Your mattress size, type and comfort level are all crucial if you want to get the best sleep ever. That’s a given. But what about your night routine? What you do in the few minutes before bedtime—ideally, 30 to 45 minutes before—matters, too.
Here are some easy ways to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep:
Drink some tea.
Chamomile is a long-time relaxation favorite for many. But these days there are tons of options to choose from on the shelves. Some brands, like Yogi and Traditional Medicinals, even offer types made specifically to calm and ease.
Guess what. We mean your mind, not your electronics. Plot twist! Turns out it’s okay to tune into some Netflix or Hulu, provided you’re not watching something too intense or stressful. *cough* Game of Thrones *cough cough* You could also ask Alexa to play you some soft music. Or you can cozy up with a good book, as people say. Whoever those people are, they’re right. It helps.
Take a hot bath.
Besides making you feel like a deity of ancient Greece, taking a hot bath will relax your muscles and make your temperature rise just enough to alert your body and mind about the fact that it’s time to get some sleep.
Do whatever you like to do to reflect on your day, week, month or year. Take a moment to contemplate and guide your mind and into a calm state.
If meditation’s not really your thing, you can try some simple breathing exercises. Just sit still and breathe deeply for 10 minutes. If you’re thinking it’d be easier to lift a semi-truck with your bare hands, you’re right. It is. But unlike lifting a truck, mindful breathing serves a good purpose. Focus on your breath. And when your mind wanders, “Why do we park in a driveway and drive in a parkway?” just bring it back to inhale, exhale.
Take a mental break.
Close your eyes and imagine you’re in your happiest place. Is it a memory of your last vacation? Or where you plan to visit next? It can be anywhere, and you can stay as long as you like. That is, until you fall asleep.
Smells trigger different parts of our brain all the time. So to communicate rest and relaxation, try some soothing smells like sandalwood, lavender and rose.
This is always a great way to relieve stress. And after you shower, it feels even better. But just make sure you’re exercising hours before bedtime, or you’ll find you’re way too energetic to get to sleep right away.