5 things that can help you relax before sleeping

By MJ De La Cruz

As queer people of color we have to face constant heterosexism and racism, it is exhausing having to constantly navigate this society that does not welcome us. Many QTPOC struggle with their mental health illnesses and this can result in a lot of anxiety which makes it difficult to fall asleep or get restful sleep.

1. Drink Tea

Some of my favorites are chamomile, lavender, and any bedtime tea. Add honey or sugar for a taste of sweetness. The thing I love about drinking tea before bed is that it’s a reminder that you should get ready for bed. Sometimes time runs by and we forget that it’s past our bedtime. Making yourself a warm cup of tea before bed is a simple way to nourish your body with natural herbs that can soothe your muscles and reduce stress. Remember to not drink tea right before you fall asleep since that might make you have to go to the restroom in the middle of the night.

2. Highs and Lows, Plus a Hope

This one can be done by just doing it in your head but in my opinion if we write something down it can stick with us more. Write something from your day that was not easy. This could be that you had a stomach ache or you missed your bus. Then, write something good about your day, it can be as small as you saw a cute dog on the street or something like you had a tasty dinner. Finally write a hope you have for the next day.  

3. Breathing Exercises

 I don’t know about y’all but sometimes I forget to breathe throughout my day because I get caught up in all the demanding tasks of my day. This is common for many people which can  make it hard to feel relaxed before sleeping. There are multiple breathing exercises you can try, one of my favorites is alternate nostril breathing! This link gives you step by step on alternate nostril breathing.

4. Listen to Relaxing Music/Sounds

 Sometimes playing nature sounds can help one relax, Spotify has a lot of great playlists with relaxing sounds that you can use while getting ready for bed and/or in bed. If you’re not into nature sounds or relaxing music there’s ASMR videos on Youtube. ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, this can be triggered from quiet sounds. ASMR youtubers used different techniques and tools to cause listeners to experience tingles that sometimes help sleep.   

5. Liberate Meditation

This meditation app was created by a Afro-latino creator to help people of color feel empowered and destress. This app is great because it was made for people of color and takes into account the things we deal with. What I love about this app is that it is organized in a simple & straightforward way. For example, there’s multiple different meditation categories from Ancestors to Pride. I highly recommend to set aside some time before you go to bed to use this app to meditate.

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