16 Easy Tips on How to Prepare for Bed and Ease Into Sleep

  • Get to bed as early as possible, ideally between 9 and 10 p.m. — Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period.
  • Maintain a consistent bedtime — Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine — This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.
  • Avoid drinking fluids within two hours of going to bed — This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom or at least minimize the frequency.
  • Go to the bathroom right before bed — This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.
  • Avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime, particularly grains and sugars — These will raise your blood sugar, delay sleep and raise your risk of acid reflux. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back to sleep.
  • Minimize use of electronics, both during the day and in the evening  – Electronic screens are major sleep thieves, robbing you of the ability to fall asleep quickly. Research has shown that the more time you spend on electronic devices during the day, and especially at night, the longer it takes to fall asleep and the less sleep you get overall. Teenagers who used electronic devices such as MP3 players, video games, tablets, smartphones and/or computers for more than five hours a day were 3.5 times more likely to get fewer than five hours of sleep per night. They were also 49% more likely to need more than an hour to actually fall asleep.If you must use electronic screen devices late into the evening, install blue-blocking software.
  • Do some controlled breathing exercises — The combination of controlled breathing with counting can be particularly effective when your mind refuses to shut down at night, as it gives your mind something to focus on.
  • Take a hot bath or shower before bed — When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed. It will also help if you finish your shower with a cold rinse.
  • Wear socks to bed — Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. At least one study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.
  • Wear an eye mask to block out light — It is important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.
  • Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more) — This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.
  • Avoid watching TV right before bed — Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function. If you do watch TV, be sure to use blue-light-blocking glasses after sunset as this will help maximize melatonin production.
  • Listen to relaxation CDs — Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD.
  • Read something spiritual or uplifting — This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep.
  • Journaling — If you often lie in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed.

You might also want to read some basic lifestyle suggestions that can enhance your sleep

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