What you do an hour before going to bed is crucial to the quality of sleep you are going to obtain that night.
People who spend this hour watching some dramatic news on TV or involved in an argument, would find that they don’t wake up with a sense of a deep rest but one of “agitation” and fatigue. The hour before you go to sleep should be used for relaxation.
Tips to Relax Your Mind and Body
Here are a few simple yet highly effective ways to relax your mind and body before going to bed.
1.) Listen to the Sounds of the Night
Nature has its own music to soothe you, and relax you.
Before you go to bed go outside to your porch, or your balcony, and sit in silence for a while.
You will notice many subtle noises emanating in the darkness, mostly from the insects, bugs, frogs and some birds. If you listen in silence, you can sense a harmony in their music which seems to relax your mind automatically. This is an excellent way to relax before bed.
2.) Read Some Calming Literature
It has been seen that reading is a very helpful activity to attain deep sleep.
Most people seem to doze off into a peaceful sleep while reading, sometimes even with the book in their hands.
Reading requires focus from your mind, which thus helps in disengaging from repetitive “thoughts” of the day, and hence brings you out of your mind, so to speak. It’s deeply relaxing to the body to be free of the stream of constant thinking, and this helps bring about a state of restful sleep.
Just make sure the book you are reading does not provoke thoughts, but is just a calming read.
3.) Practice Breath Awareness Meditation
The practice of “Vipassna” meditation (breath awareness) is an excellent means to relax your body before sleep.
This meditation requires you to be conscious of your breathing; the in breath and the out breath are followed by your attention. When one focuses in this manner, attention is taken away from the streaming of thinking and placed on a “non-stimulating” activity like breathing.
An unconscious pattern of restlessness or unease, caused by your stream of thinking, is thus abated while practicing this meditation. Practicing this meditation for 20 minutes is more than sufficient to attain a calm state.
You can even do this meditation lying down in bed.
4.) Listen to Some Soothing Music
There is nothing more relaxing than the harmonious beats of shamanic drums or the pleasant melody of a flute. In fact, you can get yourself some music designed specifically to relax the mind.
Avoid listening to music with lyrics, before going to sleep, because then there is a possibility of the song lyrics getting stuck in your mind, causing you to stay awake longer than usual.
Listen to pure slow relaxing music, mostly from instruments that have a soothing effect like a flute, harmonica, pipe, guitar or a piano.
5.) Listen to Delta Binaural Beats
Binaural beats alter the frequency of the brain waves emitted by your brain to bring about deeply relaxing states.
The brain products delta frequency waves while in deep sleep. Listening to delta brain waves in the form of binaural beats can help you achieve a similar state in about 15 to 20 minutes of listening. This is because the brain tries to match the frequency of the waves being produced by the beats.
Listening to 20 to 30 minutes of binaural beats before sleeping can relax your mind and aid deep restful sleep.
You should be able to find free binaural beats on youtube or download them from some websites that sell such beats. Here’s one that I listen to and have found to be very effective: 0.9hz Binural beats.
6.) Have a Cup of Chamomile Tea
There is nothing more soothing to the nerves than a nice cup of chamomile tea.
In fact, traditionally chamomile has been administered in many ways to aid in quality sleep.
The best part about drinking chamomile tea is that its effect quite instant and one does not have to drink it on regular basis to cure sleeplessness. You can have a cup of chamomile tea some half an hour before you sleep. After you have the tea you can indulge in some of the activities mentioned about to get more relaxed, and help the effects of the tea, before you go to bed.
Chamomile tea is an excellent aid to sleep especially when you are feeling anxious, restless or nervous.
7.) Diffuse Lavender Essential Oil
Traditionally lavender has been used to promote sleep. And this is for a good reason.
Research indicates that lavender essential oil slows down your heart beats, relaxes your muscles and puts you in a parasympathetic state. Research also indicates that lavender promotes deep relaxing sleep state also know as the ‘slow wave sleep’.
So if you don’t have one, get yourself an essential oil diffuser, and some lavender essential oil. Diffuse this oil in your bedroom throughout the night. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can simply sniff the oil for a few minutes before sleeping.
Note that lavender fragrance is not equal to the essential oil and will not have the same impact. To get the maximum benefits, make sure to go for the essential oil.
These are some simple ways to relax before bed, the bottom line is to slow down the thinking processes in the mind and bring in space in your energy field. Anyone who goes to bed with a strong thinking process is unlikely to obtain a good night’s sleep.