Free New Sleep Relaxation and Breathing Techniques Below
With all this glorious hot weather it has been very hard to sleep, and it seems as soon as you finally drift off, something wakes you up – a child crying, a noise outside or a dog barking.
I have woken up a few times in the last few nights feeling hot and struggled to cool down enough to get back to sleep for long.
Rosa, my 10 month-old cocker spaniel has taken to running upstairs, jumping on the bed and either standing on my head with a shoe in her mouth or barking…. I blame Stanley, another cocker spaniel who lives close by, for teaching her such naughty behaviour.
This morning I tried to remember whether I should have the windows shut and curtains drawn or all open to create a breeze. As I started looking on the internet, I soon came across other really good ideas and tips so I thought I would summarise and share them here. They cover:
- Cooling the House
- Best Use of Fans
- Food and Drink
- Cooling Yourself
- What to Wear
- What to Keep by the Bed
- Breathing Techniques
- FREE Relaxation Technique
COOLING THE HOUSE
- In the hottest part of the day, draw the curtains and blinds and shut the windows. Open the windows in the morning and evening.
- Sleep in the coolest room in the house – downstairs it may be cooler than upstairs
- Consider sleeping in separate rooms, as sleeping next to someone may make you hotter
BEST WAYS TO USE FANS
- Dust & clean the fan – it will work better
- Put a tray of ice cubes in front of the fan to cool the air blown around the room. Keep a door open to increase airflow.
- Create a cool through draught – choose the room you want to cool and open the window. Then open a window in a room at the other side of the house – ideally so that the air can flow directly between the two windows. Put the fan in the open window of the second room, facing outwards. It will push the hot air out and so pull in the cooler evening air to the room you want to cool. It may not work if the sun is shining onto the window of the room you want to cool.
FOOD AND DRINK
- Drink lots of water with a slice lemon or lime or fruit – dehydration is a common cause of insomnia
- Avoid alcohol and coffee / caffeinated drinks as they increase dehydration.
- Make your own cooling fruit or vegetable smoothie.
COOL DOWN BEFORE BED
- Have a cool / lukewarm shower, bath or just wet your skin
- Stand in front of the fan while damp
- Soak your feet in cold water for 10 minutes
WHAT TO WEAR
- Sleep with no clothes or wear cotton
- Sleep with a cotton sheet instead of a duvet
- Sleep with your feet uncovered – heat escapes through your feet
TO HAVE BY YOUR BED
- Have a water spray mister to cool your face and body
- Keep water by the bed – a flask will keep it cold
- Have some relaxing meditation music to listen to – or imagine the sound of the fan is the sound of the sea
BREATHING TECHNIQUES TO COOL, RELAX AND SLEEP
- Breathing slowly and gently through the nose, with pauses between inhaling and exhaling is calming and grounding (this is worth trying out when you are stressed or your kids cannot settle down) but there is also a cooling yoga breathing technique that makes use of cooling the air in the mouth.
- Stand or sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight. Take a few slow deep breaths, roll the sides your tongue and / or purse your lips in a “O” shape. Inhale deeply through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Do this 10 or so times until you feel the cooling effects. This is known as Shitali pranayama.
- After this, practice closing off your right nostril with your right thumb. Breathe in and out, slowly and gently through your left nostril. Do this 11 times. Breathing through the left nostril relaxes you and through the right nostril helps energise you. This is know as left nostril pranayama.
AND FINALLY ….A FREE RELAXATION TECHNIQUE
Practice saying this relaxation technique slowly and gently to yourself as you lie down
As I breathe quietly and smoothly, I feel cool and relaxed and ready for sleep
As I breathe slowly and deeply, I feel cool and relaxed and ready for sleep
As I breathe easily and gently, I feel cool and relaxed and ready for sleep
Just like the waves lapping on the beach all night….
I feel cool and relaxed and ready for sleep