I consider myself lucky as I don’t have trouble falling asleep at night. For some people, unwinding after a long, busy day isn’t easy.
While a sleeping pill may be a quick fix at ending your sleep problems, the long-term side effects may be risky for your health (hello, addiction and dependence!) There’s nothing better than falling asleep naturally and waking up to your own body clock.
Here are some of my tips for a relaxing sleep:
1. Stop thinking, start sleeping. I’ve analyzed why I don’t have any difficulties in falling asleep at night: I have a knack for shutting off my brain as soon as I hit the bed. Basically, I associate my bed for sleep (or sex—hehe) only. When people ask me what goes through my mind before sleeping my answer is nothing. It helps that I’m productive and organize during the daytime as I get to tick off a lot from my to-do list which gives me some peace of mind towards the end of the day.
2. Bedtime meditation for sleep. There are times when I am stressed or bothered by someone or something that makes it hard for me to fall asleep. Whenever I can’t sleep, I just take three deep breaths and then exhale bad vibes. If my mind is wandering, it’s no big deal. I just take notice and return my thoughts to my breath, letting the inhale and exhale guide me into a calm, deeply relaxed state. A sleepy, gentle and effective guided talk-down also helps induce deep relaxation and sleep. There are a lot of free meditation for sleep apps, download a few and try them. Choose what works for you. Here are some of my suggestions:
• Deep Sleep and Relaxation Hypnosis by Mindifi – Focus, Relax, Lower your Stress, and Cure Anxiety with Meditation
• Pzizz Sleep
• Relax & Sleep Well by Glenn Harrold
• Sleep Well Hypnosis
3. Digital detox. Resist the urge to check your phone before going to bed. Checking your social media feed or browsing the internet are surefire ways to keep you up all night. Gadgets are black holes! Leave the phone outside of the bedroom or at least put it away from your bed, you’ll thank me for it.
4. Create a sleep haven. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. The cardinal rule of sleep hygiene: Your bedroom should be a clean, calming, comfortable haven—designated for sleep (and sex) only. The more clutter and distractions you’re up against at night, the harder it will be to transition into sleep.
5. Make it a habit to sleep early. Get in bed at a decent time (my suggestion is before 10pm). Be consistent until it becomes a habit.
Poor sleep habits or too much stress causes insomia. I know for a fact that if I don’t prepare for a shoot or a talk and if I forget to do something important, I have a hard time sleeping. Addressing the underlying issues affecting your sleep is key.
Do good, sleep good.