Getting better sleep tip: Develop a relaxing bedtime routine
Even with the stresses of daily life, if you make an effort to relax and wind down before bed, you will sleep easier and more deeply. A consistent, relaxing routine before bed sends a signal to your brain that it is time to wind down, making it easier to fall asleep. Make the time before sleep a time of peace and quiet, and find your unique routine that relaxes you.
To prepare for sleep, try
- Reading a light, entertaining book or magazine
- Listening to soft music
- Making simple preparations for the next day
- A light bedtime snack, a cup of hot tea, or a glass of warm milk
- Hobbies such as knitting or jigsaw puzzles
- Listening to books on tape
Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day. You may even have a television in your bedroom. However, television actually stimulates the mind, rather than relaxing it:
- Late night news or prime time shows frequently have disturbing, violent material. Even non-violent programming can have commercials which are jarring and louder than the actual program.
- Light and noise. The continuous flickering light coming from the TV (or a computer screen) can interfere with the body’s clock, which is sensitive to any light. Television is also noisy, which can disturb sleep if the set is accidentally left on.
You may be so used to falling asleep with the TV that you have trouble without it. Although the first few days might be difficult, the payoff is better sleep in the long run. If you miss the noise, try turning on soft music or a fan. If your favorite show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day.
Relaxation techniques for better sleep
Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to wind down, calm the mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:
- Deep breathing. Close your eyes—and try taking deep, slow breaths—making each breath even deeper than the last.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting at your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.
- Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place or activity that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this place or activity makes you feel.
Info from Helpguide.org