We all know that a healthy diet and physical activity are two of the keys to good health, but did you know there’s a third? The amount and quality of sleep you get on a typical night can drastically alter how you feel in your day-to-day life, both mentally and physically.
That said, getting quality sleep is often easier said than done. About 40 million adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder, which can make restful sleep feel unattainable.
If your anxiety is keeping you up at night, what you need are some relaxation techniques for sleep anxiety. Because while it’s true that quality of sleep is the most difficult pillar of health to control, it’s not impossible.
To learn a few relaxation tips that you can use to start sleeping better as early as tonight, just keep reading!
One of the most effective ways to relax before bedtime and get a good night’s sleep, as a result, is to create a nighttime routine that you follow no matter what. By going through the same movements every night, your brain will start to associate them with sleep, putting you in relaxation mode with minimal effort.
Your nighttime routine can be any length you want, as long as it starts at least an hour before you want to be asleep (not just in bed – asleep).
Similarly, you can include any activities you want. The only rule is that they must be relaxing for you and not involve screens.
When you think about how to relax, which activities come to mind? You could listen to soothing music, take a hot bath, enjoy some Delta 8 Pre-Rolls, do stretching or meditation exercises, anything that makes you feel centered and at ease.
Gratitude and Daily Wins
We all live hectic lives, many of us pushing ourselves to the brink in the name of achieving our goals. And with that self-inflicted pressure comes a tendency to focus on our shortcomings rather than our successes.
This can lead to anxiety, especially at bedtime. It’s quiet and you’re not surrounded by distractions, so your mind races, worrying about everything from the past day to the next decade.
To combat this, you have to shift your mindset and train your mind to focus on the positive. Like any change of habit, this takes time. But with a little effort, it’s absolutely possible!
You can help nudge your mind in the right direction by making a point to make a mental (or physical) list of 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 “wins” for the day before bed. The key is to avoid being hard on yourself. Any win counts, no matter how small!
Intentional Breathing (4-7-8 Method)
Believe it or not, your breath can have a huge impact on how you feel. With only a few minutes of mindful breathing, you can bring your mind into a fully relaxed state.
With that in mind, one of the best relaxation techniques you can use is an advanced breathing technique from www.breathwrk.com known as 4-7-8 breathing.
To practice 4-7-8 breathing, you first need to place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth. Holding your tongue in place, inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds. When the 7 seconds are up, exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds and repeat.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another option is a visualization exercise called progressive muscle relaxation. If you’ve never tried this technique, we guarantee you’re going to be surprised by the effect such a simple exercise can have!
This is among the most effective relaxation methods because it triggers your body’s natural relaxation response, reducing stress and helping you fall asleep peacefully.
While breathing exercises can be done in any seated or lying position, progressive muscle relaxation has the greatest effect when you’re already in bed.
First, lie flat and still in your bed with your arms relaxed at your sides and close your eyes. Starting at your forehead, focus on relaxing your muscles completely.
Move down to your eyes, your cheeks, your jaw, your neck, etc., all the way down your body until you reach your toes. You might even find that you fall asleep before you reach the end!
If you want to take your progressive muscle relaxation technique up a notch, adding self-hypnosis is the way to do it!
When you perform progressive muscle relaxation correctly, you enter a hypnotic state. This means you’ll be both relaxed and more open to suggestion.
So, before you begin your relaxation technique, think of a comforting phrase or a relaxing sight or smell.
Let’s say, for example, that you imagine watching gentle waves roll in while you smell the salt air of the ocean. Once you reach your hypnotic state, imagine yourself in this environment and use that visualization to foster feelings of relaxation and calm within your own mind.
Improve Your Health With These Relaxation Techniques for Sleep Anxiety
As you can see, improving your quality of sleep isn’t as difficult as you might have thought. Using these relaxation techniques for sleep anxiety, you can sleep better, improving your mental and physical health in the process.
Just be sure you aren’t working against yourself by drinking afternoon caffeine or doom scrolling before bed! You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when you put yourself and your mental health first.
The best part is, boosting your quality of sleep is just one of the many steps you can take to improve your health. To learn more tips for leading a healthy lifestyle, take a look at our blog!