Do you ever look back on things you did and wonder how you managed?
I studied abroad in the south of Spain during my senior year in college. I remember one night in particular, my best friend had come to visit, and we had planned a trip to Rome. Naturally, we went out the night before. Going out in Spain is madness. No one actually arrives to the final destination until maybe 1:00am and it's normal to see people coming home from the club around the same time people are leaving to head to work. We came home around 6:00am, just in time to catch our 8:00am flight to Rome. I was pretty grumpy, and so deliriously tired going through security, but once I was on the plane I fell asleep and woke up in Rome ready to explore.
How in the world did I do that? A few days ago I came back from India, a mere five hour time difference, and I'm still sort of out of it (and that didn't include a night out prior to flying).
Anyway, whenever I have trouble sleeping, I try a few different things: baths with essential oils, kava tea (I always have the most vivid dreams when I drink this before bed!), reading before bed, and yoga. These three yoga poses are my go-to stretches before sleeping.
1. This pose stretches the hamstrings and releases the lower back, which is just what you need if you've been sitting all day.
2. This supine spinal twist helps to open up the side body, and is a fantastic stretch for the shoulders and chest. Visualize yourself twisting from the navel, as if you're wringing out the stomach like a wet washcloth. With each exhale feel the shoulder melt into the bed.
3. Hugging the knees into the chest elongates the spine, releases the low back, and is nice for the hips too. Sometimes people tilt their heads back while doing this - try to draw your chin toward your chest to make the neck as long as you can.
What are your tricks to better sleep?
PS- Here's a short yoga video for better sleep.