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7 Bedtime Routines For Better Quality Sleep

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We humans spend about one third of our lives sleeping. Similar to eating and drinking, sleep is a part of our lives that we cannot live without. Despite it being such an integral part of our lives, there are many among us who find it extremely difficult to get a good night sleep.

Fortunately, in many of us, these symptoms of insomnia were caused by inadequate sleep hygiene. This means that we can easily reverse the undesired effects of poor quality sleep if we follow some simple tips and advice.

1. Wind down from work

In an era where working from work is common and the norm, it can be difficult to separate work and home. However, it is critical that you allow yourself some time to power down before your bedtime. Get away physically and mentally from your workspace to calm the body and mind down in preparation for your bedtime. And yes, checking work emails on your mobile counts as work too.

2. Take a relaxing bath or shower

Having a warm bath or shower 1 to 2 hours before your bedtime has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the time needed to fall asleep. The relaxing nature of a warm bath definitely helps but the key reason for this is the change in body temperature after a warm bath. This allows us to go to bed with a lower body temperature that allows us to fall asleep faster and sleep better.

3. Listen to soothing music

Music is the language of the soul and having some soothing music playing in the background would definitely help you to settle down mentally before your bedtime. A good choice would be classical music as it has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. However, any music that you enjoy would also go a long way in calming you down in preparation for your bedtime.

4.Read a book (the kind made from paper)

What better way to relax than to immerse ourselves in a story by our favourite author, away from worries and stresses of everyday life? Reading a story is one of the most efficient ways to bring our minds away from the daily incessant bombardment of negative news and social media. Studies have also shown that reading can reduce stress level in humans significantly. However, it should be noted that reading from an electronic device would probably have the opposite effect of disrupting sleep! This is due to the large amount of blue light that these electronic readers emit that will affect melatonin production and prevent good quality sleep.

5. Practice some gentle yoga poses before sleep

In a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Alternative therapies in Health and Medicine, yoga helped to reduce sleep disturbances in ladies with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and subsequently improved their sleep quality, latency and efficiency. Yoga has also been demonstrated in other studies to reduce stress and relieve tension. Overall, it is just an amazing item to add to your pre-bedtime routine which takes minimum effort but yields maximum rewards

6. Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and millions have sworn by its effectiveness. Meditation can help in reducing stress, control anxiety and improve memory to name just a few. All of these benefits contribute to a relaxed state of mind and allows the practitioner to enjoy better quality sleep. And the amazing thing is you do not need any special equipment or training to practice meditation.  You just need a comfortable room and your mind.

7. Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional treatment originating from China thousands of years ago. It works by applying pressure at specific points in the body known as acupoints. These acupoints are believed to correspond to different organs and systems in the body. The core concept behind acupressure relates to the notion of “Qi” which can best be described as the bioenergy within our body. Traditional chinese medicine (TCM) generally believes that poor sleep is due to a disruption of Qi in the heart and liver system. They propose that acupressure to the acupoints corresponding to these systems would aid in improving sleep quality.

To add to its credibility, there is a study published in Sleep Medicine Review that suggests that acupressure improved self-perceived sleep quality in patients by improving the sleep latency and sleep duration without any side effects. Combined with the fact that acupressure is non-invasive and extremely easy to administer, it can be a useful adjunct in your pursuit for better sleep.

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