7 Ways To Unwind Before Bedtime

By Victoria Q

Relaxing before bed can be difficult at some point. Life is hectic and full of stress that you’re still thinking about what happened today, what you need to complete tomorrow, did you remember to do this task or else. This cause much harder to fall asleep at night because your brain just couldn’t slow down. To feel your best during the day, you need to sleep well at night.

It is very important to preserve at least the last 30 minutes before bedtime to slow down and quiet our brains. Failing to do so often results in lying in bed wide awake, with more stress building up, making it even difficult to fall asleep.

So, what activities are the best to relax before bedtime? This is highly dependent on personal preferences. If you don’t allow yourself that time to reset, the following day will likely be just as harrowing. And on and on the vicious cycle will go. Instead, do something you find calming and relaxing, and here are some ideas.

  1. Reading

One study showed that just 6 minutes of quiet reading can reduce stress by 68%. Reading a book that you enjoy is a great way to get your body to relax and put your mind in sleep mode. Novels and magazines are nice options that can be easily put aside when sleepiness arrives. It is recommended to read a real book instead of an e-book as the blue light released by the LED screen can affect your quality of sleep.

2. Meditation

Meditation is a mind and body practice with a specific focus on attention and attitude. It is known to ease some health issues such as insomnia and depression and bring calm to your life. Bring attention to your breath and try to breathe deeply but slowly. Empty your mind and focusing on your stomach and lung and feel its rhythm. Breathe in deep for 4 seconds, then a long, slow breath out. Repeat this pattern for as long as you can (recommended for at least 5 minutes). At first, you may struggle to tune out your thoughts. Over time, you’ll be able to find peace through meditation.

3. Listening To Music

Listening to soothing or calm music can help you feel relaxed and induce sleep. Classical music is soothing and calming to many people, as well as the ability to lower blood pressure. If that isn’t your vibe, any of your favourite music should do the trick too but remember to avoid fast beat music like hip hop or dance music as it can trigger your brain to stay awake.

4. Stretching

Stretching exercise has proven to help relax your muscles by relieving tension after a long day of work. Studies have shown that meditative exercises like yoga are beneficial for sleep quality and improve quality of life. Light yoga also helps your body wind down before sleep. Relaxing before sleep is essential to ensure you get a restful night and wake up stress-free the next day.

5. Take A Warm Bath

Body temperature can have important impacts on sleep, and bathing can influence this in the evening. Researchers found that pre-bedtime warm-water therapy such as a warm bath, hot shower, or even a foot soak can get your body into sleep mode. A soothing, warm bath with a few candles is probably one of the best ways to calm down your body and mind before bed.

6. Journaling

One effective method that can help us get to sleep faster is taking a few minutes to sit down undistracted and write down our thoughts of the day. This can clear your worrying thoughts before sleep. If the stress of your day job isn’t letting you unwind, write down a to-do list for the next day before your thoughts.  

7. Drink A Warm Cup Of Tea

Drinking tea before bed has been shown to help in a better night’s sleep and increase the quality of sleep. Sipping a warm cup of tea can help alleviate stress and promote calmness before bed, especially at the end of a long tiring day. My top 2 favourites are chamomile tea and peppermint tea. Chamomile tea has long been used as a bedtime tea due to being caffeine-free and known to decrease stress and anxiety which can help you fall asleep quicker. Meanwhile, peppermint tea is also caffeine-free that can help soothe your body, and may even help settle your stomach before bed.

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