The hours before your head hits the pillow can determine whether you’ll be up tossing and turning or falling right to sleep. If you find your mind racing and unable to shut down, try these simple tricks so you can drift into sweet slumber, easily.
Power down. The last thing you need at the end of the day is more stimulation. Make it a rule: no distractions, no electronics. That means no computer, TV, cell phone—zilch! Artificial light can trick your body’s internal clock into thinking it’s not time for bed. Keep it simple. Reading a book or magazine can help you let go of a hectic day as you get ready to go to sleep.
Beware of sleep disrupters. Alcohol, which may initially make you drowsy, can negatively affect your sleep. Heavy meals may cause indigestion, so it’s best to finish dinner two or three hours before bedtime. Exercise is encouraged; however, strenuous activity is not recommended for two hours before you go to sleep.
Establish an evening ritual. A warm bath at night can relieve tension and help you to feel relaxed and sleepy. Try to regulate your body’s clock, too, by going to sleep and waking up the same time each day. Slip into soft PJs washed with a fabric softener in a calming scent for extra cozy comfort.
Set the mood. Keep your bedroom tranquil and serene, with no bright lights. Soft lamplight or the gentle glow of a scented candle works better as you’re getting ready for bed. If your mind is endlessly wandering, write thoughts down in a journal (no electronics!).
Breathe deeply and meditate. Practiced for thousands of years, mediation may help you to relax and let go of the daily stress that takes up too much space in your head. A tip from the experts: Stay mindful of the flow of your breath. Positive affirmations may also help. Silently repeat a reassuring word or phrase.
Comfort is key. The most important part of your evening oasis: the bed. Launder linens with a liquid fabric softener in a amazing scent. The silky soft sheets will feel fabulous as you drift off to sleep.