Getting a solid night’s sleep starts with the way you spend your time leading up to bedtime. Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., recommends trying these three science-backed techniques for cultivating a better attitude about sleep and preparing yourself for a good night’s rest.
1. Say goodnight to your devices: Falling asleep means eliminating distractions, and smartphones are a likely distraction culprit. Not only will a phone or tablet lighting up your bedside table disturb your sleeping patterns, but these screens also emit blue light, which affects your brain by increasing alertness and reducing levels of sleep-inducing melatonin. It’s best to give your devices a break before bedtime.
2. Don’t force it: “Fake it until you make it” applies to sleep, too. The pressure of trying to fall asleep could have an adverse effect and heighten feelings of stress. By practicing mindfulness and embracing the moment, sleep will usually come naturally.
3. Try a body scan meditation: Body scans are effective mindfulness meditations for sleep. Start by noticing sensations in your body and your breathing. When your attention wanders, see if you can just take note of that and gently center your thoughts. When we allow ourselves to be with what’s here, the body naturally goes to rest, which is what it wants to do.
Keywords; sleep, meditation, breathing