Sleep Problems Are Actually Pretty Common
As a baby you might have slept “like a baby” but then as you age, things seem to get more hectic.
It’s no surprise that people feel too “wound up” to sleep. Their mind races and their energy just won’t calm down.
There are a few things you can try that can help you fall asleep more easily:
- Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation to relax your whole body. When you’re laying in bed, start at your toes and tighten and then release each muscle group… working your way up your body. This will get your BODY relaxed and ready for sleep. (If you’d like to try a guided meditation to help get you started, click here.)
- If your body registers a drop in temperature, it signals the brain to release melatonin – which induces sleep. You can signal that drop in temperature by sleeping between cool sheets, or by taking a hot bath or shower right before bed. As your body cools off, it will get your BRAIN ready for sleep. (Also, it doesn’t have to be your whole body. Sabrina’s father just runs hot water over his feet before bed. And he’s been doing it for years to help him sleep. Long before SCIENCE caught up to that fact!)
- Try this trick to regulate your breathing. It’s called 4-7-8 breathing. You inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Breathing like this slows down your heart rate while increasing the oxygen in the blood and releases biochemical triggers that instantly relax your mind, heart and central nervous system. When you are stressed, or anxious or worried about something, your body tends to take short, shallow breaths. This technique prevents it from doing that. It can actually make you feel a little light-headed… like when you take a sedative.
- And probably the best way to help regulate your sleep patterns is a consistent Qigong practice. Qigong relaxes areas of the body that are known to trigger feelings of stress, fear, or worry. You can do specific Qigong movements right before bed to reduce tension and balance your hormone levels. Of course, the most sure-fire method is a consistent practice of Qigong that will train your body, mind and spirit to calm down when it’s time for bed so you can enjoy a deep, restoring sleep. In as little as 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night, a peaceful, restorative sleep is only one of the side-benefits of practicing Qigong.
Remember that you don’t have to do ALL of these.
Just pick one to try – whichever one feels right – and see if it works for you.