5 winding down tips for better sleep

Winding down from a harsh day is extremely important to get a good night’s sleep. People don't realize that having a relaxing and regular bedtime routine will directly impact the quality of their sleep and thus their quality of life. This routine does not have to be complicated or long. The idea of “winding down” at night should be a slow and enjoyable process. Here are 5 tips to help you develop a consistent bedtime routine that will lead to a better night’s sleep.

1. Make your bedtime consistent. Because a regular sleep time and schedule makes your body’s sleep as well as your wake rythm a lot better. As a consequence it will be way easier to fall asleep at the same time every night and stay asleep.

2. Avoid alcohol. Indeed alcohol, even if it is red wine, is not always beneficial for your sleep. Drinking more than one glass of alcohol before bed may help you relax for two hours or three, but will eventually make you awaken in the middle of the night. In fact, the calming effect you were hoping for may make the opposite effect, provoking anxiety, heightening blood pressure and accelerating heart rate.

3. Read or meditate. Turn off the TV and relax in bed with a book, but keep the lights dim to help prepare your body to slowly drift off to sleep. You may find sooner or later that you start falling asleep with the book on your lap without even knowing it. Or, try mediating. You will find a ton of articles on the internet that provide methods of meditation that you can try, including breathing exercises and guided imagery practices.

4. Keep a journal. Trying to sleep and shutting off the mind when you are stressed can be very difficult. Often at the end of the day, when we are alone with our thoughts, we let our minds wander to our to-do lists, adding to the stress of our day and leading into the next. Keeping a journal can be a productive and relaxing method to relax before bed. It allows the mind to get thoughts on paper so they are not constantly weighing on the brain. We suggests you write out a “to-do list” before bed each night to help your mind get rid of your obsessive thoughts. Then, you can sleep peacefully and wake up full of energy to tackle these tasks the next day.

5. Drink warm milk. This method for the ultimate pre-sleep relaxation has been used for centuries. However, we don't know whether the so-called sleep enhancing enzyme tryptophan actually may lead to a better night’s sleep. According to WebMD, the routine of drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime may be what causes you to relax instead of the milk itself. If you do incorporate drinking a hot beverage into your nighttime routine be sure to adjust your room temperature accordingly, since most people sleep better at a lower body temperature.

Whatever method you choose to wind down at the end of the day, the most important thing is to be consistent and practice some of these easy and relaxing procedures before bed. These simple routines can do wonders for achieving a good night’s sleep.