Sleep is an incredibly important part of our lives. It benefits our health and wellbeing and helps us to feel energised throughout the day. It’s great when you get it but sometimes we barely get enough. If you suffer from stress, insomnia or broken sleep, here are a few tips on how to fall asleep anywhere.
Try a relaxing breathing exercise
Breathing affects our nervous system, our heart rate, relaxation, and excitement. Implementing a breathing exercise into your bed-time routine helps you to feel calm and relaxed, which encourages you to fall asleep quicker.
This exercise is called the “4-7-8” method and it can be practiced anytime you’re stressed, anxious, or just want to get some sleep.
- Place the tip of your tongue on the ridge behind the upper front teeth.
- Make a ‘whooshing’ sound as you exhale completely from your mouth.
- Now, close your mouth, repeat step one and inhale through your nose while counting to four in your head.
- Hold your breath and count to seven.
- Exhale with a ‘whooshing’ sound once more as you slowly count to eight.
- Repeat at least three more times for ultimate relaxation.
Yoga and meditation to unwind before bed
Have you ever found yourself lying awake at night because one thought after another keeps circling around in your brain? It’s the worst! Not to mention the sleepless night you end up with.
Yoga and meditation are your best friends when it comes to combatting stress at night. Get into a routine of doing five or six yoga poses before you go to bed to focus your breathing and relax your body. It’s also a great way to stretch out your limbs and release any tensions you may have accumulated throughout the day.
Meditation helps your brain to unwind and get ready for sleep after a busy day. Keep thoughts about work and outstanding to-do lists at bay by practicing a meditation routine. If you need some guidance, consider downloading an app to help you.
The secret to being able to fall asleep anywhere is exercise. Yes, exercise is always the root cause of every health benefit and frankly, you just can’t get around it. But it’s actually how and when you exercise that is the clincher. Our twenty four hour body clock is called a circadian rhythm. It tells us when to eat, sleep, and other functions by taking cues from the external environment.
Exercise can influence your circadian rhythm. It can even help you to overcome jet lag depending on the time of day. Exercise in the early morning brings your body clock forward whereas doing a workout late at night pushes it back. The ultimate combo to combat insomnia and fall asleep is to get the adrenaline pumping with an exercise routine in the morning and relax with some yoga at night before bed.
We spend most of our waking life staring at screens whether it be our phones, computer, tablet or television. But these devices can have a negative impact on our sleep. Our circadian rhythm is set by the amount of light we’re exposed to. Darkness makes us tired whereas light wakes us up.
The artificial LED blue light that our devices emit disrupts our circadian rhythm and its wavelengths boost attention. As a result, our body doesn’t know when to prepare for sleep.
Switch off your electronics at least thirty minutes before going to bed to let your body know it’s sleepy time. Instead of scrolling through social media take a good book to bed with you. If you have to keep using your devices, put them on night mode to dim the blue light and rest your eyes. Getting into the habit of switching off your devices before bed will help you fall asleep quicker no matter where you are.