Zen Bev – Shed Stress Before Bed! Here Are Our Top 5 Tips!
Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | March 14, 2017
A major contributor to sleep deprivation can be chalked up to stress. It is a practiced skill to be able to “let go” and be able to sleep when there are things on your mind (finances, children, work, etc.).
The good news is that there are techniques that you can use to help you shed the stress and get a better night’s rest.
Here are our top five ways to unwind before bed.
Stress buster #1
Gaze at the ceiling and count backwards from 60
Think of this as a more scientific version of counting sheep. By gazing upward, you will be stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. As you slowly count backwards, concentrate on your breathing. This will help to lower your blood pressure and help clear your mind, signalling to your body that it is time to sleep.
Stress buster #2
Write down your worries
If you are the kind of person who likes to hold a problem in your mind until you can find a way to solve it, then it may help to write down your worries in a journal. Tell your mind that these worries have been written down and give yourself permission to let go of these worries until the morning. There will be plenty of time to work out solutions after you have had a good night’s rest.
Stress buster #3
Practice breath meditation
As you prepare yourself for sleep, practice deep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel your stomach as it rises and falls. By practicing breath mediation, you will be better able to concentrate on your own body rather than the stresses of the day.
Stress buster #4
Use guided imagery meditation
Did you know that you can use the power of your own mind to help take you away from the day’s stresses and worries? Imagine yourself sitting high up on a fluffy white cloud or floating on a raft in a tranquil lake. Imagine what you would see, hear and smell as the stresses of your day are left farther and farther behind.
Stress buster #5
Tense and relax your muscles
If you have had a stressful day, it is very possible that tense muscles are preventing you from drifting peacefully off to dreamland. Sometimes muscles feel noticeably tense, but many times we can have tense muscles without even noticing it.
To ease tense muscles, practice tensing them more and then letting them relax. Start at your toes and work your way up your body. As you learn to relax muscle tension, it will also help you let go of mental stress.
The relationship between anxiety and insomnia can be a vicious cycle. Stress can interfere with sleep and lack of sleep can lead to further stress. By practicing the techniques listed above, you can begin to shed the stress and get a better night’s sleep.