Not Knowing How To Relax

As part of the assessments we do at Movement Lifestyle we look in detail at your diet and lifestyle habits.

An important part of the assessment is the diary and in particular the part that looks at how much relaxation you get.

Very often this part of the form will be filled in with something along the lines of: “10 minutes of television before bed”.

Optimal health and wellbeing, and therefore optimal body shape and freedom from aches and pains, requires that the systems of the body are balanced. One of the important systems, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the brain.

The brain goes through different brain wave cycles throughout the day and when it comes time for you to sleep you benefit from being at an optimal point in this brain wave cycle.

To allow the brain to be in this optimal state for restful sleep, and optimise your 8 hours in bed, you need to relax your mind and body before putting your head on the pillow.

If you’re out late, working until 10pm or checking emails before you go to bed we can almost guarantee you’re either waking up feeling unrested and groggy or you have chronic aches and pains.

You have four key brain wave states:

Beta – alert and awake. If you’re not relaxing you’ll be in this state (being productive, busy brain, worrying, checking emails!);

Alpha – calm and relaxed state. You might associate this with daydreaming (a good place to be before bed);

Theta – deeply relaxed or in a meditative state;

Delta – deep sleep.

If you’re spending too much of your day in a beta brain wave state, especially in the two hours before going to bed, you are much more likely to disrupt the brain wave cycles of sleep and therefore not get the rest, repair and rejuvenation that you need.

What’s more, that then makes you less alert and productive the following day. So it’s counterproductive in the medium to long-term to overwork, as an example.


Try making a cut-off time at which electrical products such as television, mobile phones, tablets and iPods are switched off at least one hour before bed.

What we’ve found is that this gives you more time to sit and be quiet, talk with loved ones, play a family game or do other leisure activities such as playing a musical instrument and therefore preparing you for ideal sleep.