How to Relax to Get Some Serious Sleep?

How to Relax to Get Some Serious Sleep?

Serious Holiday Relaxation Starts With Proper Sleep.

If you’re planning some downtime away with family and friends, enjoy! If you’re working through the festive season, hopefully you can manage a slower, calmer pace. Either way, the December-January holiday season is a good opportunity to recharge and rebalance.

It’s often when we step away from our frenetic daily routines that we feel the effects of the past year. Pressing pause and taking time to unwind and relax is important. But you may be surprised by the benefits of taking back control of your routine, rather than simply letting go of each lazy day as it comes. Serious relaxation is a purposeful, mindful pursuit. And getting back to a proper sleep routine is key. Let’s explore why. And how to go about it.

Why is It Important to Relax?

Apart from our sleeping hours, our minds and bodies benefit from some downtime during waking hours as well. Shutting off from a busy schedule, even just for a few minutes, can give perspective. Whether sitting quietly, taking a stroll, or perhaps doing something that is an active diversion, can help to re-energise and focus us for the rest of the day.

Varying levels of stress can be both good and bad. Working at high intensity can be productive. Heightened senses help the mind and body to push through a workload or a particularly difficult challenge. But operating relentlessly at a high level of stress, without a break, will eventually take its toll. Physical symptoms such as tension, headaches and fatigue are often sure signs of stress. Our mental and emotional well-being can be compromised by poor concentration, irritability or depression. The biggest compromise, of course, is that we are likely to lose out on good quality sleep.

How Do I Relax for a Healthy Sleep?

Let’s get some insights from sleep scientist Dr Dale Rae.

“You may be wrung out by the end of a hectic day and ‘crash’ into bed. But if you haven’t calmed yourself down to a more relaxed state before bedtime, you’re likely to have interrupted or poor sleep.” Relaxation for better sleep is something you need to engage with purpose. Everyone will have their own coping techniques, but here are a few ways to help you ready your mind and body for sleep.

  1. Slow down. It may be easier said than done, but try and take at least an hour before bedtime to read, listen to music, chat with family, or whatever works best to actively calm yourself.
  2. For some, a moderate to intense form of exercise at the end of the work day can help to divert the mind for a while. Don’t do this too close to bedtime, however. Allow at least 2 hours before the end of your exercise session and bedtime.
  3. Create a structured relaxation programme that might include meditation or light yoga and stretching, where your breathing will be more focused and help to relax you physically.
  4. Pay attention to your sleep environment. Of course, the bedroom is the most important space that wants to be calm and inviting. Keep the bedroom dark, cool, quiet and free of devices and gadgets that are distracting to sleep.
  5. Don’t confuse relaxation with sleep. They are interdependent. Effective relaxation techniques will help to induce proper sleep. And proper sleep helps to take on each day with a more relaxed confidence.
  6. Get some outdoor exposure to natural sunlight at some point each day, especially in the morning if possible. This will help to maintain strong circadian rhythms which are important for sleep.
  7. Get help. If you’re just not coping and can’t seem to find the right balance to aid your sleep, talk it through. Contact an experienced sleep scientist at sleepscience.co.za.

How Often Should I Relax?

Well, whenever you can! But, seriously, consider relaxation as a vital part of your routine and well-being. Find the time each day to practise relaxation techniques that work best for you. And when it comes to taking leave or getting away, consider booking shorter holidays more frequently throughout the year, rather than one long holiday break. For families, holidays often mean fitting in with school calendars. Perhaps plan ahead around public holidays next to weekends and take long weekends away. Studies show that shorter, more frequent breaks can be more effective when recouping from stress.

Don’t Stress. Come to Dial•a•bed.

Choosing the perfect mattress to get your best sleep can sometimes feel overwhelming. Dial•a•Bed has every conceivable level of support and comfort that will be just right for you. Find your nearest Dial•a•Bed store or shop online 24/7 at www.dialabed.co.za. Then pop by and chat through your options with an experienced sleep consultant. Even simpler, just purchase online. If you’re not happy with your choice, you have a 100-Night Comfort Exchange period to swap it for another mattress.

TAKE CARE: Lifestyle recommendation is not medical advice. Always consult your healthcare professional should you be experiencing prolonged sleep difficulties or related health issues. *Ts & C’s apply.