As we are more and more connected, days go by quicker than ever and it’s not always easy to fully relax before bed. As a result, we sometimes end up counting sheep for hours as the mind is still operating at full speed.
Our ability to fall asleep highly depends on the mindset in which we find ourselves as our head finally comes to rest on the pillow. That’s why being relaxed and calm ahead of bedtime is crucial to guarantee a good night's sleep. The rituals and practices below allow the mind and body to unwind and come to the relaxed place it needs to avoid another sleepless night.
Avoid screens one hour before going to bed
It’s tempting to look at your phone, tablet or laptop right before bed. However, the blue light which is emitted through the screen is known to keep the mind active. The constant notifications from messages and other applications have a similar impact, keeping the mind buzzing and unable to disconnect.
Keep stressful tasks for another time
Although work can be demanding, there are also tasks which we need to do at home that can cause stress and tensions. For instance, paying bills and other administrative chores can bring negative emotions to the mind. Try to avoid doing those right before bed and allocate time at a different moment to go through these.
As well, write down your worries earlier in the day to allow the mind to acknowledge and let go of them as it knows they are not suppressed and will be addressed later on. This way, negative thoughts can be kept to a separate time and give the mind the space it needs to fully relax.
Make your bedroom a screen-free zone
Similarly to avoiding phones and tablets before bed, the bedroom should be a place to rest. It may seem like a good idea to install a TV at the end of the bed as it limits movement and allows you to watch a movie in a comfortable place, however, it can only confuse the mind. This space should only be a place to sleep where it signals to the brain that watching television and resting are two separate activities which happen in different rooms.
Take up reading
Reading is an excellent way to relax before bed. It allows the mind to escape reality and the body to relax, easing tensions and inducing sleep. Ideally, try to read in a different room as well to let the mind slow down first before making your way to the bedroom to fully rest. When creating this routine, you can also place an aromatherapy diffuser to help the mind soften as you go through the pages of the story.
Our MA Secret: Diffuse fifteen drops of Calm Master Blend next to your favourite place to read. Breathe in and out slowly. Relax and let your imagination follow the story of the book.
Practice evening mindfulness
Mindfulness helps us recognise the positive things that are already present in our lives. Taking some time to reflect on our days and ourselves, to appreciate the things for which we are grateful, establishes long-lasting serenity.
Each day, take five minutes to acknowledge the happy moments you have experienced during the day and become aware of the mindset in which you find yourself. This daily practice will help centre the mind, release tensions and help the body feel more relaxed.
Practice breathing exercises
Breathing is the most grounding exercise to relax the mind and body at the same time. While it brings more oxygen to the brain and the muscles, essential to physically relax, it also helps focus the mind and let go of any worries.
Aromatherapy is a perfect supplement to breathing exercises as the unique scents of calming Essential Oils trigger positive emotions and enhance the benefits of deep breathing practices.
Take a hot bath
There’s nothing like a hot bath at the end of a long day to unwind and relax the body. It’s a perfect moment allowing for some quality time with yourself, kept away from any distractions and the noises. The warm water acts as a natural muscle relaxant, bringing peace and calm to the mind.
And finally, don’t forget to stretch
While you should avoid high-intensity exercise before bed, stretching is highly recommended as it will help release any tensions which may have built up through the day and induce relaxation.
Opting for gentle movements such as the child pose, slowly stretching the different muscle groups. Take this time to pause and let the body move gently to find a comfortable place where the mind can also soften and decompress.