Winding down after a long day of work or school can be a challenge for many people, especially in today’s society which has the constant “go, go, go” mentality. I used to be this way; I would have a hard time getting myself to feel relaxed before bed, it would take me hours to finally drift off, and would frequently wake up in the middle of the night because my mind was focusing on all the things that I had to do either the next day, or at some point in the near future. Below ere are some of the things that have helped me immensely in being able to unwind at night, fall asleep quickly, and wake up feeling well-rested.
1. Put your phone AWAY:
I know you probably hear this all the time, but it’s so true! Turn off your notifications and put your phone across the room an hour before you get into bed so that you aren’t tempted to check it. For me, I would grab my phone to check one thing, and the next thing I knew I had scrolled through Instagram for an hour. Avoiding my phone (and any blue light) at night has been the best thing for my sleep.
2. Have a cup of tea:
I always drink a mug full of warm tea before bed. It’s super relaxing and helps to soothe my stomach before lying my head down for the
night. Look for an herbal tea (no caffeine!) that has Chamomile, Valerian Root, lavender, or passionflower which are all found to promote relaxation and better sleep! One of my personal favorites is the Well Rested herbal tea bags from Trader Joe’s.
This is a great option to replace social media scrolling. Even just reading 10 pages of a book before bed can help you drift off and start to feel sleepy and relaxed. However, as mentioned before, avoiding blue light before bed is important, so make sure you’re reading a physical book and not one on an iPad, kindle, etc. Try to choose a denser book or one that won’t suck you in too much, otherwise it might do the opposite of relaxing your mind!
4. Take a warm bath or shower:
Personally, I rarely take baths, but I do take a shower every night before bed (even if I took one earlier in the day). The heat and sensation encourages your parasympathetic nervous system to kick in, your body to relax, and who doesn’t love feeling clean and cozy crawling into their bed at night??
I hope that these tips were helpful! And remember that routines take time to develop, but consistency is key.
Written by GUADS guest Kelly Wesolowski and edited by GUADS Staff member Kate with contributions from medicalnewstoday.com