There are all sorts of reasons why we might not be getting the right amount of shut eye. For many, it's the winding down and drifting off to sleep that can be most tricky. The moment we stop at the end of a busy day can be a time when anxiety creeps up on us. We asked Hypnotherapist & Anxiety Expert, Chloe Brotheridge for some tips on how to handle anxiety at bedtime and create the right state of mind for sleep. Here's what she shared:
1. BRAIN DUMP
If you're someone who finds it hard to switch their brain off at the end of the day, writing things down in a notebook could be just what you need. Keep a notebook and pen by your bed and jot down any worries, to-dos and rogue thoughts. Getting it out and down on paper helps us to get things in perspective and you know you can return to it in the morning if you need to. Dumping it onto the page gives your brain a rest and means you don't have to hold on to worries as you fall asleep.
2. YIN YOGA
This lesser known type of yoga involves holding poses for 5 minutes or longer. Nothing too strenuous, it might be child's pose or a forward fold, but the result is a much calmer mind, relaxed body, and a soothed nervous system.
3. BODY SCAN
To relax your body and calm your mind, lie in bed and do a body scan. Start at your toes and imagine them relaxing and the muscles softening. Then move up through your feet, calves, and knees, silently saying to yourself 'relax' as you scan through each body part. Move all the way up to your eyes, cheeks, mouth and jaw muscles. It's a brilliant way to let go of tension from the day and prepare for sleep.
If an over active mind prevents you from drifting off easily, distraction is your friend. Reading 20 minutes or more of lighthearted fiction (no murder mysteries here) can help you to take your mind off of your concerns and switch off enough to help you to sleep easily. Reading an actual book, rather than something on your phone, will also help.
Ready to drift off?