How to Help the Nervous System Relax Before Going to Bed

Problems with sleep seriously reduce the quality of our lives. Standard tips like “air out the room”, “change the bedding” or “light a scented candle” are familiar to everyone, but in moments of intense anxiety, they don’t show their effectiveness. To fall into the embrace of Morpheus, we need to relax and calm down both on the level of body and mind. Some believe that playing at or reading thrilling books can help. But in practice, this proves to be a difficult task when you look again at the alarm clock and realize that you have been tossing and turning in bed for half an hour.

Those who suffer from insomnia will notice a tendency to think about their problems before going to bed in a desperate attempt to find solutions for them in today’s day and not to carry them into tomorrow. Thoughts attack the head, and the inability to put them down results in a feeling of powerlessness, dissatisfaction, and anxiety. Instead of sleep and relaxation, we, on the contrary, turn on the brain and demand victorious results from it. If you, too, before going to bed, can’t get behind yourself in any way, and even the proverbial counting of sheep doesn’t help, try these methods.

Organize Your Day Evenly

Your pre-bedtime state is directly affected by the structure of your day, with clearly defined hours for work and for rest. Popular advice like “Put your phone away an hour before bedtime” is precisely based on reducing brain activity closer to late afternoon and not scheduling any disturbing activities for that part of the day, even if it’s browsing your social media feed. Remember that in the morning you have more moral strength for any difficult tasks, while at night, it’s better to set aside all monotonous activities without emotion like the same dishwashing.

Carve out a Special Moment for Yourself to Worry

If you have a serious cause for anxiety, it would be foolish to say to yourself, “Don’t worry, it’s no big deal.” Hiding problems under the bed makes things worse. Take time for your anxiety: let’s say after you get home from work and before dinner, sit down with a piece of paper and describe all your feelings about your anxiety. If there is inspiration, depict your anxiety and write down a couple of ideas about how you plan to solve the problem tomorrow. After this exercise, sit down to dinner with the feeling that you have done something to improve the situation.

Exercise Your Mind Before Bed

An active sport right before bed is the best gift you can give for your insomnia. At a late hour, it’s advisable to strain the mind, not the body, and with uncomplicated monotonous tasks. Reading a book, listening to podcasts on not exciting topics, doing crossword puzzles or some boring chores around the house that don’t cause a rush of inspiration at all would fit this definition. For example, neatly, like in a store, fold all the clothes in the closet.

Relax Your Body Area by Area

Meditations scare many people into needing to get rid of their thoughts completely. “Turning off” the body and mind is possible in another way similar to meditation: you lie down in bed, take as comfortable a position as possible, and begin zone by zone consciously relaxing your body, starting with your toes and ending with parts of your face, if you are still awake at that point. Take your time with this exercise – on the contrary, move forward with concentration and observe the temperature of the body parts, their sensations, and their position in space.

Breathe Deeply

Deep measured breathing relaxes us, clearing the brain of intrusive thoughts. Just 5 minutes will be enough for a calming effect. Breathe “on the square” with the counting of the same number of seconds on exhalation, inhalation and pauses: for example, 4 seconds on a breath, 4 seconds pause, the same amount on an exhalation and again pause. Or put your hands on your belly and watch it move as the air moves over your body, concentrating your attention only on the breathing process.

Create Your Bedtime Rituals

Get your brain used to getting ready for bed by scheduling your day and by repeating rituals each day. Air your bedroom to a comfortable temperature at about the same time, then already in bed, give yourself a light five-minute self-massage of the feet, shins, neck or arms, apply cream to the body, put a small pillow under your knees if you feel tired in your legs. By doing the same thing every day, you will develop associations in your brain with going to bed.