How to Become a Light Sleeper – You frequent is lying in bed with difficulty falling asleep? Do you find yourself preoccupied thinking about money, family, health or work? Worse, you feel anxious and wonders whether it will be able to sleep or not?
Regarding the part of the title ‘sleep faster’ refer to the fact that a person without trouble sleeping, takes an average of 5 to 15 minutes at most to fall asleep, that’s ‘sleep fast’. Since if it takes more than 15 minutes to get to sleep, you can certainly try relaxation techniques described in this post to get to sleep faster, better (higher quality) and deeply.
Millions of people suffer from some chronic trouble sleeping, millions suffer from sleep problems occasionally. Stimulants such as coffee, energy, alarms, lights and other disturb our circadian cycle which is the 24-hour period in which they are based most living beings. This whole digital revolution we are experiencing also keeps many of us connected 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it creates stress, anxiety and finally insomnia. Sleep deprivation is becoming increasingly common.
The Dr. Andrew Weil, renowned for disclosure of breathing exercise “4-7-8” , says breathing heavily influences the physiology and the thought process, including mood. Simply focusing your attention on your breathing, without doing anything to change it, you can relax the body and mind.
Not all believe that breathing exercises and relaxation techniques work, Dr. Michelle Gordon was one of them, she tried the breathing exercise suggested by Dr. Weil and did not work. But in an interview with Medical Daily said: “The breathing causes a feeling of relaxation and calm I teach my patients as a means to stay calm when you are looking forward to surgery or post-operatively..”.
The truth is that master any technique or exercise requires practice , a good suggestion would be to choose and adopt a method and practice for a week, not only when you sleep, but when you do a task that requires concentration or when stress and anxiety take your mind for example. Overall, the exercises and techniques help to calm the mind and leave the worrying thoughts aside.
Another fact is that there is not only the exercise of Dr. Weil, so various techniques and relaxation exercises are presented in this post for so you can experience the ideal for you.
1 – Simple breathing exercise
Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Direct all your attention to your natural breathing pattern, feel the air move in and out of your nose. Try to visualize the flow of air through the nose, airways, mouth, chest, the underside of the belly and back out again.
Make sure you feel some kind of tension in your body and as you exhale, feel the tension leaving any part of your body. Visualize your breath coming to your head, shoulders, neck, arms, and then releasing the tension as you exhale.
If your mind wanders to a concern or thought, gently redirect your attention back to your breathing.
2 – Breathing exercise 4-7-8
This exercise much promoted by Dr. Weil quoted at the beginning of the post, is based on an ancient Indian practice that means ‘regulation of breathing’ . Exercise is described by Weil as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system that puts the body into a state of calm and relaxation.
This technique is very widespread in Brazil as “the incredible technique to sleep in one minute” . It is a good relaxation technique, but also do not need to hype it just does not work for everyone.
Already well known by those who practice yoga, the technique is very simple, does not take long and is done in 5 easy steps. Although you can do the exercise in any position, the recommended is to sit with your back straight.
- Exhale completely through its mouth, making a wind noise.
- Close your mouth and inhale the air evenly through the nose in a mental count of four .
- Attach a breath count of seven .
- Exhale completely through its mouth, making a wind noise a count of eight .
- This completes a breath. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Weil explains that the most important part of this process is to hold your breath for 8 seconds, allowing oxygen to fill their lungs and circulate throughout the body. This produces a relaxing effect.
3 – Guided Meditation for sleep
There are days you wake up incredibly well rested. You asleep, you dream when you wake up and it seems that just returned from a very relaxing vacation. But there are those bad nights …
We understand how frustrating it is bad and losing a night’s sleep, it’s likely that your day will not be productive. If you are not sleeping well or the quality of your sleep is bad, then guided meditation can help.
For those who do not know, guided meditation is just meditation with the help of a guide. It is one of the easiest ways to get into a deep state of relaxation and quiet, it is also one of the most powerful ways to eliminate stress and still bring positive personal changes.
Listen to a soundtrack of guided meditation is a great way to meditate without doing any exercise. It’s great to distract your mind from all those worrisome thoughts and relax the night.
Find guided meditations are simple, just search “guided meditations to sleep” on google and you will find several videos and audios.
4 – progressive muscle Relaxamente
We’ve talked about this technique in Remedies Guide to Sleep. Basically, it consists of a group of tense muscles while breathing and retains the air for a few seconds. The technique is simple, practical and works well for several reasons:
- Relieves tension in muscles that eventually leads to mental relaxation as well.
- Focus on your body diverts your attention from thoughts.
- The tension and release the tension of the muscles you learn as is the state of relaxation which helps to enter this state more easily.
Below is a step by step relaxation of muscles:
- Take the first minute to breathe slowly and deeply.
- Breathe deeply and tighten your feet for about 3 or 4 seconds, then exhale slowly and release tension.
- Breathe deeply and tighten the lower leg muscles, hold a few seconds and relax again breathing the air.
- Breathe in and tighten the upper leg muscles, hold, and relax.
- Breath and tighten the abdomen and lower back (lumbar), hold a few seconds and relax.
