We recently completed Ireland’s biggest sleep survey and were shocked to find that racing minds keep 56% of us awake at night. To put it simply, worrying about the week ahead, or other stresses in our lives is ruining our rest. That’s why we put our minds to finding a solution to this stress! The following five ways to ease your mind before bedtime are all tried and tested methods that can really help to ease your mind and get a more restful sleep.
1. Write it all down
Achieving sleep when you have 101 things on your mind can feel impossible. Trying to ignore your racing thoughts is far easier said than done, so the better option is to write it all down. Whether you’re journaling what’s been keeping you up at night, or creating a to-do list of what you need to get done the next day, transferring it from your mind to paper is a great way to lower your stress levels before bed.
2. Just Breathe
It’s proven that meditation can decrease stress levels, which makes it a perfect part of your bedtime routine. However, there’s a long-standing myth that the only way to meditate is to cross your legs, close your eyes and take deep breaths. While this works for some, meditation is about getting comfortable and allowing your mind and body to relax. One popular method is closing your eyes, then tensing and releasing each individual muscle group in your body, from your head to your toes.
3. Take time to yourself
There always seems to be so much to do in the evenings that it can be hard to stop and take a few minutes to yourself. However, cleaning the kitchen or putting the finishing touches on your work presentation can wait until the morning! Make sure you block off at least 30 minutes of ‘me time’ before bed to ease your mind. Read a book, listen to music or pour a bubble bath. Just make sure to leave technology out of your relaxation routine. A whopping 60% of us admit to using our smartphones right before bed, without knowing the blue light they emit can disrupt our sleep.
4. Play mind games
Even if counting sheep isn’t your thing, there’s something to be said about distracting your mind at night. Playing simple mind games helps us forget about our worries, and drift off into the land of nod far quicker. Try reciting the lyrics to your favourite song, thinking of animals or places that start with a specific letter, or even rewrite the ending of your favourite book to push your worries to the back of your mind.
5. Have a snack
Having a snack at bedtime could actually help to ease your mind before bedtime. Our absolute favourite bedtime snack is a piece of whole-wheat toast, spread with peanut butter, topped with sliced banana and sprinkled with cinnamon. The carbs help balance your blood sugar and the protein in the nut butter provides tryptophan – which in turn helps us produce serotonin, a brain chemical that helps us feel peaceful and positive. Plus, the banana contains magnesium and potassium, which relaxes our muscles.
If you’d like more tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, follow us on Facebook! We regularly share advice on how you can improve your rest.