Focusing on sleep this February has been great for me to do. I always have weird sleep schedules as the sun starts to come back to the northern hemisphere. Today I want to talk to you about a few techniques to help you prepare for bed.
I often go out dancing in the evening. While I feel so invigorated by this it is rare that I have trouble sleeping after doing so much exercise. Some social dances are not high in cardio. I mostly contra dance right now (yes I am in this video). This cardio exercise before bed helps me to use up the energy that I have left at the end of the day. I then have the opportunity during my drive home to relax before going to sleep. These nights I tend to have deeper and more restful sleep. The only down side is that most of these nights I am not getting home until well after midnight.
Exercise does help improve your quality of sleep, especially when you are able to exercise close to your bed time. When I am not going out dancing, I like to take the time to do some meditation and stretching before bed. I am often relaxing and reading in the evening and the stretching helps to wake my body up. Some nights when I am particularly energetic I will either turn some music on and dance or do some Pilates in my apartment. Pilates can be thought of as a more vigorous form of yoga that works to strengthen the body. Getting your blood flowing out to your muscles is all that you need and a few minutes can help you fall asleep easier.
If this method is not for you, I do often take the time to meditate before sleep as well. I
have often used meditation apps on my phone and there is not a short supply of these apps. One of my favorites is Stop, Breathe & Think which is great for all times of day. Play around with different meditations to help calm your mind and body before sleep. Sometimes you may have to try a few until you find one that works for you. If you have not yet tried meditation, it is much easier than you think and it’s rewards will show up in your life in unexpected ways.
Most times when I have used meditation tools to help me sleep, whether that be just breathing or using an app, I have noticed deeper sleep and that I am less restless while sleeping. I get the same kinds of results when I have exercised as well. Try these two different techniques for falling asleep and let me know how they work for you.
Looking for more detailed support with your sleep challenges? Consider a consultation with The Dancing Herbalist.