This is a list of easy and effective tools to create deeper states of rest and sleep.
Sleep is a cornerstone of health. As our quality of sleep increases, so does our ability to rest and repair. Processing the day just gone, then increasing energy and vitality ready for the next day.
1. 1:2 Ratio. Inhale nose for 3. Exhale mouth 6. You can build this up to a 4:8 , 5:10 , 10:20 20:40. or more. As you exhale you slow your heart down signaling to your nervous system you are safe and to drop down into parasympathetic response.
You can do this laying down in bed. – Breathing low and wide in to the abdomen.
You can do this doing a wide legged forward fold, bend in the knees to be kind to the lower back. This signals for your body to tune down, and releases tension in the spine, creating space for the free flow of information as you sleep.
You can do this in Downward Dog
2. Two part recover breath. This technique divides the inhale into two, with one soft exhale.
Inhale through the nose, low, deep and wide into the abdomen. Pause. Then breath horizontally into ribs. Pause. Exhale slowly and softy through the mouth. I challenge you to do 20 rounds and still be awake!
3. Keep a pen and pad by bed write down any thoughts to clear mind ready for sleep – great for catching ideas and insights from Dreamtime aswell!
4. Limit screen use in the evening – preferably 2hours no screen before bed ( blue light inhibits melatonin secretion by 3 hours i.)
Keep phones and screens out the bedroom. If possible. Have this place as a sanctuary. Where you can rest fully without the world connecting to you at any moment through a screen.
5. Meditation or Pranayama (breathing exercises) – 5 to 20 min. Calm and clear the mind ready for sleep. Mental hygiene, just like brushing your teeth. There are many different meditations to use here.
Reviewing the day, objectively can help integrate any memories you wish to store..
Another option is to set a clear intention, visualise & feel for a restful sleep.
7. See the sun rise and sun set. This sets our body clock (circadian rhythm) in tune. ii.
8. Cold shower before bed. Core body temperature drops during sleep. A cold shower helps lower this. The optimal ambient temperature of a room for sleep is 18c. (link to Cold Shower post)