Insomnia, Snoring, Sleep Apnea

The world and life of a sleep tech

How to Unwind so You Can Sleep

Posted by amykr on April 17, 2012

We all live in a stressful world.  We have work, family, unexpected issues and the last thing we think about is how it will affect us as we are lying in bed staring at the ceiling.  We do not think about what we can do to help solve the problem or prevent it.  Let’s take a few minutes to find a solution for you.

Oxygen is one of the great ways to reduce stress.  It is easily available and easy to get.  Take five minutes to breathe deeply and recruit more of your lung to help transfer the oxygen to your blood.  There are many routines you can use to help you to relax.  I like the inhale, hold, exhale practice.  Inhale through your nose for the count of six, hold for the count of 4 (you do not want to stress yourself), than exhale slowly through pursed lips for the count of six.  As you are inhaling imagine your lungs filling from the bottom out and when you are exhaling imagine them emptying from the top down.  Not only do you get benefit of increased oxygen level but the focus on breathing will help you to calm your mind. 

Practice a little yoga.  A simple routine can help you stretch your body, help you focus on your breathing and the health benefits will amaze you.  A simple routine is all you need and you do not have to worry about being perfect.  It is more about getting you ready to sleep.  I use Yoga.about.com for a website to choose my workout.  She has excellent routines you can follow.  Just remember you can modify the move for you.  When I first started I could not reach lower than my knees.  Now I can touch the floor most days.  Choose an easy one like a Sun Salutation to help you to get ready for bed.  This is to help you focus and deep breathe and calm your mind. 

Turn off the electronics.  The television, cell phone and other electronics are designed to stimulate you and your mind.  It is really hard to get ready to sleep when you are stimulated by light and information.  Try turning down the lights and journaling.  Not only will it eliminate the electronic stimulation but it will help you to put your ideas on paper so you can deal with them in the morning and turn them off at night.  It might also allow you to find solutions to what is bothering you and allow you to relax and fall asleep. 

Get out of bed.  If you are lying there staring at the ceiling lying in bed will frustrate you and keep you awake longer.  Get out of bed and read or do something for 20-40 minutes than go back to bed.  Take that time to relax and unwind.  Use one of the ideas above to help you.  Bed should be for sleeping and other activities should be done outside of bed.  So get up and relax than go back to bed when you are feeling more relaxed. 

Learning how to relax when you are having an occasional bout of insomnia is an important habit for you to learn.  These techniques can be used during the day to help you to relieve your stress, as part of your bedtime routine or as a solution to the occasional night of stress induced insomnia.

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