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Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or get quality sleep at night. People of any age may experience the symptoms. Having difficulty sleeping can be caused by stress, a health condition, medications, or even the amount of physical activity you get. Having difficulties falling asleep can also be caused by mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Creating a dedicated sleep routine will help your mind and body fall asleep fast.
Possible Causes of Sleep Difficulties
In America, 50 million people suffer from some type of sleeping disorder and do not get the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. According to Healthline, “Lack of sleep may also cause inability to focus during the day, frequent headaches, irritability, and daytime fatigue.” It may also affect your physical and mental health. Continue reading to explore remedies for falling asleep fast.
1. Wind down with some Exercise
Yoga has several benefits that can improve sleep. It can increase mindfulness and encourage meditation, putting you in a more peaceful mental state for sleeping. Incorporating yoga, stretching, and or meditation into your nighttime sleep routine will signal to your brain it is time to start winding down and getting ready for sleep.
2. Create a calm environment with Aromatherapy
Many essential oils may help to promote relaxation and sleep. An Essential Oil Diffuser is used to dispense aromatherapy scents giving any room a calmer ambiance and setting a tone for bedtime. Creating a nighttime routine using aromatherapy will signal it’s time to start winding down, get off the technology, read a book, journal, meditate and sleep.
- Lavender Oil – Lavender is known for its relaxing effects. People with insomnia, especially women, younger people, and those with mild insomnia, reported improved sleep after breathing in the steam-filled with lavender essential oil.
- Chamomile Oil – Chamomile alleviates insomnia by reducing anxiety and tackling depression. Chamomile contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia or the chronic inability to sleep.
- Sweet Marjoram Oil is a popular oil to calm children before naps. Diffuse in your room before sleep for a calming mist.
- Bergamot Oil can help prepare your body for sleep, as it slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Unlike many other citrus oils that are said to be energizing, bergamot is calming, can reduce stress and anxiety, and possesses sedative qualities.
- Clary Sage Oil is a natural sedative that can provide a calming effect to help you fall and stay asleep. Clary sage has been shown to reduce hormones associated with stress, such as cortisol, which could be the key to helping your body prepare for a good night’s rest.
- Valerian Oil is used to help aid instances of insomnia, restlessness, and nervous tension.
- Sandalwood Oil has an ancient history of use for relaxation and anxiety relief. Sandalwood may deliver sleep benefits for some people, while it may promote wakeful, attentive relaxation for others. If that’s the case for you, sandalwood isn’t suitable for nighttime, but you can use it during the day to feel relaxed and alert.
- Ylang Ylang Oil can help you fall asleep faster while reducing stress and anxiety.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is described as a tingling sensation that starts in the head or neck and travels down the spine. It can make you feel relaxed and calm or feel like you could fall asleep. ASMR appears to activate regions of the brain associated with calming, sleep-inducing hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Since ASMR causes feelings of calmness and sleepiness, it has actually been known to help people sleep, even people with occasional insomnia. An ASMR Sound Machine helps block out the noise around you and helps focus and soothe the brain by emitting sounds designed to help you relax or sleep. Some of the sounds include waves hitting the beach, birds chirping, and white noise. I put one of these machines in each of my kids’ rooms, which has helped calm them and get them to sleep faster at night.
4. Cut out the gadgets and listen to a Bedtime Story
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you stop using electronic devices, like your cellphone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Research has found a correlation between suppressed melatonin levels and exposure to blue light. Melatonin is a hormone responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and wake up the next day.
Instead, invoke your inner child and listen to a bedtime story read by someone with a really soothing, calming voice. Like the sound machine, listening to a story helps quiet all the racing thoughts shifting the mind to dreamy images that stimulate the relaxation response.
If listening to a story produces too much activity in the brain, guided meditations that induce “hypnosis” can be an alternative. The word hypnosis can be alarming to some people. But sleep hypnosis refers to a gentle, guided meditation that helps you drift off to sleep. Sleep stories and or sleep hypnosis can be part of a regular bedtime sleep routine that can ready your mind and body for rest.
5. Calm the mind and Breathe Chile
Sleeplessness is sometimes caused by the inability to turn off the mind and replay the day’s events repeatedly. An excellent way to clear your mind is to journal before bedtime. Processing all of your thoughts, worries, and fears may help you get out of your head and into your bed.
Breathing exercises can be helpful as well. A proven method of sleep is to use the 4-7-8 technique. Focus on the following breathing pattern:
- Empty the lungs of air.
- Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
The main idea of creating a sleep routine is the Routine. Doing something consistently and with intention will help prepare the mind and body for restful sleep. I hope you all sleep well!