In order to increase the chances of getting a good night’s rest, one can engage in these simple and relaxing rituals prior to bedtime. To help reduce stress, it is important to incorporate a winding down routine in the evenings. Such a routine can include:
Reading a book
Reading is proven to reduce stress and increase a sense of calm. So cuddle up in bed or on the couch with an interesting book and enjoy!
Listening to soft classical music
Search youtube or ask Alexa to play classical music for relaxation or for sleep. This will be very soft music that will put you at ease and melt away your stress.
Taking a warm bath with scented soaps or salts
Make bathtime extra relaxing by using aromatherapy. Pick out soothing scents such as lavender or citrus to help improve your mood. For extra aromatherapy, light a scented candle in the bathroom that will complement the scent of your soaps or bath salts.
Turning on white noise
White noise is extremely soothing. You can leave it on in the background while you read, take a bath or are under the covers and ready to fall asleep.
Meditation is a useful tool for relieving stress. It can take some time to get the hang of it but if you invest the time, you’ll reap the reward. It teaches you how to be in the current moment which is crucial to reducing stress associated with concerns about your future, near or far.
There are different types of breathing exercises you can do that can help you relax and de-stress. One is called square breathing which requires you to either sit comfortably or lay down flat on your back and close your eyes. Make sure your limbs are not crossed and are in a relaxed position on your sides. Breathe in through your nose while at the same time drawing the first line of a square. Then breathe out through your nose while drawing the second line, breathe in again while drawing the third line and finally breathe out for the last time while drawing the fourth line. Pay attention to the color of the lines. You can do this exercise as many times as you feel is necessary. I would recommend at least three times.
Another breathing technique that can be very helpful is done by breathing in through your mouth to the count of 5, holding your breath to the count of 5 and slowly releasing your breath through your mouth to the count of 5. Remember to only breathe through your mouth. This technique also requires you to sit or lay down flat, uncrossing your limbs and closing your eyes. In order to feel any effect from this breathing exercise, you must do at least three sets but the more sets you do, the more relaxed you will feel.