- Repeat to his chest and upper back, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and face.
- Finally, tense your whole body together, hold a few seconds and relax.
- Replay the process three times.
5 – Imagination or guided visualization
The idea behind this exercise is to focus your attention on an image or story so that your mind let the worrisome thoughts aside.
Find your favorite position in bed, close your eyes and relax. Start viewing a scene memory or story that you enjoy and find relaxing.
This technique is very individual, you should find what works best for you testing some choices. For example, a nice vacation you like, an outdoor quiet place, a relaxing activity as a light trail in the wild … The key is to find something that will allow you to focus your attention and let other thoughts aside.
Once you find something you like, view all image details or history of slowly and carefully. Every time I see that your mind is a way for thinking worrisome, acknowledge and let him go.
Practice this exercise seems simple, but it may take some time until it works and you get well.
6 – Deep breathing exercises
Making correct and deep breathing exercises is a quiet way to calm the body. In fact, most of the meditations will encourage you at some point to focus on your breathing.
There are two main characteristics of this style of breathing that is to learn to breathe in your abdomen instead of using only the chest and learn to breathe in a controlled and slow.
This type of breathing is effective for several reasons:
- Relax your muscles
- Helps lower heart rate
- It helps slow your breathing if the anxiety is affecting
- It takes your attention away from the troubling thoughts
Step by step to breathing deeply:
- Do the exercise in the way it sees fit, in a chair, lying down or standing up.
- Take a minute to relax mentally and release tension from your muscles.
- Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing.
- Place one hand on your stomach and one in his chest. See if both rise when you breathe or just one of them goes up. You do not have to do anything in particular at this time, just to see which hand is rising. This will tell you if you breathe naturally with your abdomen, chest or both.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose in a 5-second count. Try to breathe such that a hand on her stomach rises and the hand on his chest to rise only a little. This is called abdominal breathing and is what you should try. It can be tricky at first.
- After breathing, hold your breath for 5 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for 5 seconds. If this time is too much or too little for you, make adjustments.
- Keep breathing this way for 5 minutes.
- Once you learn to breathe with your abdomen remove your hands from the chest and abdomen.
7 – Mindfulness Exercises
I believe that this technique is still not as well known in Brazil, Mindfulness is based on a Buddhist principle to live in the moment and accepting how things are. The technique is widely considered as an effective way of treating stress, anxiety, depression, pain and overactive minds.
The evidence that this technique work is increasing more and more, especially in relation to reducing anxiety and manage stress. In 2010 the Mental Health Foundation of UK public a report based and numerous clinical studies and research on mindfulness. Some benefits highlighted in the report are:
- 70% reduced anxiety
- Increase in the number of antibodies against diseases, suggesting improvements in the immune system
- More and better quality of sleep with fewer sleep disorders
- Reduction in negative emotions such as anger, stress, and depression
- Improvements in various physical conditions such as psoriasis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue síndrone
More recently in 2014, researchers from several US universities concluded that mindfulness meditation is a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and may be an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia.
The good thing is that the techniques are practical and work effectively without the need to attach any spiritual significance to the results. The techniques work by focusing your consciousness at the time, so if you’re lying awake at night and worrying about the past or future, mindfulness can help you handle it.
I will let down 3 links of websites in Portuguese that will help you develop mindfulness or ‘mindfulness’ to sleep and in different life situations.
8 – A relaxing bedtime routine
This method is not just an exercise or specific technique, this is also my favorite way to relax before bed. It is making routine favorable things that help you get to sleep, prepare your body and mind to sleep.
Fortunately write frequently to the sleeper blog helped me a lot to improve the quality of my sleep, I know that to live a life with energy, make good decisions, be productive and happy, need quality sleep and in 2014 when I wrote post ’25 effective tips to sleep better ‘ I actually put many of them into practice.
Everyone can find their own relaxing routine to sleep, you can even use one or more relaxation techniques above and include in your routine. I particularly have no more trouble sleeping, but if returned to have, would not be afraid to include some of the above techniques in my routine.
A few tips on what you can include in your bedtime routine:
- Focus on relaxing activities
- Read a book
- Get rid of the blue light on the cell phone and using computer software and apps like f.lux ( natural increase of melatonin )
- Always prefer to keep the lights low ( natural increase of melatonin )
- In the room, if you can prefer total darkness ( natural increase of melatonin )
- Look for the silence
- Let cool environment
- Listen to quiet music
- Do breathing exercises mentioned above
- Try essential oils of chamomile or lavender
- Take a warm bath
- Take a tea that helps asleep
- Use comfortable bedding
- Problems will always exist. If you are under too much stress, make a list of tasks for the next day. This will help you avoid getting thinking about what will do when you wake up.
You should also keep in mind that what you do during the day can and probably will influence your sleep at night … If you got sun, not an abuse of caffeine or stimulants, it ate well, we did exercises and etc. A relaxing routine to sleep at night is great to help get asleep faster, sleep better and better quality, but the suggestion is that you do not rely solely on the routine to sleep.