3 Sleep Rituals That Will Help You Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
If you’ve been having difficulty falling—or staying—asleep, a calming bedtime ritual may be just the thing you need to get your body and mind in a more peaceful place. In Jennifer Williamson’s new book Sleep Rituals: 100 Practices for a Deep and Peaceful Sleep, she reveals easy practices and activities to set the mood for more restful slumber. Try one of the following three relaxation practices tonight.
Consciously elongating your exhale by just a couple of seconds ushers your body into a parasympathetic state—slowing, soothing, and synchronizing the neural elements in your heart, lungs, and brain, which helps your body get ready for sleep.
Try counting your inhale in seconds, then extend your exhale by two counts. Repeat this incredibly simple exercise to shower your entire being with healing vibrations. The benefits include relief from insomnia and anxiety, but you can practice simply for the peaceful, easy feelings. Incorporate this breathing ritual into your nightly sleep routine and you’ll find yourself dreaming in no time:
1. Begin sitting comfortably with a straight spine. You can eventually try standing, lying down, or even moving as you gain practice.
2. Close your eyes. Take a few deep inhales through your nose, exhaling out of your mouth. With each inhale, fill your lungs completely, feeling your belly expand. With each audible exhale (as if you were fogging up a window), empty yourself of air.
3. Inhale through your nose for a count of 3 seconds. Exhale through your nose for a count of 5 seconds.
4. Inhale for a count of