De-stress before putting your head down with our easy to follow tips:
1. Exercise earlier in the day
Exercise is a great tool in the battle against physical and mental stress. Whether it’s cycling, the gym, or a team game, once you’ve found the activity for you, it’s time to find a sleep-friendly slot for your workout. Our body temperature rises with physical activity and that doesn’t bode well for resting. Keep things cool and sweat your worries away earlier in the day.
2. Focus on your breathing
Focusing on breathing helps sleep in two ways: it relaxes the mind and muscles as well as preventing you from thinking about anything else. The 4-7-8 technique demands all of your concentration. Try inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds and then exhaling slowly for eight seconds. By concentrating on your inhaling and exhaling, there’s no room for worries to weigh on your mind.
3. Organise your thoughts
Our quiet and private bedrooms may seem like the perfect setting to make sense of the day, but could cost your sleep. Take 15 minutes a day to think through your problems and how you can solve them. Writing a to-do list at a time when you’re mind is most alert will help you formulate more useful solutions and keeps worries at bay come bedtime.
4. Take a hot bath or shower
Many of us know about the power of a good soak to relax our muscles and unwind our mind. Taking a hot bath or shower before bed helps us switch off, as moving from warm water to a cooler room helps your body temperature drop. Try using a bath oil or shower wash with lavender to boost your stress busting and leave your skin lightly scented.
5. Skip the screens
Our phones, TVs and laptops emit blue light, a visible short wavelength light that plays havoc with our natural circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle. Group chats, intense TV dramas and looming deadlines displayed on the devices can also play on our mind when we most want to shut off. Try finding a screen-free alternative such as reading or meditation to wind down more effectively.