7 steps to heaven: your perfect pre-bedtime massage
Incorporating a relaxing massage routine into your bedtime schedule can help you to unwind at the end of a hectic day. When you’re about to hit the hay it can help you drift off into a relaxed slumber.
Start by creating a serene environment which is clean, calm and comforting. Switch off your smartphones, tablets and TVs. Make the room a peaceful place to be. Scented candles, music and low light are ideal. Perfection points awarded if you can have fresh, crisp sheets waiting for you to sink into.
Before you begin, try to concentrate on your breathing. This is a great way to shift your body into relaxation mode – allowing your mind to follow. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for four, then exhale for four. Repeat this four times. This simple technique can slow down your heartbeat and calm your body.
Use a night cream to massage your face, such as new Idealia Skin Sleep. Treat yourself to a cream that you’ll enjoy using every evening. The more pleasure you get from using it the easier it will be to incorporate it into your everyday routine. Work a small amount of your chosen cream in the palms and fingers of both hands.
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Apply your cream to your face with your hands cupped under your chin. Run your fingers from the sides of your nose to your temples. Then spread the cream over your forehead and gently massage your temples with your fingertips using circular movements. Your skin is nourished and instantly more relaxed.
Apply with slow, smoothing motions using the whole surface of your hands from the sides of the nose to the outside of the face across the forehead. With your finger tips on the temples use small circular motions from the outside to the inside.
Finish with a gliding motion that starts from the temples, moves over the ears and neck and then down and across the collarbones. Then apply light pressure with the palm of the hands to help relax tension.
Finally, now you’ve wound down, get into bed and try the breathing exercises again. Try to clear your mind so it doesn’t drift back to the stresses of the day. Reading can help, and so can focusing on a mental task, like counting sheep or thinking of countries beginning with every letter of the alphabet – whatever works best to help you slip into a deep and restful sleep.