If you are feeling fatigued during the day, waking up unrefreshed or waking up in the early hours of the morning and unable to get back to sleep, then you will benefit from making a few small changes to your sleeping routine. Here are 5 very simple and easy changes you can make to feel less tired:
1. Wind down for an hour before going to bed – turn off those screens! Nighttime exposure to the blue light emitted from your smartphone, laptop and television suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin and effectively tells your brain and body to stay awake instead of sleep!
2. Create a regular sleep routine – Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each night and morning. A regular sleeping routine helps your body’s own internal body clock and hormones function optimally to make for a good sleep/wake cycle. But if you have a late night, do have a short nap to catch up if you’re tired – just try to keep naps less than 45 minutes so they don’t affect the following nights sleep!
3. Avoid using a ‘Sleep App’ or activity tracker – these tend to give you either a false reassurance of your quality of sleep (for example, in people with sleep apnoea) or alternatively create more anxiety about not getting enough sleep, which can become a vicious cycle and disturb your sleep even more!
4. Good hydration is important - aim for 8 glasses of water per day. Also, limit caffeine consumption after 4pm and alcohol consumption in general.
5. Try progressive muscular relaxation if you are having trouble settling your mind:
Aim: You will progressively relax every part of your body from your toes all the way up to your face & head! Try to do this very slowly, this process should take you about 10 minutes.
How to relax: Start with your toes – slowly wriggle or gently tighten your toes then completely let go and relax them. Then refocus your mind scanning up your shins to your knees – repeat the process – gently wriggle and then relax your knees. As you scan further up your body you’ll notice that the parts you have already relaxed and moved on from remain feeling very heavy. Keep going up each leg, then your abdomen and torso, then up both arms and neck until you reach your face – don’t forget to relax your jaw, tongue and facial muscles!
Enjoy the heaviness that this relaxation has given you and if you are still not yet sleepy just focus on keeping calm and maintain your relaxed breathing and muscles. This is still very restorative for the body and mind.
A final note - remember if you are having trouble sleeping due to pain please ask for our help! We can help with hands-on Osteopathic treatment to make you feel better and give advice on pillow selection and other helpful stretches and exercises!
So call us on 0435 995 728 and make an appointment.