Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for good performance during the day. Ironically, though, work may be the biggest culprit in keeping us from getting the rest we need.
According to a report by the Sleep Foundation, almost one-fourth of us are working on job-related tasks right before going to bed at least a few nights a week. Nearly two-thirds of us accept that we’re going to feel sleepy at times during the day.
We realize that something has to give so we can get everything done. So we sacrifice sleep. That means it’s even more important to get to sleep when we’re ready to go to sleep.
One of the secrets to do that is to establish a going-to-bed routine. This provides a clear separation of sleep-time from your day-time activities. It gives you time to unwind and clear your mind from things that stimulate you so you don’t fall asleep right away.
Here are eight things that you could do to wind down. Pick the ones that work for you and make them a part of your going-to-bed ritual.
#1 – Schedule a start time.
It’s important to establish a regular time to go to bed. You schedule everything else. Schedule when you start your bedtime routine!
You have a feel for your biological clock as well as what time you need to wake up. So determine when you should start getting ready to sleep so you can get the sleep you need!
It may take a little while for your body to get used to your schedule, but it will follow if you lead! Of course, there may be times when your demands require you to deviate, but try to stick to your schedule as much as possible.
#2 – Dim the lights.
To your body, bright lights mean daytime. So signal your brain that it’s time to go to bed by dimming the lights! Candle anyone?
#3 – Drink warm milk or decaffeinated tea.
Some people find that a cup of warm milk or decaffeinated tea helps them relax. If that’s the case for you, include this is your going-to-bed ritual.
#4 – Take a hot bath.
Many people enjoy a nice, relaxing hot bath. If you do, by all means include it in your night-time routine. Research shows that warming the body so it then cools down enables sleep.
#5 – Give yourself a massage.
A massage can really help relax you. So lightly massage areas of your body that you can easily reach. Don’t strain! Feel the calming effect as you lightly rub the various areas of your body.
#6 – Meditate.
Find a position that’s comfortable for you. Breathe in and out. Let your body relax. Empty your mind of everything. Give yourself a few minutes of time to just let go of all the stress.
#7 – Read.
Read something that takes you away from all your daily struggles and strife. It may be a book or a magazine article. Short stories work great because you can read from beginning to end in a few minutes.
#8 – Listen to soothing sounds.
For some people, this may mean music. For others, it may include the sound of waves, rain, or something else relaxing. Experience what you’re hearing. Close your eyes and picture yourself in that place.
What helps put you to sleep?