HOW TO GET TO SLEEP: Your Bedtime Ritual
Guest Post by John Lyles
A lot is written these days about how much trouble people have to get to sleep. In some cases, it’s just because people in modern society tend to be very busy; in others, it can be blamed on an addiction to technology; and of course, plenty of people just have trouble falling asleep even if they’re in bed on time with the lights off and the phone and laptop put away. There is no universal cause for the issue of having trouble falling asleep. There are, however, some popular solutions that work for a great many people. These are a few of them.
1. Adopt A Sleep-Oriented Diet
Looking at another list on this very subject, we found recommendations to check your pre-bed diet (beverages included), and it seems like this is something that is often overlooked. We tend to think of tiredness as something that relates to the activity rather than a diet, with the exception that we all know: to avoid caffeine before bedtime. Generally speaking though, it’s best not to eat large meals before dinner, and if you do eat you might want to stick to foods with certain properties that can actually induce drowsiness. Bananas give you serotonin and magnesium, for instance, and turkey and warm milk provide tryptophan – all of which can help you to get a little sleepier at night.
2. Control Your Temperature
Part of your bedtime ritual should also relate to making sure the room is as comfortable as possible. For most people, a slightly cool room is optimal for sleep, even if it means an extra blanket on the bed. Each night you should be sure to adjust your temperature as needed, or even turn on a fan facing the bed. It’s also a good idea to take a hot shower or bath before bed because moving from this to a cool room can actually lull you into a state of relaxation.
3. Try Light Yoga
A light yoga routine before bed can work wonders. Stretching can relieve body tension, and sometimes even simpler exercises, such as controlled breathing techniques, can be great for relaxation. Sama Vritti (or “deep breathing”), for instance, has become popular for just this reason. As a recent article aimed at people looking for quick and easy exercises says, "Mastering this breathing technique can help you achieve a state of relaxation with ease." Just a few minute of an exercise, like Sama Vritti, can calm your mind and body simultaneously and put you in a state that makes it far easier to drift off to sleep.
4. Use The “Calm” App
Using technology isn’t ideal when you’re trying to go to sleep, but a newly popular app called Calm might actually be an exception. The whole app is geared toward relaxation and its exercises help to settle you into a comfortable, worry-free state before sleep. The app now also contains a story called “Blue Gold,” narrated by Stephen Fry and thought of as a “sleep-inducing masterpiece” that can put anybody to bed. It’s worth a try, at least!
Using one or more of these methods should help you better your sleep habits and check out this awesome resource from Be Healthy. It can take a little bit of time and discipline to get into the routine of a bedtime ritual, but the results may just surprise you. You'll wind up feeling better rested, and perhaps just healthier in general.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Lyles is a freelance writer and personal trainer. He writes on topics related to fitness, lifestyle, and general wellness.
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