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De-stress at bedtime: 10 tips for a good night’s sleep

Stress and anxiety are sleep’s worst enemies. And these days, they seem to be everywhere! Many situations trigger stress, and this can lead to or worsen insomnia. Do you often catch yourself watching the minutes (or hours) pass by, but can’t seem to shut off? Learn how to overcome negative thoughts and worries with our 10 tips to de-stress at bedtime.

De-stress by accepting insomnia

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. In fact, around 33% of adults are thought to suffer from it.

Acceptance is the key to change. When you assume a situation exists, you can take the necessary steps to improve it. Trying to force yourself to sleep and getting frustrated when it doesn’t happen won’t make insomnia easier. The fear of not being able to sleep can prevent you from sleeping – it’s a neverending cycle. In other words, it will be much easier to de-stress and let go if you accept your situation. So face it. Embrace it. And understand that it’s more normal than you think.

Relax by promoting positive thoughts

Are you prone to racing thoughts at bedtime? Do these thoughts tend to trigger stress? Reduce negative thoughts and promote positivity before sleep by asking yourself:

  • What is something good that happened today?
  • Did I receive a nice compliment? Or have an interesting conversation?
  • What positive things are in store for tomorrow?
  • What (or who) am I grateful for?

The key is to direct your mindset on a positive path to prevent anxious thoughts from taking over.

Write to unwind

Want to quiet your mind at bedtime? Put your thoughts on paper! Not only is it a calming task, but writing down what’s on your mind lets you take a step back. Firstly, it will put things in perspective. Secondly, it will clear your mind. And finally, it will take a weight off your shoulders at bedtime. Three great reasons to reach for your pen and notepad!

De-stress with a Body Scan meditation

In short, a body scan is a relaxation technique that gives attention to each body part and the sensations that exist there. For about 15 minutes or so, simply bring awareness to your body, let your muscles relax, and your thoughts drift away.

Relieve tension in your neck by rolling your shoulders back. And if you notice any uncomfortable sensations, breathe into them. Be sure to scan your entire body, starting from the tip of your toes up to the top of your head. Find your own pace – the body scan will guide you.

Release tension in your solar plexus

The solar plexus is located in the middle of the abdomen – between the belly button and chest. Why is it relevant? Well, because it governs the adrenal glands, which not only produce adrenaline but also the stress hormone – cortisol.

So, to relax this area, massage it with your fist by turning it clockwise. Do this for a few minutes before going to sleep to provide warmth and soothe your solar plexus.

Reduce stress by belly breathing

Belly breathing is a simple way to control your stress levels. In fact, it activates your body’s relaxation response, calming your heart rate and blood pressure. The idea is to breathe with your abdomen, not your chest. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly, while you find a steady rhythm. You can place your hand on your stomach to appreciate the movement of your breath. Repeat this about 10 times, or until you feel calm.

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Unwind with mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a powerful way to de-stress and focus on the here and now. As you likely know, worrying about the past or future can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Meanwhile, mindfulness meditation helps you disconnect from this and be more present. As a result of feeling calmer in your daily life, you will find it easier to fall asleep.

You can find guided meditations all over the internet, or download the Moonoa app to check out our relaxing selection.

De-stress using mental imagery

Mental imagery requires centering on a specific object, image, or situation that you find soothing. For 15 minutes, imagine a place that calms you, such as the beach, forest, or mountains.

Focus on the relaxing sounds of a stream or the sensation of the warm sand on your toes. Teleport yourself to that place, tricking your senses to induce relaxation.

Are you more receptive to sounds than visuals? If so, try listening to music or ASMR as you fall asleep, a technique that has proven very effective for many.

Find peace by the water

It’s the same idea as number 8, but this time, imagine yourself in a serene setting surrounded by water. A place where you feel safe.

Perhaps you can feel yourself swaying in a boat, reassured by the current’s movement. Or maybe you are being carried by the waves, with no worries about your destination. Let this imagery produce a sense of calm, well-being, and peace.

Stress less by getting out of bed

Do you spend a long time in bed, but still can’t sleep? Probably your thoughts are overpowering your tiredness. In this case, it’s best to get out of bed and do something calming: listen to music, read, write, draw. Avoid screens because blue light stimulates the brain, and you will likely feel more awake. It’s not the most appealing option but in certain situations, getting out of bed is a good idea.

So there you have it: 10 tips to keep you from overthinking at bedtime and help loosen insomnia’s grip.

Do you need some help to overcome your insomnia? To sleep well, you must first understand why you’re sleeping badly. Then, you can build the right habits to improve your sleep and well-being. With Moonoa, you’ll get a personalized program, your own sleep coach, and tons of relaxing audios to help you de-stress at bedtime. Take our free quiz now and start sleeping better today!