It’s quiet, you’re tired, and your mind is racing. All you want is to fall asleep but your body is at ends with itself. We’ve all been there. Here are a few ideas to help prepare you for a more relaxing night:
1. Stop caffeine by lunch
Since caffeine is known to sill have effects from 8 to 14 hours after consumption, it’s best to stop early enough to get it out of your system. We all know caffeine is a stimulant; however, it does keep you from feeling sleepy in a scientific way. It actually blocks the adenosine receptors in the body which promotes sleepiness. So if you want to feel sleepy, ditch the caffeine early.
2. Adjust the lights and sounds
Maybe an hour or so before bed, start dimming the lights. Block out any extra lighting. Eclipse shades are great and block out 99% of outside light. Like a little noise? Try some of the relaxing music suggestions in Music for Your Life for ideas. If you find music distracting, that’s ok, fans are a good alternative for white noise.
3. Take a Soak
Taking a shower, bath, or spa are all fine options. Our body temperature fluctuates throughout the day and plays a roll in our sleep pattern. Sleep actually occurs when our core temperature is dropping. My suggestion is taking a warm bath or shower before bed to warm the body which would help it drop a bit when you are climbing into bed.
4. Set a Bed Time
By setting a bed time we can condition our bodies to adopt a rhythm. Plus, if you are stopping the caffeine at noon hopefully you can get in bed earlier and not need as much caffeine the next day. Thus, helping to stop the vicious caffeine cycle.
5. Bust out the comfy clothes
Maybe about the time you are dimming the lights you should bring out those sweatpants and slippers. Try to get a consistent outfit for each season. By creating a habit, we can condition our bodies to associate this change with getting ready for bed and start triggering some sleep hormones.
Although there are many more ideas out there to help you prepare for bed, these are just a few to get you started. Have a relaxation technique or topic you’d like me to talk about? Let me know in the comments below.