How To Relax Before Going To Bed

How To Relax Before Going To Bed

Relaxation therapist Penny-Anne O'Donnell shows you how to get a good night's sleep by winding down before bed. Videojug explains the basics of how to relax before going to bed.

Step 1: Switch off

Allow your mind time to switch off. Don't work right up to the moment you go to bed. Finish any work you're doing at least an hour before going to bed.

Step 2: De-clutter your mind

Write a list of what you have achieved during the day, or tick off your achievements from a 'to do list'. These can be mundane, everyday tasks which are often the cause of most of our stress. Make a new 'to do' list of what you want to achieve tomorrow. A good way to de-clutter your mind is to write down your thoughts in a diary.

Step 3: Throw away your tension

If you are worrying about something, write it down, stand back, and think about what you can realistically do. Write a possible solution down and then throw the piece of paper away and with it the associated tension.

Step 4: Breathe

Correct breathing is the most effective, easiest relaxation technique, yet few people get it right and many believe it is just a matter of taking ‘deep breaths'. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. As you breathe in, focus on pushing out your abdomen so your lower hand moves outwards. Try to make sure your other hand doesn't move, as your shoulders and chest shouldn't move up. As you exhale, allow your abdomen to move inwards while keeping your chest and shoulders still. Try to make the inhalation, exhalation and the pause in-between the same length.

Step 5: Visualise

If you are still tense, try a positive visualisation exercise. This involves imagining a place where you feel happy and relaxed. It could be a real or fictional place, in the company of a certain person or on your own. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells and tastes you want to experience. Focus on the other people there, the clothes worn and the weather. The more detailed the impression, the more effective it will be.

Step 6: Surroundings

Make sure your bedroom is well-ventilated but not drafty. To encourage your brain to associate going to bed with sleep, don't read in bed or have TVs, or computers in your bedroom.

For more relaxation advice visit Penny-Anne's website: www.relaxationdirect.com