Sleep is essential to our health and well-being, yet many people struggle with getting the restful sleep they need. Instead of finding calm and relaxation, worries and negative thoughts can keep us awake and anxious, leading to long-term health problems.
In this blog post, I'll explore tips for finding restful sleep, improving your mental state, and creating inner balance for a healthier life.
You feel exhausted, and the only thing you want is to find some deep restful sleep. You just have your eyes closed and then it starts. Your mind begins to race. Worries and negative thoughts have decided to steal away the time you desperately need to relax and rest. You toss and turn, you watch the clock. Tick Tock....time passes and you can't find the calm. The more time passes the more anxious you get, the more stressed you get, and the less you will fall asleep.
The less you sleep the more exhausted and stressed you will be the next day. You know that you have to function, no matter what, so you have to sleep, no matter what. The pressure is on.
Stress and anxiety can cause sleep problems. A lack of sleep can cause and reinforce stress and anxiety. Long-term effects can be devastating. Over a longer period, irregular and disturbed sleep patterns can lead to serious health issues. So it is paramount to care for restful and relaxing nights.
A variety of problems can cause an unhealthy sleeping pattern. If you feel like having trouble falling asleep, sleeping through the night, waking up regularly way too early, or feeling drained and unrefreshed, I would recommend you visit a medical professional first. It is important to exclude all possible physical causes.
When your sleeping problems do not have a physical cause, it is a signal for you to have a closer look at your mental state. Often people experience trouble sleeping but do not recognize the bigger picture they are in or they choose to ignore it. Sleeping issues are often a mirror of how we feel in our lives at the moment.
How is your life at the moment?
Do you worry a lot?
Are you anxious a lot of the time?
Do you experience a lot of stress and pressure at work or in private?
What do you miss?
How do you deal with your issues?
Are you self-medicating to release stress and find some rest?
Are you putting extra pressure on yourself and beating yourself up?
Are you suppressing something?
Dare to observe yourself.
Besides help and support from medical professionals and mental health professionals, there is a lot you can do yourself to improve your sleep and create more inner balance.
Tips for Better Sleep and Inner Balance:
We do have a natural rhythm of waking and sleeping times. In the evening, when it gets dark our body produces more melatonin which naturally helps us to become tired and sleep. Nowadays we tend to keep too many lights switched on in the evenings. There is light everywhere, in the house, on the computer, on TV, and on the smartphone. Dimming the lights can already have a positive effect on our natural sleeping behavior. Light some candles instead. Create a relaxing atmosphere at home. Create soothing evening rituals. The more you get used to it, the more your body understands it's time to sleep soon.
Play calming and soft music in the background, which helps you to de-stress. It lowers your blood pressure and sends you soothing, relaxing, more positive, and balanced vibes.
Wind down in the evening: Take a bath, read, or meditate to help you relax before bed. Meditation, Self-hypnosis, and mindfulness can help you find inner balance, release stress and tension, and keep you calm and relaxed in the present.
Write down any worries or undone tasks to help your brain get them out of your system. Let them go for now or put them mentally into a box, that you can lock and put away. Keep them out of your bedroom. Your bedroom is a sacred and peaceful place.
When you are in bed, think of something beautiful, holidays you enjoyed, beautiful places you have visited, or people you love. Your mind finds peace and helps you to fall asleep faster and easier.
Develop a routine: Try to go to bed and get up simultaneously every day. Keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable. A good temperature can be between 16-19°.
Avoid exercising in the evenings. Keep your exercise routine to the mornings or afternoons. Allow your body to become tired in the evenings by keeping it to relaxing activities.
One of the most important things is to relax about having to sleep now. The more you think you must sleep, the less likely it is going to happen. How about accepting, that you cannot sleep just yet? No law in the world tells you you must sleep now. Ease.
Don't keep the clock in direct eyesight. It might stress you out to see how late it is.
Smell yourself into sleep. You can use the soothing power of essential oils to calm yourself and find some ease and rest. Lavender, bergamot, and chamomile are just a few examples.
Find relaxation techniques: Use breathing and relaxation techniques like autogenic training to calm your mind and body. Connect your bed with relaxation and ease, and tense and relax different parts of your body. If you can connect your bed with relaxation and ease, you can positively help yourself to find comfort in bed and use the time to calm down, meditatively. You can tense and relax different parts of the body and be aware of how it feels. It sets your mind off worries and brings you to yourself, and your body at the moment.
Avoid stimulants like coffee, black tea, and alcohol. You might think, that alcohol is helping you to relax and makes you tired, but this is a false conclusion. Alcohol can make you tired and you fall asleep easily. But in reality, it disrupts our natural sleeping patterns. We don't experience the important phase of REM sleep when we fall asleep. We sleep deeply immediately. That leads to disturbances in the second half of the night when we should be sleeping deeply. Alcohol stimulates the body, dehydrates us, causes us to wake up, and provides us with an unrestful REM phase, stress, early wake-ups, unrestful dreams, and difficulties falling back into sleep.
Your bedroom is the place to sleep, not to watch TV or read a book. Use the bed only for sleeping. Connect your bed with rest, not with activities.
When you have trouble falling asleep, don't stay in bed. Get up, do something else, till you feel tired enough, and then try again. Avoid screens, and do something relaxing. Don't lie in bed trying desperately to fall asleep. It won't work, your experiences taught you so. If you are interested in my free audio that can help you fall asleep more easily, especially when you tend to ruminate and worry at night, click here to download.
Good night and sweet dreams.