Top Tips for Better Sleep

Manage the Stress in Your Life

It’s very important to understand that what we do during the day affects how we sleep at night. When we allow overwhelm or stress to accumulate in our system during the day, it throws off our body’s natural rhythms. Practicing stress management techniques during the day and right before going to bed can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Steps for Quick Coherence Technique:

Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.

Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds (or whatever rhythm is comfortable)

Step 2: Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.

Suggestion: Try to re-experience the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, etc. or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.

Consider Your Daily Activities

To clear the stress accumulations, take a walk outside in fresh air or do some other type of exercise during the day. These activities release endorphins and other uplifting hormones while recharging your energy.

Gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you drink during the day. Allow your body to reset its own regenerative rhythms so that you don’t depend on stimulants to keep you going. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and flush out toxins from your system.

Replace Unwanted Emotions and Attitudes during the Day

Clearing emotional reactions, like irritation, worry, anxiety, judgments and blame as you go through the day, is important as they may be keeping you awake at night. When you notice that you have a stressful attitude use the following technique with the intention of creating and holding new attitudes like non-judgment, care, patience, appreciation or compassion.

If volunteering is a satisfying activity for you, find the appropriate outlet for yourself and schedule time to give to others. Consider your needs on mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical levels, and alternate with different activities to nurture all facets. For example, an athlete might combine physical exercise with volunteering by coaching a sports team, or anyone interested in learning skills she’s mastered. The following are examples of replacement attitudes:

Unwanted Feelings/AttitudesReplacement Feelings/Attitudes
AnxietyBreathe calm and balance.
Feeling OverwhelmedBreathe ease and peace.
Sadness or depressionBreathe appreciation and non-judgment.
GuiltBreathe compassion
WorryBreathe care

Attitude Breathing® — a HeartMath Emotional Management Technique

Step 1: Recognize an unwanted attitude: a feeling or attitude that you want to change. This could be things like worry, anxiety, frustration, anger, self-judgment, blame, guilt.

Step 2: Identify and breathe an attitude that would be a counter balance to the one you want to change. This is called a replacement attitude. Select a positive attitude, and then breathe the feeling of that new attitude slowly and casually through your heart area. Do this for a while to anchor the new replacement feeling.

Introduce Positive Pre-Sleep Habits

– Refrain from watching stimulating TV programs, playing video games or other similar activities at least an hour before bed. Instead watch quiet, soothing TV (nature programs), read inspirational material or engage in other calming activities.

– Simplify your to-do-lists to create less mental clutter. Cut out what you don’t have to do. A note pad to park those late night ideas may also be helpful.

– Limit the amount of liquid consumed before bed so you don’t have to wake up to go to the bathroom during the night

– Create a positive environment for sleep including a good mattress, quiet peaceful room, and think about removing that bright digital clock. Consider taking a warm bath and listening to soothing music before bed.

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