Getting a good night of sleep can be very difficult for anyone who has trouble shutting their mind off or deals with stress, anxiety, or depression. But restful sleep can have a huge impact on your happiness and how you react to daily situations.
Imagine what life would be like if you woke up every day feeling rested, energized, and ready for the day. Sounds pretty great, right? Below are some tips to help you fall into a relaxing slumber:
1. Set a bedtime routine. Start your routine an hour before you go to bed. Make it repeatable and follow a certain order (e.g. I’ll wash my face, then brush my teeth, then do some reading, etc.). These cues will train your body to start winding down and falling asleep before your head even hits the pillow.
2. Don’t look at any screens 1 hour before going to sleep. The light from your screens (especially blue light) will trick your mind into thinking it’s still daytime. Set your phone to night mode, put it on “do not disturb” or silent – just do whatever you can to minimize the amount of time you spend looking at your phone, computer, or tv the closer you get to the time you want to go to bed.
3. Meditate or do some gentle stretching/yoga. Following a guided meditation or practicing gentle yoga is especially helpful for busy minds and is very calming for your body. Meditating for as little as 10 minutes a day has shown to reduce anxiety and stress.
4. Drink calming tea. Warm, decaf tea can be very relaxing and soothing.
5. Wake up at the same time every day. This one can be more difficult, but the more you force yourself up at the same time every day, the more likely your body will adjust to the new sleep schedule.
6. Write down anything that comes to your mind. Keep a notepad and pen on your nightstand. If you have a million thoughts going through your head, write them down.
7. Turn off your lights (or turn them down). Your body will naturally wind down the darker it is. Minimizing the amount of light and screens at night will help tell your body it’s time to sleep.
8. Don’t “try to sleep”. This sounds counterintuitive, but if your intention is to try to sleep, your mind will be monitoring if you’re asleep or not, which prevents you from actually falling asleep. Instead, when you go to bed, have your intention be to clear your mind and let go.
9. Don’t count the hours until you need to wake up. This will just make you more anxious. A common belief is that you need 8 hours of sleep, but it’s different for every person. And if you get less than that, know that you still will be able to function the next day. You may not feel great, but you will get through it and your body will be under even more pressure to fall asleep at a better hour the next night as long as you don’t nap.
10. Smell some lavender. Lavender has been said to help reduce stress and promote falling asleep. Use a diffuser with lavender essential oil or rub our snooze (+lavender) CBD body balm on your neck or sore muscles to help you wind down and feel relaxed.