Does getting into bed and trying to fall asleep feel harder than waking up in the morning? It may be time to tweak your evening routine. You want to spend your time before bed doing things that reduce stress, calm your mind and get you ready to get the rest you need. These habits can help you fall asleep easier and wake up feeling recharged.
With evening habits, consistency is key, so try these for a week and stick with the ones that work best for you:
- Practice gentle yoga - It’s one of the best ways to release tension in your muscles and relax before sleep. Research shows that doing yoga regularly can improve sleep quality and doing a calming routine can help you get into a state of deep relaxation before bedtime.
- Meditate - Just the idea of it is intimidating for some, but silently sitting or lying and focusing on your breath is an effective way to calm your body and mind and it gets you ready for a restful night’s sleep.
- Keep work and play out of the bedroom - Many of us use our bedrooms for everything from a home office to a home gym to a playroom for our kids, but all that multitasking can make it tough to turn your brain off and relax at bedtime. So if you can, use your bedroom strictly for sleep and relaxation and it will help train your mind that the space is just for rest.
- Close down the kitchen early - Nothing goes better with your favorite show than a big bowl of ice cream, right? Not so much when it comes to sleep. Eating sugary snacks or large meals before bedtime can affect your sleep, so if you want to eat, go for a handful of nuts or yogurt with granola.
- Try some breathing exercises - Controlling your breathing helps to slow your heart rate, calms the mind and body and gets us ready for sleep. Box breathing is one technique that may help you get ready to drift off. Just breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then exhale for four counts. You may start feeling relaxed and ready to snooze after just a few rounds of those breaths.