Has COVID kept you tossing and turning at night? Do you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep? We’re being especially challenged now and that’s why many of us are having more trouble these days with sleep.
If you’re stressed out, it can be difficult. Stress can cause hyper-arousal in your mind and body, making it hard to sleep. To make matters worse, many of us are experiencing the added pressure of COVID and the turmoil our world is facing.
When you get little sleep, you may feel even more on edge. You know the feeling: tossing and turning and dreading mornings, knowing you barely had any sleep. I’m one who has suffered for years with insomnia until I took these steps to improve my sleep. These strategies may help you, too.
- Take time to unwind before bedtime. One hour before bedtime, avoid doing anything stimulating or stressful. That means avoiding social media, catching up on work, texting, and turning off all electronic devices. Instead, dim the lights and possibly read a good book, take a warm bath, do some gentle stretching or yoga, or listen to relaxing music
- Get Regular Exercise. Engaging in physical activity is a great way to relieve tension–both in the mind and body. That can be walking, dancing, aerobics or yoga–any way that you like to move that’s fun. It’s best to work out at least three hours before bedtime so that your body temperature can drop to set the stage for sleep. However, if you’re doing restorative yoga at night, that can be a great way to calm down for better rest.
- Tame Your Worries.Spend time doing a calming routine—such as deep breathing, Guided Imagery , or progressive muscle relaxation before you go to sleep. These techniques can help you feel less stressed and add to your overall wellbeing. (You’re also welcome to get my Stress Buster Meditation below.)
I became a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner after I experienced a major difference with daily Guided Meditation for sleep and stress relief. Now, I’m on a mission to help others. Studies show mindfulness and meditations can help, too. Also consider working with a meditation teacher who can help you learn techniques to prevent worries from sabotaging your sleep.
Favorite Breathing Technique for Sleep
Now about my favorite breathing technique I’ve been using lately to fall back to sleep. Breath in slowly and deeply, then exhale slowly and count 1. Do it again and count 2…keep doing this until you reach ten. Then, if you’re still awake, start all over again to 10. This is also a form of meditation, as it keeps your thinking mind busy to help you reach your deeper mind.
The more tools you know and use, the more you will awaken to more joy and a better night’s rest. Please share what works for you for better sleep and share my blog post with friends and family.
Wishing you Sweet Dreams!
Vicki Atlas Israel is Meditation and Mindset Coach, Certified in Guided Imagery. Vicki is passionate about helping heart-centered professionals, children and families feel less stressed, more calm, and happier.