Getting sleep in today’s loud, stressful, and busy-bee like world of constant responsibilities, domestic disputes, responsibilities of children, pets, and a million other reasons are what often keep the average American from getting to sleep on time.
Not only the aforementioned examples, but bad sleeping habits in themselves will also directly interfere with our Circadian Sleep Rhythms and in turn throw our biological clock off, negatively impacting our health—according to Dr. Jeremy Weingarten, M.D., M.S., director of the Center for Sleep Disorders and the Pulmonary Physiology Laboratory at New York Methodist Hospital.
There is a plethora of potential explanations for unhealthy sleeping habits, just like eating, or other poor habits and addictions.
For example, while working out during the day is great for wearing you down to sleep later on—working out within 3-5 hours before sleep will actually likely keep you awake and negatively impact your success with getting to sleep when it’s time.
Using your ‘Chi’ to Center and Control Energy to Sleep
Try out one of the two following meditation based yoga-like positions and relaxation methods for finding your inner self, centering your energy, and preparing your body for positive sleep—while enhancing your overall health and wellness.
Centering your Stance for Sleep
This exercise is fairly simple, and easy to understand for those who do squat thrusts or lift weights. Essentially what you want to do is spread your feet further than shoulder distance, and “hold a volleyball” between and in front of you, around your abdominal area, while shifting your hands from top, to bottom of the ‘ball’, back and forth.
As you shift through the motions of up and down, attempt to control and match your inhale to exhale to the movements or position changes of your arms and hands.
The idea of this method is to center and clear your mind, relaxing you so that you focus on nothing but your soon to come sleep.
Try the Horse Stance
If the above method didn’t work, and nothing else seems to, try spreading your feet longer than shoulder width, soften your knees, and drop your tailbone to the ground. Make it parallel, but don’t hurt yourself—listen to your body!
Bring your hands above your head and then back down through deep inhaling and exhaling exercises, controlling your breathing, focusing on yourself, the movements, your speed, balance, and success.
You will bring your hands back down to as low as your stomach.
Never attempt to ‘rush’ relaxation exercises, as the entire purpose is to relax and prepare your mind and body for relaxation and sleep. Even better, this last exercise in particular is meant to ‘connect’ you closer with the earth.
Above all else, if the aforementioned methods don’t help, try digging deeper into the world of meditation, as well as mindfulness, reading up on both of these topics and practicing more! Sometimes sleep disturbance is health related, so don’t be afraid to reach out to a licensed medical practitioner for further testing and advice.
Get yourself a yoga mat, make sure you’re getting yourself into a consistent daily routine leading up to, for, and during sleep.
Consistency is key, or you will forever be challenging yourself in a negative way, fighting just to get some shut eye!
Image credit: Oleg Dudko