What common things do people do before bed? Watch TV? Browse the Internet? Play computer games? From a health standpoint, the one hour before going to sleep is very important; it’s said to be a golden opportunity for increasing longevity.
Many Asian people have a long lifespan, perhaps because they’ve incorporated these six secrets into their daily bedtime routine. Follow these tips to help improve your sleep quality and revitalize your body:
1. Take a walk
Taking a gentle 10 to 20-minute stroll in the evening improves blood flow and helps to maintain efficient circulation while sleeping.
2. Soak your feet
The feet have been called “the second human heart” or “the heart’s pump” by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, who take the health of the feet seriously.
A foot contains more than 60 acupuncture points that are closely related to all of the major organs of the body. Soaking the feet in hot water and massaging the whole foot — including the toes — prior to sleep, is believed to help stimulate blood circulation, relax the muscles and joints, as well as balance one’s yin and yang energies.
3. Massage your scalp
Surprisingly, there are many acupuncture points located on your head. Massaging your scalp with a brush or with your fingers to stimulate these points can dissipate fatigue and help you get to sleep more quickly.
4. Sleep hygiene
Going to bed feeling clean has been proven to give a better quality of sleep for many. So brush those teeth, gently cleanse your face, and take a warm, relaxing shower or bath.
5. Top up on hydration
Drinking a glass of water — or even better, young coconut water — before bed helps you stay hydrated through the night. The body is said to lose on average 200 ml of water in an 8-hour sleep, without sweating. Maintaining good hydration helps boost circulation and maintain healthy blood viscosity.
6. Get the fresh air in
Keeping the bedroom well ventilated is incredibly important. Pile on the blankets and wear a wooly hat if needed — but try to get as much fresh air as possible. The extra oxygen and lower indoor air pollution will help the body heal during sleep. And make sure to keep your head clear of any bedding.
Translated by Cecilia and edited by Emiko Kingswell