How to Relax Before Bed and Fall Asleep Quickly

Woman sleeping peacefully

At the end of a long, stressful day, sometimes it can be hard to fall asleep. If you find yourself lying awake in bed, tossing and turning, or simply just wishing you could sleep, we have a few solutions for you. Read on to find out how you can relax and fall asleep better with just a few simple tips!

 

Reading

Spending a little time reading a book before bed can do you a world of good. Reading before bed is one of the best ways to reduce stress and relax. In fact, out of all the methods attempted in a study done by the University of Sussex, reading was the most effective, lowering stress levels by 68 percent.

 

Reading performs two major functions: it exercises the brain and distracts you from your daily worries. As you focus on the reading material, your heart rate will slow down and you’ll be able to wind down easier from earlier in the day. Reading a book can even make you tired, especially if you read in bed.

 

The best way to read before bedtime is by using a print book. If you plan to use an e-reader or phone, turn the brightness down as much as possible, as the light from the screen is more likely to keep you awake than help you get to sleep.

 

Using Essential Oils

Aromatherapy can be used for many ailments and concerns, and sleep is a major area where a calming scent can go a long way. A good smell can help relieve anxiety or depression, and some scents can directly help you fall asleep.

 

A common scent to help with falling asleep is lavender. A lavender scent generally has a calming effect and can make people feel sleepy, according to an article published in the Alexandria Journal of Medicine. Dabbing a little lavender essential oil on your pillow or on your wrists may help you sleep better and longer.

 

Vanilla and jasmine can also be helpful scents for relaxation. Additionally, you can use a rose essential oil if you’re looking to calm down and relax prior to going to bed.

 

Be careful and make sure you do not apply any undiluted essential oils to your skin — or ingest them in any way. Any essential oils that you use topically on your body need to be diluted with a carrier, like vegetable oil. If you are purchasing an essential oil, chances are that it has already been diluted — you should still check before using it directly on your skin.

 

Stretching

Your body relaxes best when your blood is flowing and your muscles are loose. So, it makes sense that stretching before bed can help you get to sleep easier. You do not need to complete a high-intensity workout. Simply focus on breathing slowly and gently working your muscles, especially areas where you may be tense or sore.

 

Healthline provides a few great stretches to complete here, including neck stretches, yoga poses, and positions to help open up tight points, like your hips.

 

Meditating

Similar to stretching, one of the best ways to relax in general is meditation. Meditation will help you focus on your body and your breathing rhythm. You may choose to meditate during your stretches for a feel-good combination of de-stressing methods.

 

The National Sleep Foundation suggests three different kinds of meditation that you can try: mindfulness, concentration, and guided meditation. To practice mindfulness, you just focus on paying attention to your entire body and how it feels. A more concentrated meditation is when you focus on one specific feeling or intention and explore that during your practice. When starting out, you may find it helpful to have someone else lead you through a meditative process they have created. Try all three to see which works best for you.

 

Booking a Massage

If you are still struggling to relax after trying these options, massage therapy may be able to help you achieve a full night’s rest.

 

Massage therapy can provide all of the benefits of the tips listed above in one session. According to the Australian Department of Health and Human Services, massage therapy relieves insomnia, anxiety, stress, and tense muscles. It can also help you feel more flexible and significantly reduce lower back pain. Massages can even lower blood pressure, improve your immune system, and soothe certain kinds of injury.

 

Follow the tips above and book an appointment for massage therapy today. You deserve restful sleep, and we at Extended Hands are ready to make your relaxation a reality.