The stress of the day, and even in the evening, can keep you wired and unable to relax at night.
If you cannot relax before bed, then you may risk not having the beneficial deep sleep that plays a critical role in good physical and mental health.
In other words, learning how to relax before bed is important to your overall health.
So, let’s talk about some ways to relax and get ready to go to bed.
6 Tips On How To Relax Before Bed
Understanding Your States Of Mind
When you go to sleep, your mind goes through different states of awareness or activity (called brain waves or brain frequency). For instance, as you are reading this, your mind is in a Beta state, which means it is alert and wide-awake.
This is obviously not a state of relaxation, and you need to move to a lower frequency in order to become relaxed and fall asleep.
Lower frequencies include Alpha (this is where you visualize and imagine), Theta (this is the perfect state of meditation and connection to oneself), and Delta (this is the state you are in when you are sleeping.)
Knowing this, it makes sense that getting yourself into an Alpha state or a Theta state is the perfect way to naturally move into a Delta state and experience healing sleep.
All you have to do is find ways to move into those states.
Meditate For Deep Sleep
Meditation is commonly done during the day as a way to take a break from the busy and stressful day and refocus; however, it is a perfect way to relax before bed, and it is number one on my list of recommendations to try.
There are various programs that teach you how to get into an Alpha or Theta state of mind by yourself, but you don’t need those.
By using guided meditations that include sounds like water, gongs, and other noises (such as binaural beats), you can simply put on some earphones and listen your way into a relaxing state of mind.
The sounds you listen to naturally tune your mind to a lower and calmer frequency, and all you have to do is pay attention.
Relaxing Music For Sleep
Just as sounds can help your mind lower its frequency and enter a calmer state, so can relaxing music.
Fast paced music wakes you up, while relaxing music calms you down because they are at very different frequencies and your mind naturally tunes into them.
The trick is finding a genre of music that works for you. Some people may find classical music relaxing, while other people may find it stimulating.
Play around with music genres during the day, and when you find one that makes you drowsy or think about a nap, then you will have your perfect type of music to play as you start to wind down for the night.
Get Into A Relaxing Bath
Many creative people jump into a bath when they want to tap into their intuitive side and find some answers they have been seeking.
This is because getting into a relaxing bath can easily put you into an Alpha state of mind and help you relax.
Why does this work?
One reason is that relaxing in warm water helps your body to increase its temperature, and when you get out of the bath your body returns to a cooler state, which releases melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles.
Another reason is that warm water relaxes and soothes muscles, and naturally puts us into a more relaxed state.
Add some relaxing essential oils to really help you reduce stress, unwind, and get into a relaxed state of mind. Two of the best oils are eucalyptus or lavender.
Is Yoga Relaxing?
Exercising before bed doesn’t seem like it would be very relaxing, but a session of yoga may be the perfect way to get you in a calm state and ready for bed.
Yoga is proven to reduce stress, but it also helps you get into a slower state of mind (Alpha usually) because it involves breathing exercises and meditative states.
Try yoga Nidra (translated as yoga sleep), a soothing yoga method that focuses on breath and relaxed awareness.
If you don’t want to practice yoga, try stretching before bed with stretches that you feel comfortable with. This can help to relieve tension in the body and relax the mind as well.
Most of us enjoy a good massage and instantly relax when we receive one; however, not all of us have a partner to message us before bed.
This is where self-massage comes in. You may not be able to reach your upper back muscles with your hands, but you have access to your arms, feet, stomach, and head.
For your back, simply lay on the ground and bring your knees to your chest. In this ball shape, you can gently roll back and forth on the floor and give yourself a semi-back massage.
Of course, there are machines that will help you massage your back simply by plugging them in and leaning back on them. These can be expensive, but worth it if you enjoy a good massage.
Massage has many benefits, such as improved circulation and ridding the muscles of toxins, but when it comes to relaxation it simply allows your muscles to relax and your body to become restful.
It is a valuable part of relieving stress and getting into a relaxed state.
How About Milk?
Our mothers were taught to give us warm milk before bed to relax. As with most old and natural remedies, this works for a reason.
First, it reminds us of being young, and that helps us connect with our younger selves who easily relaxed and went to sleep.
Most experts believe that that is the real reason that a warm glass of milk can help us relax. It is more psychological than it is a physical remedy.
But, milk also contains tryptophan, which is known to promote sleepiness and help us relax, so that may play a part in it as well.
In the end, sleep is important and getting relaxed about an hour before bed can help us fall into a deep, healing sleep. The above ways are my number one suggestions for getting relaxed quickly.
If you have any special techniques that help you relax before bed, please share with us in the comments below. You may just provide someone the relief they need to experience better health!
P.S. If you are not sure whether or not you want to try any of the above techniques for relaxation, remember this: If you do nothing, nothing will change.
So, if you are having a hard time relaxing at night, and you continue to do what you are doing, then tonight, tomorrow night, and every night after will be a struggle to get relaxed until you practice some new relaxation habits.
Try some of these easy methods and experience the benefits first hand.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.