Relaxation and sleep

Our friend Frances, a qualified yoga teacher and Hynotherapist who runs Happy Healthy Yoga, explains the link between relaxation and sleep with some top tips on how to create healthy sleep habits…

Frances Happy Healthy Yoga

Do you find it hard to get a good night’s sleep?

Is your mind busy when you lie down and you can’t seem to drop off? Or you wake in the night with your mind racing? Perhaps even when you do sleep you don’t feel rested when you wake up?

How about relaxing? Are you good at taking time for yourself to relax, to rest your body and mind?  Because the art of relaxation and the quality of your sleep go hand in hand. So when we practice relaxation techniques, we are supporting our ability to fall asleep and get the rest we need.

When we are well rested we are more likely to be able to stick to the habits that support our health  wellbeing – taking time to exercise and eat well. And these habits have a reciprocal, positive effect on your sleep quality. And on top of that, when we are well rested we are better able to connect with others and we have the resilience to tackle challenges as they arise.

Easy ways to support healthy sleep habits 

Practice breathing techniques

Start with simple breath awareness – just noticing how your breath feels in the moment. You can practice this any time to become used to it and the bring it into your bedtime routine. Once you feel comfortable focussing on your breath, try extending the exhale, making it longer than the inhale. This sends a powerful message to your body and your mind to drop into a more relaxed state.

Frances Happy Healthy Yoga Breathing

Gentle stretching and pressure on the eyelids 

Some simple, gentle stretching even while you are in bed can help you to bring awareness into your body and out of your mind.

gentle pressure on the eyelids from your fingertips, or an eye pillow can be very soothing for the nervous system.

Take a moment to meditate

Just a couple of minutes sitting in quiet meditation before lying down to sleep can start to quieten the mind and prepare you for sleep.

If you need some help or you are just starting to incorporate meditation into your routine, take a look at my tapping technique which can help you get out of your mind and into your body. 

Frances blog meditate
Frances blog ritual

Ritual and routine

Don’t underestimate the power of routine and ritual! We are creatures of habit and we can create cues to signal that it is time to sleep.

herbal tea before bed, a set time that you switch off your screens, a bath or shower can all be used to make our sleep routine habitual.

Don’t put pressure on yourself

Finally, it’s important to take the pressure off. Often when we worry about getting to sleep this ironically will keep us awake. If you are having trouble sleeping try to reframe your thoughts about the need to sleep and focus instead on using the time for conscious relaxation. Perhaps listen to a Yoga Nidra, or guided relaxation. You may find you don’t even get to the end anyway.

Healing Habits 6 Week Programme

Sleep and Relaxation are just one of the areas that we focus on in my Healing Habits 6 week programme, to create stable foundations for your wellbeing. For more energy, and less overwhelm.

We start the programme again on 22nd March 2021, running every Monday evening at 8pm on Zoom. Book your spot and get some healthy habits into your daily routine.FIND OUT MORE

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