In previous blog posts, we’ve looked at dietary changes that can improve sleep and how to create a relaxing sleep space in your RV that promotes rest and rejuvenation. Aside from these easy fixes, there are also simple relaxation techniques that can help ensure you get a good night’s rest every night that you are on the road.
Relaxation techniques are a great way to help your body fall asleep faster, enjoy more restful sleep and improve the overall quality of your sleep. Each of the following suggestions also provides the perfect opportunity to separate your waking hours from your resting hours, which allows you to transition from the excitement of the day’s activities to a more relaxed state of mind that is more conducive to good sleep.
Here are a few relaxation exercises and techniques that can enhance sleep:
• Stretching – Setting aside 10 to 20 minutes each night that is dedicated to slow, mindful stretching helps put your body and mind in the appropriate mood for sleeping, while also helping you and your muscles let go of the stresses of the day. Stretching can also reduce aches and pains, which can lead to fewer sleep disruptions and increased comfort once you lie down.
• Meditation – Another great way to move from an active day to a restful night is to take time to meditate before going to bed. Meditation can be as simple as sitting still and focusing on your breathing, so you do not need experience or any special tools to enjoy a beneficial meditation session.
• Yoga – Incorporating 10 to 20 minutes of gentle yoga poses at the end of your daily routine allows you to enjoy the benefits of stretching, meditation and deep, relaxed breathing.
• Visualization – Once you are lying in bed preparing for sleep, it can be helpful to visualize yourself in a relaxing setting. The purpose of this is twofold: It encourages a relaxed state by placing yourself in an appealing, relaxing environment, while also providing something for your mind to focus on, making it easier to set aside thoughts about what happened that day, what you need to do the next day or anything else that could be distracting you and making it more difficult to sleep.
• Progressive muscle relaxation (aka progressive relaxation) – This is a technique that was developed by a doctor almost 100 years ago and still proves effective today. A quick online search will turn up more in-depth information on how to use Dr. Edmund Jacobson’s relaxation techniques, but the basics of this effective method of relaxation include alternately tensing and relaxing muscles throughout the body to release muscle tension and reduce anxiety.