One of the best ways to ensure a better tomorrow is figuring out how to harness a healthy night’s rest. If you’re finding sleep elusive these days, try out these five tips for a nighttime unwind routine.
1. Prepare for Tomorrow
Take a few minutes at the end of each day to write down tomorrow’s tasks, lay out your outfit, pack a gym bag, and box up breakfast and lunch. This takes a daunting to-do list off your mind and helps your brain and body begin to relax.
2. Pick Up before You Sit Down
Once you hit the couch, we all know how hard it is to get back up again. Go ahead and tidy the kitchen, throw your dirty clothes into the washer, and put things in their place. Not only does this daily practice encourage a clean home, it will also physically de-stress you to see less clutter (some experts emphasize that a messy bedroom can inhibit sleep).
3. Stay Away from Screens
Television, cell phones, laptops, and even e-readers can make falling asleep more difficult and sleep less restful. This is because screen time stimulates brain activity, leaving you feeling wired after a “quick” Instagram check. Opt instead for a designated meditation time or a paper book or magazine.
4. Stretch It Out
Helping your muscles release tension jumpstarts the physical process of unwinding. Finding beneficial stretches or yoga poses can go a long way toward mental relaxation as well. Try lying flat on your back while your legs, perpendicular, rest straight up a wall. Remain in that position as your blood pressure drops and your body begins to relax.
5. Take a Bath
A fabulous way to detox and stimulate your brain’s natural release of the sleep hormone melatonin, taking a bath is a luxury you might not be able to afford to skip. Kick the detoxing and relaxing powers up a notch by adding magnesium-rich Epsom salt and several drops of essential oils, like lavender or chamomile.