How To Sleep Better: What You Can Do During Your Day

5 tips to set your mind and body for a good night's sleep

May 17, 2016 | By Dr Barbara Mariposa

A lot of people collapse into bed after a hectic, relentless whirl of activities during a long day, and expect there bodies and brains to shut down and relax immediately – but the human is a far more subtle being. 

All too often we don’t deal with the stresses and strains of the day and naturally let the tensions and pressures accumulate without noticing. Dealing with stress and gaining mindful tips on how to kick anxiety to the curb is integral in developing a healthy routine on how to sleep better at night. 

By the time we flop into bed, mind racing, or mind befuddled by one too many glasses of wine, our systems are revved up with adrenalin and cortisol and our brains are over active. Here are some health tips to beat insomnia you can try during the day that tackle how to sleep better:

1. Take time out, one minute once an hour, to press pause, de-compress and allow those brain waves and stress chemicals to subside. Take a deep breath in and exhale, and then count to twelve slowly.

2. Allow your eyes to rest on the horizon as often as possible during the day. This stimulates an ancient reflex to bring us into a state of very wakeful but peaceful awareness.

3. Get out in the green! Make a habit of being outside in nature, even if it’s only for ten minutes in a park during your lunch break. This has a hugely beneficial effect on your mental and emotional wellbeing and will promote a good sleep at night.

4. Take ten minutes out every day to simply sit quietly with yourself. Find a quiet spot, with an upright chair and sit, legs and arms uncrossed, with your back firmly supported by the chair. Make sure your feet are hip distance apart and flat on the ground. Set your timer for ten minutes. Feel the firm connection between your feet and the ground. 

Now bring your attention to your breathing. Follow the gentle rise and fall of your breath. If and when you notice that you are no longer focussing on your breathing, don't worry, just bring your attention back to following the 'in' breath and 'out' breath. When the timer goes off, stretch up, and gently return to the rest of your day.

5. When things or people upset you, don’t let the negative emotions take over you. Notice it, don’t judge it, and get in touch with what is happening in your body. Take a moment to scan through your body, noticing your breathing, where there is tension. Notice what it feels like. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. 

If you can resolve the matter now, take steps to do that from this space of calm. If not, make a note of what steps you can take to resove it later. Don’t accumulate emotional baggage – it will hit you later when you go to bed. Deal with it as best you can in the present and if you can’t resolve it now, let it be.

Change the situation, leave the situation or accept the situation. Everything else is insanity.” Eckhardt Tolle

Read next: The Unobvious Reasons Why You're Not Sleeping Well

The ancient medicinal herb that will have you snoozing in no time

Dr Dani Gordon's health tip on how to restore your body's natural 24 hour rhythm 

How to kick anxiety to the curb, fast!