1: Create a sleep friendly environment.
- Dim lights at home in the evening.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark, use ear plugs to reduce noise.
- Control your room temperature. Lean towards a cooler temperature as it aids sleep.
- Do not do any work, emails, surf the web or watch TV late at night. These stimulants will disturb falling asleep.
2: Deal with your active mind before going to bed.
- Reduce anxiety, Calm your mind if you want a deep and adequate sleep, make a list for tomorrow.
- Help your mind to become tranquil by engaging in relaxing mental activities.
- Control your thoughts by redirecting them to less activating matters. For instance, focus your thinking on some pleasant activity from your past.
- Spend time in meditation or prayer as you wait to fall asleep.
3: Overcome your worry about not being able to sleep.
- Leave time for music, candles, massage, something that relaxes you before sleep.
- Journal what is worrying you. Externalizing your anxiety can help to relieve it.
4: Enhance the Melatonin your body produces.
- Melatonin is the brain’s sleep hormone and it is produced with the onset of darkness. Daylight turns it off.
- So darken your environment for at least an hour before you go to bed. Use soft lights in your home and turn off all bright lights in the evening, help jump-start your melatonin and prepare for sleep.
- If you awaken during the night don’t turn on the light and get up unless you absolutely must. Relax and enjoy your night’s sleep – and keep your room dark so as not to disrupt your flow of melatonin. This helps reach your peak performance as you are well rested.
5: Managing your stimulus level
- Before going to bed avoid both internal stimulation (your mind is too active) and external stimulation (playing video games before bedtime.) These will give you an adrenaline rush that can disrupt your sleep onset.
- Avoid all adrenaline stimulating activities (including your computer and internet) before your bedtime.
- Try to do light exercise before going to bed as this helps to burn off adrenaline.
- Avoid all drinks or food high in caffeine after 2 p.m.
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Whatever activity you engage in, seek to really sweat 4-5 times per week. Yoga and yoga breathing are fabulous in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
- Take a relaxing bath or shower, an aromatic salt helps your brain to associate a particular fragrance with bedtime.
7: Embrace relaxation and meditation techniques to aid your sleep
- Try a “Relaxation and Mediation CD”
- At bedtime, or if awakening during the night, choose one of the relaxing exercises from the CD and practice it.
- Scan your body for signs of tension as you relax and focus your relaxation on those parts that seem stressed.
- Meditation and prayer de-activate the most active parts of your brain and promote peace.