09:56 AM 2015

You’re so exhausted your eyelids feel like lead, but you can’t actually get yourself to drift off to dreamland. Instead, your mind is racing with everything that went wrong during the day—or that could go wrong tomorrow.

Or maybe you’re worrying about how to pay the bills this month or how your child is going to do on his math test, or even about a sick relative. No matter how serious or trivial your concerns may seem, one thing’s for sure: If you’re stressed out about them, they’re keeping you awake.

☆Take time to wind down. Set aside at least 30 to 45 minutes—an hour is even better—to wind down before bed. During that window of time, you should ban yourself from anything that might be stimulating, including texting and computer work.

☆Take a hot bath. It’s a cliché—but it works. A hot bath will not only relax your muscles, but it will also raise your core body temperature, which acts as a trigger to help people fall asleep.

☆Brew some tea. In particular, a cup of passionflower and chamomile tea can be very relaxing.

☆Take a mental vacation. Picture your favorite, most relaxing place to be,The place may be on a sunny beach with the warm ocean breezes caressing you, swinging in a hammock in the mountains or on a desert island. Visualize yourself in that peaceful setting. See and feel your surroundings, hear the peaceful sounds or smell the flowers.

☆Tune in if it helps you tune out. You may have heard that you shouldn’t watch TV before bed, and admittedly some sleep experts aren’t big fans, but many say a little TV before bed is a good thing—as long as you don’t watch anything too stimulating or stressful. That means skipping the nightly news and tuning in to something lighter.

☆Tap into a higher power. If you’re a religious person, or even a spiritual one, try prayer, spiritual reflection or meditation. These practices promote a restful mind and body.

☆Do some deep breathing. Not into prayer or formal meditation? Simply take 10 minutes to sit still and breathe.The practice is really easy: All you do is notice your breath, and every time you are aware your mind went elsewhere, bring it back to your breath. When 10 minutes is up, stop.

☆Exercise. There’s no doubt that it’s a great stress reliever—just make sure to do it at least three hours before bedtime.

☆Get intimate. If you’re in a committed relationship, engage in intimate conversation or activity with your partner. This may help take your mind off your worries and, if you have sex, also physically release some of the tension you’ve been feeling.

☆Blow bubbles. Not literally, but in your mind. One relaxation technique is to imagine that you’re outside with a jar of soap bubbles. Watch yourself slowly blowing each one until the soap jar is empty.

BY EMMY MMBONE MUDAMBA (A Presenter, Writer, Blogger,P.R.O and Relationship expert)


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