By Eric Stengle
September is Self-Care Awareness Month – a great time to remember how to take proper care of yourself. A lot of you will put the needs of others before your own and neglect being good to yourself. By ignoring the needs of your mind and body, you are also negatively impacting the quality of your sleep at night. Your body’s natural sleep cycle functions best when your body and mind are calm and relaxed.
Here are 4 great self-care tips for better sleep.
- Do some exercise in the morning. It takes around thirty to forty-five minutes for the brain to transition from the end of the sleep cycle to being fully awake. It is a great idea to help your mind and body wake up in the morning by exercising within thirty minutes of getting out of bed. Just choose something that is appropriate for your age and fitness level. Some good exercises can include yoga, a core workout on a mat, a Pilates routine, or going for a jog.
- Take a warm bath in the evening. Taking a bath about an hour to two hours before bedtime will help prepare your body for sleep. Fill the bathtub with water that is very warm but not too hot and add your favourite bubble bath or bath oil. Close your eyes and practice relaxation by breathing deeply and tuning out any thoughts about the day. Just bathing for fifteen minutes will really warm you up, so that when you get out of the water, your body goes through a quick cool down period. This cooling down is very relaxing and helps your body transition into the sleep cycle.
- Try some self massage techniques. The practice of self-massage is a great way to eliminate muscle tightness and reduce stress. You can massage your whole body using your thumbs and the palms of your hands. Just press firmly and massage in circular motions using a good body cream or lotion. You can also do some acupressure by pressing a few points along the body. These pressure points correspond to different areas of the mind and body that promote physical and mental health for better sleep.
- Listen to some relaxing music. Music increases levels of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone, in the brain. Listing to your favorite music also helps stabilize breathing rates and the heart rate and is a great way to reduce stress. Some sleep studies have shown that people who listen to forty-five minutes of relaxing music before bedtime are able to quickly calm down from the events of the day and sleep better. These positive effects include falling asleep faster, waking up less frequently during the night, and sleeping longer.
Use September, which is Self-Care Awareness Month, as a time to incorporate some great wellness tips that will positively impact the quality of your sleep. Taking time to pamper yourself will also contribute to better physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Put together a regular routine that you enjoy and look forward to doing every day.
If you are regularly having trouble falling asleep at night or think that you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, you should get a sleep consultation with the sleep experts at Family Sleep Diagnostics. We can give you a complete diagnosis and properly treat you to get your sleep quality back on track. Just schedule an appointment online or call us at (972) 714-0011 today.