Getting a restful night’s sleep is just as important as anything else you do for your recovery. A restful night’s sleep on a regular basis is key in helping you function to the best of your ability. Regularly denying your body and mind the rest they need leads to a lack of energy and a general decline in productivity. Self-care routines suffer when you’re only rested enough for the bare minimum, which can lead to complacency in many areas, including your recovery. Kate Bennett, writer for Wellness Journal magazine gives a few good tips to help you sleep well.
Stretch Instead of Scrolling
Getting into a routine is a good idea, Bennett suggests. A nighttime routine can help prevent bad habits that create issues going to sleep. Technology is one of the things that can make having a routine at bedtime more difficult. Instead of reading a book before bed, people tend towards browsing social media, reply to work emails or playing games on their devices. Here’s the problem: an unexpected notification can trigger your stress response, says Bennett. “It’s natural — the brain receives new information that requires immediate action so stress hormones are released to help deal with the situation.” It is not remotely beneficial to have our stress hormones to be woken up right before we’re about to hit the hay. There’s no need to be in fight or flight mode when our body is getting ready to rest, it will only make falling and staying asleep more difficult. Instead of tuning into technology late at night, practice relaxing by doing some calming stretches. Yoga will help your brain and body wind down and get ready for bed.
Calming Hand Massage
Another way you can get ready for bed is to do some calming hand stretches and massages. Bennett outlines three stretches and five massages you can do before bed that will help you relax.
- Stretch 1: Circle your hands to stretch your wrist joints.
- Stretch 2: Lock your fingers into one another and stretch out your hands in front of you, stretching your arms as you do so.
- Stretch 3: Stretch your fingers back to stretch your wrist and forearm.
- Massage 1: Put massage oil in your palm and work it into your hands.
- Massage 2: Face your hand down and use your thumbs to kneed the back of your wrists.
- Massage 3: Lock your fingers and massage the middle of your palm.
- Massage 4: Press circles into your hands.
- Massage 5: Massage between the thumb and index finger while taking deep breaths.
“Why Use a Sleep Diary?
Finding the right sleep patterns for yourself can be difficult. There is no one magic cure for tossing and turning. What works for one person might not work for another. The key is to track your sleeping habits in a diary to figure out what works for you. Use this basic questionnaire to help track your sleep:
- When did you go to bed?
- When did you go to sleep?
- When did you wake up?
- When did you get up?
- Did you wake up during the night? If so, when and why?
- What did you eat or drink yesterday?
- Did you exercise yesterday?
- What did you do in the evening yesterday?
- How do you feel today?
Incorporating some small changes into your behaviors before bed and adding to a routine that creates better conditions for rest can make sleep more beneficial. With a healthy and regular amount of sleep, you’ll start your days with energy and continue productively. Sleeping well is a part of self-care and overall beneficial to a program of recovery.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare can help you get on the right track during your recovery. This includes getting restful sleep. We can help. Call us today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to speak to you!