This holy triumvirate will make you feel invincible.  There, now you can throw out that mound of self-help books that’s been gathering dust in the corner.

Ok, flippancy aside, I know exercising more and eating healthier are far easier said than done. With the stresses and strains of the modern world pulling us this way and that, we are often too tired to head to the gym and quite often caffeine and junk food are the only things that help us get through the day. So let’s ignore exercise and eating for now. And let’s focus on sleep. Getting a better night’s kip is very achievable and with it you will soon find the other two become a lot easier.

Well-rested you will find the desire to eat junk food drops and your appetite for exercise increases. Simple as that.

But how do you get better sleep? Well, in short the key to good sleep is going to bed relaxed.

Below are three simple tips to help you achieve this. If after reading these you need anymore advice on how to wake up refreshed, check out what the experts from TheSleepAdvisor have to say.

  1. Introduce wind-down time

Wind-down time is what I call the hour before bedtime in my house.

For me it involves turning off any screens (that includes your smartphone) and preparing for the next day. I lay out my clothes and pack my bag with everything I need for the following day’s activities. I take a shower and go through my skin care regime. And then I take myself off to bed and read a few chapters of a good novel.

Now, that’s my routine. Your wind-down plan doesn’t need to involve the same steps as mine – although it really should involve shunning screens – no, yours can be anything you want it to be. As long as it doesn’t involved anything too overstimulating. So maybe no Fifty Shades of Grey!

A close friend of mine swears that baking before bed helps her sleep. She says there is something soothing about making bread. Plus, she has something to eat for breakfast. Double win! I can’t bake to save my life, so I am sticking with my book.

  1. Take up meditation

It’s funny how the bedroom is meant to be a place of peace and quiet, but as soon as the lights go off, our brain immediately starts shouting at us – replaying events from the day passed and worrying about events tomorrow that may never happen.

However big or small the thoughts, real or imagined the worries, one thing is certain – they are stopping us from getting to sleep.

A good wind-down routine can certainly help prevent your brain becoming overstimulated before bed but if your ‘monkey mind’ still won’t rest, then I recommend adding a little bit of meditation to your daily routine. Diffusing your favourite essential oil as you do so is a nice touch, too!

Your meditation session can be as little as 10-15 minutes in the morning, daytime or evening; the time of day is not strictly important. What is important is developing a routine and sticking to it.

Like starting anything new, it may be difficult at first. And you probably won’t notice a immediate improvement. In fact, your first few tries might just frustrate you further as you become aware just how active your mind actually is.

But trust me, the more you practice the more you will benefit. And the benefits are real, you don’t have to take my word on this – science says so too.

After a few weeks of daily meditation, if you stick with it, you will find your brain is a lot lot quieter in the evenings.

  1. Tense your muscles

This might sound like a little weird but stick with me.

Once you’ve got yourself all nicely tucked in and under the covers have a little go at some Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PRM). Don’t let the name scare you off, PRM is tired and tested century-old method that will ensure you catch the quickest train to lalaland.

It involves little more than a little bit of muscle tensing. A typical routine would start at the lowest point of your body – the toes – and then end at the head, tensing and relaxing each and every muscle area in turn as you work your way up.

Like counting sheep or back from a thousand, the method works by calming a racing mind and focussing your thoughts away from any concerns and on to your body. I know it sounds a little mad but give it a go and thank me later.

There you have it, three little tips to get you nice and relaxed and in a relaxed frame of mind and ready to sleep.

Give them a whirl and once you have conquered sleep, more exercise and healthy eating will be a piece of cake – on second thoughts – let’s make that a piece of fruit.



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