We get it. Few things are as tempting as passive entertainment in bed. It’s 11 p.m., you’re lazing around when the desire to watch the latest Game Of Thrones or Stranger Things episode peaks. Midnight is still an hour away, and you think it’s the perfect opportunity to end the day.
Only, it never ends with one episode. Just as the said episode ends, the online streaming platform plays another and another, and before you know it, several hours have passed. Stimulated but exhausted, you finally turn your gadgets off and try to sleep. You might even fall asleep but as your mind was active till the last minute, your sleep is disturbed and restless.
Does this mean you shouldn’t watch your favourite shows? No!
Only that your bedtime is precious and the online streaming platforms or your mobile phone might not be the best lullaby on offer.
Keep screens away at least an hour before bed and try some of these activities for a more restful sleep:
1. Read a book
Regardless of whether you like reading or no, books are the best way to get lost in another world, or fall asleep. When you’re reading, your eyes and brain are constantly trying to make sense of the sentences. The brain is working hard and is bound to be tired. Slowly and gradually, it puts you to sleep.
And if the book you are reading doesn’t interest you a bit, even better. You won’t like reading it, and so, your mind will wander and most certainly, fall asleep.
If you like pleasant dreams, you have to work for them. The goal must be to have a clear mind before you get to bed and the way to do it is simple: write what you’re feeling. When what you feel hits the paper, it, as if by magic, stops tormenting you. Writing a journal on what troubles you can be a great stress-buster but try keeping a gratitude journal too, for things you are grateful for. This simple exercise that encourages you to reflect before bed puts you in a sombre but kinder mood and allows you to sleep feeling nourished and fulfilled.
3. Take a hot shower
Imagine if you could receive a deep-tissue massage right before bed, what an ideal world it would be, right? But a hot shower works equally well. When you immerse yourself in hot water, it wraps you in its warmth and soothes your muscles. And what’s even better is that after the hot shower, your body tries to cool down which helps your body’s circadian rhythm put you to sleep. A hot shower right before bed smoothly lulls you to sleep.
4. Do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise
Sounds obvious, but it’s true. If meditation seems like too much, take long deep breaths while lying in your bed, and try the 4-7-8 exercise. It’s simple: breathe in through your nose for four seconds. hold the breath for seven seconds. And exhale forcefully through the mouth, making a “whoosh” sound, for eight seconds. This deep breathing exercise can ward off insomnia by telling your hyperactive brain and nervous system that it’s time for the much-needed shuteye.
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