How you can calm your mind to promote a good nights sleep
Do you struggle with calming your mind before bed? There are many factors that can impact our ability to get a good nights rest including: anxiety/stressors, caffeine intake, screentime, our sleep environment, sensory stimulation, and more. Today we wanted to highlight the importance of a good nights sleep, and provide some helpful suggestions to improve your sleep quality.
Why does having a good nights sleep matter?
Experts at the NIH recommend the average adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to function optimally. Sleep not only impacts our brain health, but a good nights rest also helps to support our immune system, cardiovascular system, and overall bodily functioning. People who get less than 5-6 hours of sleep per night often get sick more often, may experience a higher likelihood of medical conditions (like high blood pressure and diabetes), and often struggle with being productive and present in their day to day life. Stress and anxiety can often cause us to lose good quality sleep and stay tossing and turning as our minds circle constantly. Finding ways to help promote sleep can be incredibly valuable to our mental health, and overall health.
How do I get a good nights sleep?
There are many ways to help promote a good nights sleep, and many involve our sleep environment and practices to help calm our minds. Lets go through a few different ways you can help set yourself up for sleep success.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment. It is very important to ensure our sleeping environment is supportive to our sleep. Dark, and cool environments are often key to help us to fall asleep and stay asleep. We also want to ensure our beds are only used for sleep rather than for work and other activities. This will help our mind and body form a habit of sleep as soon as we get into bed.
- Limit sensory stimulation. Have you ever been trying to get work done near a construction site? Its really hard to focus when there is a lot going on around us. It’s the same when we sleep! Using ear plugs and eye masks can help reduce noise and light that can often keep us up in the night.
- Limit screen time. Screen time often produces blue light which is most active in our sleep cycle. This reduces our natural ability to create melatonin (a hormone naturally produced in our bodies to promote sleep and rest) and may cause us to have a difficult time falling asleep. Try to limit screen time up to 30 minutes to 1 hour before sleeping, or use blue light glasses/filters to help reduce the impact blue light has on your natural sleep cycle.
- Limit caffeine during the day. As many of us are aware of, caffeine often acts to promote wakefulness through stimulating our sympathetic nervous system. Limiting the amount of caffeine we drink daily to around 200-300 mg (2-3 cups of coffee) and no longer consuming caffeine after 2-3pm can help ensure its effects are reduced before going to bed.
Along with these tips, it can be important to recognize how we can calm our minds before bed to ensure we can mentally shut off to get a good nights rest, that’s where our bedtime exercises come into play.
Which exercises on the app can I use to help me fall asleep?
Almost every exercise in our Head On app can help promote a sense of calm before bed, but we also create a category of bedtime exercises made specifically to help you calm your mind and body to get a quality nights rest. These exercises can help calm your mind through calming visualizations, stimulating your senses, breathing techniques, and more to help bring your mind into a state of calm before drifting off into sleep. These science backed practices are meant to bring balance to your nervous system and help improve your sleep quality and quantity to help you be your best self day to day.
We hope these tips can help you to get a better nights rest and feel more present and balanced in your day to day life.