Sleep. Itâ€™s such a precious commodity. Yet most of us experience trouble sleeping at some point in our lives. There are countless reasons for this: mental stress, physical stress, an inability to fully relax, the list goes on. And when sleep eludes us, it can cause even more anxiety because we become overly focused on the sheer act of getting to sleep.
Rest assured. There are ways to ease the body and mind into dreamland. The first step is to create an environment that is conducive to sleep. Put away or turn off your computer, smartphone, tablet or television, and establish a quiet zone in your bedroom. Then try some yoga and relaxation techniques to further calm the body and the mind.
Here are two yoga poses to relax the body at nighttime.
Childâ€™s Pose: From kneeling, sit your buttocks back towards your heels and release your chest downwards. Relax your forehead on your forearms. Imagine opening a trap door in the middle of your forehead that allows any thoughts or mental clutter to fall right out of your mind. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
Legs Up the Wall: Lie on your back with your legs up against a wall, and bring your buttocks as close to the wall as possible. Let your heels rest on the wall, and allow your legs, hips and back to completely relax. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
And hereâ€™s a meditation exercise that encourages deep mental and physical relaxation.
Autogenic relaxation: Find a comfortable position lying down, and take a few deep breaths. Bring your awareness to each area of the body from the feet to the head, and mentally encourage that area to release. For example: Say to yourself, â€śMy feet are relaxed, my feet are relaxed, my feet are completely relaxed.â€ť Repeat with each body part. By focusing on each area of the body, you are releasing unnecessary tension and allowing the body to come into a state of rest.
Combined with a quiet, dark sleeping environment, the above exercises should help bring on a good nightâ€™s sleep. Sweet dreams!