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A new bedtime story
Dark and cool. And some pelvic floor contractions before you close your eyes. This bodes well for both a good night’s sleep and maybe even some of that other stuff for which the bedroom is so well suited…
We’ve reached the point that our high-paced daily lives now affect our sleep. Estimates indicate that one-third of Sweden's population have sleeping problems*.
Some research suggests that we need 8.5 hours of sleep per night and yet an adult Swede sleeps an average of 7 hours*.
And sleep is something we really need. Most of us are aware that sleep is maintenance for the body, a recuperation period. Nonetheless, sleep is the first thing we down prioritise to make time for all our must-dos. The result is lack of sleep which makes us not only tired, sluggish and periodically rather cranky, but also affects our health. Our immune system, for instance.
Many of us catch up on Saturday and Sunday. We sleep longer and late into the morning – which means we have trouble falling to sleep on Sunday evening so we’re dead tired on Monday morning, and so the cycle continues.
Others can’t even find the time to sleep in on weekends. Stress, thoughts spinning inside our heads, make it more difficult to fall asleep when we do get to bed on time – for a change!
Here are a few ways you can help yourself to sleep better:
* Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
* Do not go to bed before you feel sleepy so you don’t toss and turn. If you don’t fall asleep, get up and read a really dull book.
* Do not fall asleep in front of the TV! Go to bed.
* Give yourself time to wind down. TV is not necessarily the best alternative. Let the whole household wind down. Turn off the lights, listen to music, or read a book.
* Avoid coffee and tea in the evening. There are teas that have a relaxing and calming effect. Visit your local health food shop.
* Do not place too many demands on yourself. Like getting everything done and having the energy to do so. You also need energy to cope with not enough sleep.
* Create routines for going to bed, habits that you repeat every night so your body understands that it’s time to sleep.
We sleep best when the bedroom is dark and cool. Open the window a bit and let in some fresh air. If you feel chilly and tense, a warming buckwheat pillow is great - both warming and relaxing.
Clean out everything that has nothing to do with sleep like the computer and television. Only use the bedroom for sleep and sex.
And before you fall asleep: Do the day’s contraction exercises. This tones your muscles and might stimulate a desire for something else since blood flow in the gluteal muscles increases lust. Like a cuddle with your partner, which is something we really need to reserve time for. Sex is both relaxing and boosts our sense of well being. We sleep better afterwards (just ask any man you know…).
By doing contraction exercises before falling asleep you’ll find that not only can you jump or sneeze without issue (pelvic muscle exercises help 7 of 10 women regain control again, read more here) you just might have to crawl into bed a bit earlier because your sex life has taken a turn for the better.
* Change to national numbers or:
/We’ve reached the point that our high-paced daily lives now affect our sleep. Some research suggests that we need 8.5 hours of sleep per night and yet few seldom gets that many hours./
Lie on your back. It is easier to identify the right muscles
if you start from the back and squeeze forward. It should
feel like you are lifting something inside of you.
You are not doing it right if you are: Pressing down, tensing your buttocks or inner thigh muscles, or moving your pelvic area (this should lie still against the floor).
It is all right to feel the exercises in your abdominal muscles. Contraction exercises automatically entail some abdominal exercise - another positive side effect, don't you think?