How to enjoy restful sleep

Mar 22, 2021

How to enjoy restful sleep

Do you struggle with sleep disturbances and insomnia issues? Good sleep hygiene can help, starting with winding down before you go to bed, so you are relaxed and in the right frame of mind for sleep.   

Make the choice to relax your body and mind before you go to bed. Have realistic expectations for drifting off to sleep. You can’t expect magic to occur and instantly fall asleep. It helps to take the time to relax your body and fall asleep with good thoughts.

I remember times I would be working on my computer until late and then thinking it was time to go to bed. My husband would say, “You will never get to sleep, settle yourself down first.” I knew he was right, and if I took some time to relax, meditate or listen to music or a guided meditation that it would be so much easier to fall asleep.  

How many of us go to bed thinking about the things we didn’t do, the things we have to do, the things we are worried about, or whatever didn’t go well that day? Sometimes, those thoughts consume much of the time right before sleep. If we fall asleep thinking of stressful things that happened or might happen, we might have bad dreams or nightmares. The subconscious mind works out things while we sleep. Unlike our conscious mind, the subconscious mind doesn’t stop when we fall asleep. It keeps working on what we were thinking about just as we were falling asleep, and that can affect our dreams. 

 

Focus on something positive

Spending just a few minutes in gratitude, noticing what you are thankful for or recalling a favorite memory, something that makes you feel good, will help you rest well and wake up feeling refreshed. 

Certainly get help from a professional if you think you may need a sleep-disturbance evaluation. Some people with sleep disturbance or insomnia issues benefit from a medical checkup.

 

Here are a few suggestions to help you fall asleep easily at night:

  • Don’t go to bed if you are not ready for bed. Working on the computer or watching TV before bed can be too engaging.
  • Take some time to disengage and unwind before trying to sleep. Calm down and relax about an hour and a half before you go to bed. If you plan to get to bed at 10 p.m., don’t still be doing the laundry, vacuuming, or working on the computer after 8:30 p.m.
  • Be aware that a really good book or movie also might keep you engaged and not prepared for sleep. Avoid intense dramas, thrillers, and even the news just before bed.
  • Create a ritual or habit. Brushing your teeth, washing your face, combing your hair, whatever you do in the evening can become a routine. When you do these things in the same order and same way, it retrains your brain to expect that going to bed and sleeping comes next in the sequence. Going through this sequence of events every night makes it easier to sleep.
  • Avoid reading, eating, or watching TV in bed. Over the course of time, this gives your body the wrong message. It tells your body that it’s time to watch TV (or whatever) when you go to bed. If you want to read or watch TV in your bedroom, sit in a chair instead.
  • Strategies such as going to bed only when you’re sleepy and getting out of bed after fifteen to twenty minutes if you’re unable to sleep, returning to bed only when you feel ready, have been shown to re-establish the psychological connection between the bedroom and sleeping.
  • Meditation, listening to relaxing music, or doing imagery can be helpful in falling asleep.

I hope you found these tips helpful. CLICK HERE to learn more about my Restful Sleep System.

 

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