It is already the fourth or fifth turn you do trying to fall asleep and you begin to question everything ...
According to a study by the SEN (Spanish Society of Neurology) between a 12% and 48% of the Spanish adult population have trouble conciliating or maintaining sleep.
If you are one of them, you might have wondered how to improve your rest. From BeZen we propose you 6 good habits before going to sleep.
A very common mistake is going to bed with your head full of calls, appointments and things to do the next day. This activates the brain and makes it think.
A very simple way to combat the stress of endless tasks to do is to plan them. Before sleeping, try to make a list of things to do the next day, of those that can wait a couple of days more and of those that have to be settled as soon as possible. Sometimes even creating a simple schedule of how long is estimated that each activity will take you to do is a way to remove a huge weight from your shoulders that will allow you to rest pleasantly.
"Reading is good for the mind and writing is good for the heart" If no one said that, we say so.
Many times there are issues that alter our dreams: love, lack of love, friendship, sadness, fear ... All of them fight and twist in our thoughts, even making it hard to breathe. You don't have to be Lorca or Goethe to be able to write about what torments you: using writing as a tool to unburden ourselves not only has incredible benefits for the conscience (apart from being very therapeutic), but also enhances our vocabulary, the way we express ourselves, gives us an opportunity to reflect before facing situations or people that are causing us displeasure and helps us to relax before sleep (in addition to moving us away from screens for a while).
It is also very important to think positively and be grateful for what we have. Asking questions about the day and how to improve is beneficial to feel better about ourselves and to improve productivity. You can write about them to refine your thoughts or simply reflect, which leads us to the next habit.
Reflect, meditate and stretch
This may seem contradictory to what was said at the beginning. Wasn't it that you had to plan in order not to think? Yes and no.
You see, it is crucial for good mental health and rest to clear the mind, but this can be done too by detecting what is bothering us, making it aware and letting go.
A current of thought that is gaining popularity and that is closely linked to reflection is Mindfulness. This consists of pay attention to how we feel (both physically and mentally) in the present, be aware of it and accept it (both the good and the less good). In this way the body is relaxed, the mind is left blank and breathing is controlled. We invite you to investigate more about it.
We have talked about how to relax the body from the mind, but you can also relax the mind from the body: doing a little stretching routine of arms, legs, neck, back and any part that we notice stiff, is ideal to prepare ourselves to rest.
Darken your surroundings
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating and producing the sensation of sleep.
If we put on the philologist's glasses, we can see that “μελας” (melas) means “black or dark in color”, the root “-ten / ton” means “extend”, and “-ina” is “substance”: for that, "mela-ton-ina" is "the substance that spreads darkness" and is achieved precisely by doing so.
It is essential to turn off the lights in our surroundings to facilitate the natural production of melatonin and that the body disconnects. That is why experts advise against using mobile phones or computers 90 minutes before sleeping. Screens not only delay the onset of melatonin but also boost stress and activity levels, which is completely counterproductive if you want to sleep.
Running away from devices and screens isn't easy, but it becomes more bearable when you find a story that you love. We have discussed the benefits of writing, but reading does not fall short.
Reading helps us relax, disconnect from day-to-day problems, to develop ourselves personally and, furthermore, it is proven that it improves memory and the ability to express ourselves both written and orally. If possible, we recommend reading paper books (if it is recycled, much better) or electronic books.
Another option for those non-book lovers, is audiobooks. These have the advantage of resting the eyes and, if you find one with a sweet voice, it is twice as relaxing.
Warm and ventilate the environment
Ventilating the room before (and after) sleeping helps a lot in cleaning the air and refresh the room. Your lungs will thank you.
It is estimated that ideal temperature for sleep ranges between 18 and 21ºC. This is because both very hot and very cold environments cause discomfort and interruptions in rest, causing greater movements and turning in bed. On the other hand, freshness also helps produce the famous melatonin much faster (we will stop with the little word, however beneficial it may be for us).