For many of us this period is causing additional concerns and stress. One of the ways this can manifest is in difficulty falling asleep or by waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to go back to sleep. This is completely normal. To help you get proper rest, here are five tips and remedies for a good night’s sleep.
1) No screens in the evening
Our body is used to adjusting its sleep-wake rhythm following our planet’s night-day cycle. By staring at our screens and the infamous “blue light”, we are altering our cognitive sensations and deceiving our brain by making it think that it isn’t yet time for bed. Try to minimise your exposure to screens as much as possible in the evening. If you really can’t do without them, reduce the brightness of the display and – if you get the opportunity – you can also order online lenses with a blue light filter to protect your eyes!
2) Tell yourself a story
Recent studies have shown that telling yourself stories can help fight insomnia. We know that this trick works well with children, and who hasn’t tried counting sheep. In fact, (self-)storytelling creates positive thoughts and perhaps means you identify yourself with a character you like and means you can enjoy a fairytale ending. The sense of calmness and serenity that follows will allow you to relax and fall asleep easier. If you are not that creative yet, don’t’ worry, relax and start by listening to some here!
3) Try natural herbal teas
There are different plants in nature that have a soothing and calming effect. Their benefits are optimised when consumed in the form of herbal teas. One of the best-known herbal teas for this purpose is valerian-based, but also chamomile and hawthorn work well.
4) Remember to breathe properly
Controlling breathing is another way to calm yourself. Slower and more regular breathing often lead to a state of tranquility and mental harmony that will help you to fall asleep more easily. For example, you could attempt the breathing technique known as “4 – 7 – 8”. Firstly, take a deep breath and expel all the air from your lungs through a full exhalation. Then, with your mouth closed, inhale through your nose and count to 4. Holding your breath, keep the air in your lungs and count to 7. Finally, exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. According to research, 3 repetitions of the cycle is enough to reach a state of relaxation that can help you sleep…it will barely take 60 seconds! Why don’t you take a look at our breathing exercises?
5) Take a hot shower before going to bed
Warming up the body with a shower an hour before going to bed and then being surrounded by cooler air will decrease body temperature quicker. Research on the topic shows that a sharp drop in temperature slows down your metabolism faster and gets the body ready for sleep