Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing. However, for about 33 percent of the population, getting enough sleep isn’t possible.
Though there are many reasons people don’t sleep well or struggle to get enough sleep each night, stress is the most common cause of those sleepless nights.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your body relax before bed so you can get the sleep you need. Here are a few proven techniques to try tonight.
- Have a Cup of Herbal Tea
One of the best things you can do when figuring out how to get better sleep is to create a night-time ritual that helps promote feelings of relaxation. A simple and affordable option is to have a cup of herbal tea an hour or two before you go to bed. Many people prefer to sip on chamomile teas which help you relax and unwind. However, if you’re not a fan of the earthy flavor, choose a decaffeinated tea that you enjoy. Just try to avoid black teas. Even decaf versions have trace amounts of caffeine and the taste alone can encourage your body to perk back up. You can even combine the herbal calming tea with natural sleep supplements or Sugarbear gummies formulated to foster feelings of relaxation.
- Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Even if you weren’t active throughout most of the day, it’s normal to feel some muscle tension at the end of the day. That tension can keep you from sleeping well and can even make your otherwise comfortable bed feel like a torture device.
Instead of trying to ignore the tension, take a warm bath or hot shower. Let the heat and humidity encourage your muscles to relax and let go of the tension you’ve been carrying around.
You don’t have to stay in the bath for a long time to see results, either. Even a five-minute shower or a half-hour soak in the tub can help you unwind.
- Turn the Screens Off
The average adult spends nearly 12 hours each day staring at computer, phone, and television screens. Though those devices keep you entertained and updated on the state of the world, they’re horrible for promoting feelings of relaxation.
Instead of watching television until you fall asleep or mindlessly scrolling through your social media feed in bed, turn the screens off. If you can, turn them off at least an hour before you hit the hay.
This will give your brain enough time to come down off of the latest breaking news and helps you notice when your body is telling you that it’s tired.
- Meditate for a Few Minutes
Racing thoughts are responsible for many peoples’ sleepless nights. Though you won’t be able to shut those thoughts out completely, you can keep them from wrecking your relaxation.
The easiest way to do that is to meditate for a few minutes each night. If you need to focus on something, choose a guided meditation that will direct your thoughts toward positive things. If you’re comfortable just sitting quietly, encourage your mind to quiet down by focusing on nothing but your breathing.
Meditation takes practice, but the more you do it, the more effective it will be in helping you relax before bed.
- Stretch Your Stiffness Out
Stiff muscles can be a major disruption when you’re trying to get good, sound sleep each night. Luckily, it’s easy to fix.
Get in the habit of stretching for a few minutes each night. You may find it helpful to change into your pajamas first as your normal work or day clothes might restrict your movements too much.
When you’re stretching, be mindful of how each movement makes you feel. Don’t push yourself like you would at the gym. Keep your movements slow and steady and stop if you feel any severe pains.
- Read for Fun
Lots of people read before bed as a way to keep themselves entertained without relying on the T.V. or the internet. It’s a great way to exercise your mind without increasing feelings of wakefulness.
Choose a favorite author and read a few chapters a night. Pick up a new series or catch up on the classics you missed out on when you were a kid. There’s no wrong choice as long as it’s a book you’ll enjoy.
If you’re not a huge reader, try reading magazines with short articles on topics you’re interested in.
As a general rule, try to avoid reading horror or true crime stories before you go to bed. Though these genres are thrilling, they’re not the best at promoting relaxation.
- Listen to Relaxing Music
If you’re not a huge fan of reading, consider listening to relaxing music as part of your winding down routine. Most people see great results with light classical, instrumental, and ambient tunes.
Try to avoid listening to music with lyrics or fast beats as it can keep you from relaxing. Worse, it can actually make you wake up when you’re actively trying to get to sleep.
- Run Through the Things You’re Thankful For
One of the biggest contributors to restless nights is stress. You get so overwhelmed by all the negative things that happened during the day that unwinding just isn’t possible.
Instead of focusing on those negative thoughts, try reminding yourself of the things you’re thankful for as you go through your nightly routine. This will fill your mind with positive things and can reduce feelings of stress when you’re trying to go to bed.
Try These Tips to Help You Relax Before Bed
Sleepless nights are something no one should ever have to deal with. Try these great ways to relax before bed and see if they make a difference in the quality of your sleep.
Keep in mind that you might not see results immediately. This is okay…just don’t give up. When you make relaxation techniques a part of your nightly routine, you’ll start to encourage your mind and your body to relax and unwind each night so you can get the sleep you deserve.
Looking for more tips to help you minimize stress each day? Check out our latest posts.