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6 Ways to Relax Before Bed

Take the Stress Out of Sleep


4. De-stress
One of the worst things that you can do is to sit in bed and think about what you didn’t get done today, and all of the work you have tomorrow. Worrying about it won't get any of it done, so let it leave your mind. If it helps, make a to-do list so that you don’t forget the next day. But leave it at that; once it is on the paper, forget about it. Another trick is to turn the clocks away from your bed so you cannot count the passing minutes. If you focus on the fact that you are not sleeping, you’ll make the problem worse.

5. Add some noise
Wait a second. . . your bedroom should be as quiet as possible, right? Up to a point, yes. The darker and quieter the room is, the more deeply you’ll sleep, even if you don’t realize it. But, adding “white noise” into the background can actually help you slumber. These steady, quiet sounds will block out other, more disturbing noises that might keep you awake. Plus, once you are asleep, you’ll be less likely to wake up from other noises. Try keeping a fan blowing at night – a cool bedroom is more conducive to sleep anyway. Or, try putting some relaxing music or natural sounds, especially something that can be set on a timer. You can buy CD’s that play gentle rain, waterfalls, or wind noises.

6. Listen to your body
Could it be your body is too tense for sleep? Try a relaxation tape that guides you through loosening up and relaxing each muscle group. Start at your feet, tensing and untensing your muscles, and move up your body. Work on some deep breathing exercises, which mimic your respiration pattern while asleep and can help convince your body that it is time to drift off.

And in the future…
Exercise! Consistent fitness and nutrition is directly linked to improved sleep. Of course, if you are lying in bed restless, it might be a little late. But, start tomorrow and you’ll sleep better in nights to come. If (and when) you do exercise, make sure it’s not right before bedtime, which can interfere with your body’s ability to relax and nod off.

Make going to bed a routine. Around the same time every night, even on weekends, start your routine. This could mean taking a bath and some light reading. It could simply mean changing into your pajamas and brushing your teeth. Do something consistently that your body will learn as signals to settle down for the night. Wake up refreshed the next day.

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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

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