We’ve all had the occasional night where we toss and turn, plagued by intrusive worries or anxiety nightmares that keep us awake. However, if you have insomnia night after night, it can severely affect your quality of life and your overall well-being. Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if your pre-bedtime activities might compromise your ability to get a refreshing night of sleep. Think about creating a routine that includes these relaxation techniques.
1. Go Tech-Free
Your phone, tablet and laptop can provide endless entertainment, but they can also interfere with your sleep cycle. These devices emit blue light that disrupts production of melatonin, a hormone your body releases to make you drowsy and signify that it’s time for sleep. For better pre-bedtime relaxation, make your bedroom a no-tech zone. If you like to read before going to sleep, do so with a traditional, hard-copy book or magazine instead of an e-reader app.
2. Have a Sleep-Inducing Snack
If you often have trouble drifting off to dreamland, try treating yourself to a small snack before turning in for the night. Brew yourself a warm, soothing cup of caffeine-free herbal tea like mint or chamomile and sip on it while you practice calming deep breathing exercises. Some foods can also help you relax at night, especially those that are good sources of calcium and magnesium. Have a banana or a small container of low-fat yogurt topped with blueberries.
3. Write in Your Journal
If you often have trouble sleeping because your mind is racing from one thought to the next, keep a notepad next to your bed. As part of your pre-bedtime routine, write down your worries and concerns in this journal, so they don’t spend all night chasing each other around your head.
4. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a calming technique that can help get you ready for bedtime. When you’re stressed, you store tension in places you might not even realize, so deliberately relaxing your muscles can help relieve your aches and pains and lay the foundation for a refreshing night of shuteye. Set aside about 15 minutes of your pre-bedtime routine for a total-body muscle relaxation. Choose a comfortable place to sit or lie down – doing these exercises in bed can help create a mental link between your bedroom and profound relaxation. When you finish this routine, you can peacefully slide into sleep.
5. Set the Stage for Sleep
Your bedroom’s setup can also be more conducive to a restful night of sleep. First, lower the thermostat to around 65 degrees, which most physicians say is the best sleeping temperature. Eliminate distractions and keep the lighting low. To keep your neck and spine aligned and ensure you don’t wake up stiff, invest in pillows that support your natural sleeping position. For example, someone who sleeps best on their back needs a different type of pillow than a natural side sleeper.
Learn More About Sober Living in Austin, Texas
Insomnia is a common problem among people in the early stages of addiction recovery. If you’re working on maintaining your sobriety, your environment can make all the difference. For more information about making sober living part of your detailed aftercare plan, please connect with us today.