How to relax better before sleep

How to relax better before sleep

In the previous article, we focused on the idea of creating a pleasant atmosphere to help children sleep better. We also mentioned that many of the bedtime stories you can find in the Readmio app contain some simple relaxation techniques, and the next few articles will be dedicated to those techniques.

Recent psychological research has shown that regular practice of relaxation exercises has a significant positive effect on the physical and mental health of children and adults, and they can help to counteract the negative effects of stress.

By being able to get into a relaxed state, we are signalling to our body that we are safe. The body doesn’t need to prepare for battle or escape, it can just remain calm for a while and gain new strength. As a result, feelings of anxiety and fear are alleviated. Relaxation exercises can also teach us to focus in a certain direction. This improves our ability to concentrate, a skill which we often lack nowadays as our daily lives can be overwhelmed with a multitude of different stimuli.

Learning and utilizing relaxation techniques for children will help them to calm down and fall asleep more easily.

One of the advantages of these techniques is that they are simple and easily explained to children. Also, they don't take very long, most of them can be done anytime, anywhere, and can even be quite fun when carried out correctly.

Although they are basically easy to do, do not expect immediate effects. Some children may take a while to get used to them, but if practiced regularly, maybe as part of a bedtime routine, relaxation will become easier and they may be able to sleep for longer.

You can do these exercises together with your child or by yourself, maybe at night before bed, on the bus or whenever you have time. Your peace of mind and well-being are extremely important to your children.

There is a great variety of relaxation techniques that focus on different areas. You can work on breathing, your body, imagination techniques or concentrate on your senses. There is something different for everyone, so it is good to try several techniques and choose the most suitable one for you. Sometimes it is also good to change them up a little.

Now let us see how the so-called imaginative techniques work. All stories are already brought to life with the power of imagination. They stimulate our imagination and we complete the story with our own mental ideas of what a given scene would look like. We do this subconsciously so we do not actually have to think about it or try to do it. In the case of relaxation techniques, however, we focus on ensuring that the induced image leads to calmness and relaxation.

It is simple: ask your children to close their eyes and follow your instructions. Lead them through flights of imagination that are calm and pleasant. To ensure they move as deep into their imagination as possible, it is good to involve the individual senses as well.

For example, you can go out into the woods together, smell conifers, notice the twigs cracking under your feet, pick blueberries, put them into your mouth and imagine their taste. This one is so sweet!

Tailor the story to your children and use an environment they like. The whole idea can also take place in the early evening to further promote a sleeping atmosphere. For example, you can visit different forest animals and wish them good night, just as we did in one of our bedtime stories. Or come with us to wish good night to farm animals.

Whether you choose your own story or you are led by our bedtime stories, we believe that your children will fall asleep pleasantly.

If you are interested in further reading on the subject of relaxation techniques, we will look at how our own breathing can help us relax in the next article.

Jana Draberová

Is a psychologist specializing in working with children and adolescents. In addition to psychology, she also studied pedagogy. For seven years she has worked in a psycho-pedagogical counseling center. Currently, she devotes herself to psychological work mainly within her private practice.

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