These days even the soundest sleepers may be finding ‘turning off’ a challenge. Uncertainty, heightened stress, and being out of your everyday routine may be stopping you from stumbling into a restful slumber. Without a healthy amount of sleep, we may find ourselves feeling more on edge than normal, battling with lower levels of energy, and even taking a hit when it comes to our immune system. Keeping yourself as balanced as possible requires a good solid nights sleep, here is where these tips and apps can come in useful…
Calm App For Bedtime Tales
Who doesn’t want to fall into a deep slumber aided by the audible pleasure of Matthew McConaughey telling bedtime stories? The Calm App is an amazing little download for those who need a little breakaway night or day to remind themselves to take a deep breath, to settle into a moment of meditation, or to soothe that bedtime monkey mind with sleep stories read in gentle joyous tones from celebrities. This app comes with a yearly subscription fee but you can get some sample features for free to check if its right for you.
Breathing Exercises for Lowering Tension
Simple breathing techniques can help you cut down on the tension and stress that could be stopping you from entering into a sweet and calm sleep. Box breathing brings the breath back to a simple count and helps to regulate the nervous system and keep you calm. Simply take a four-second big breath in, top for four seconds. Release the breath in a four-second exhale and then hold for another four seconds at the bottom. It also helps to do the inhale through your nose and then exhale through the mouth. Another great breathing method to encourage sleep is alternative nasal breathing. Place your right thumb against your nose, exhale fully and then use your thumb to block your right nostril as you inhale through the left. Open the right nostril on the exhale while moving the thumb to close the left. Continue this cycle for five minutes.
Headspace App for Soundscapes
Clear a little space inside with the Headspace App. Primarily used as a meditation app, this handy little number is also great for its offering of audio experiences to play before bed. For 40 minutes or more you can lose yourself into the flow of truly calming visualization practices and experiences, whether that’s tiptoeing through a night garden or enjoying the stillness of a soft evening. The makers of the app seem to be bedtime experts, using breathing techniques and sounds for a fully immersive experience to see you off to the land of nod.
Create a Natural Haven
The simple beauty of a bedtime routine is often overlooked. Long into the small hours, we can stay glued to our screens, scrolling our phones, before tossing and turning and staying stressed. Try and curate a bedtime routine that works for you. Ensure that the room is of ambient temperature, it's quiet and soft, and all screens have been away for an hour or two at least. Spritz a little lavender or rosemary essential oil on your pillow to soothe the nerves and pour yourself a cup of chamomile tea. These small tweaks can make all the difference, especially if you are struggling to shut down.
How have you been sleeping? Share your top tips for keeping insomnia at bay.