Do you find that you often lie there wide-awake as soon as your head hits the pillow, despite being exhausted? And do you struggle to function properly the next day because of a lack of sleep? With the stresses and strains of modern life, it can often be difficult to shut off when it’s time for bed. If this is you, then read on to discover eight ways to shut your brain off before bedtime.
- Go to bed and wake up at a similar time – It is important to have a regular sleep schedule. By doing this, you will be able to get into a rhythm, and your body will get used to shutting off at a certain time.
- Turn your phone off an hour before you are planning on going to bed – I know it’s tempting to scroll up until and even in bed. However, artificial light exposure is one of the biggest reasons why people struggle to have a quality night’s sleep because it disturbs circadian rhythms and enhances alertness. This can have a negative impact on your sleep pattern.
- Avoid drinking energy drinks and caffeine in the afternoon – If you can skip caffeine or energy drinks altogether, this would be best, but if not, try and make sure you don’t have any after 11 am. If you have had drinks with caffeine in them, drink plenty of water before you go to bed.
- Exercise, but don’t do so just before bedtime – Regular physical activity is a great way to ensure you reduce anxiety and tire your body so you can drift off to sleep at night. Exercising outside is especially beneficial. Read this article on why you should train outdoors to discover more about the benefits. However, don’t exercise just before you go to bed, as this can be stimulating. Instead try some mindfulness or even meditation.
- Create a relaxing environment – It is important to create the perfect environment for sleeping. A room that is de-cluttered, features dark lighting, is quiet and at a moderate temperature is ideal.
- Create a to–do list for tomorrow – Often the reason why people cannot get to sleep, me included, is because they are worrying about what they need to do tomorrow. By writing a to-do list, you can put your mind at ease, which will help you to sleep.
- Avoid watching TV and such like in your bedroom – It can be difficult to switch off if you do everything from texting and playing on the computer, to paperwork and watching television in your bedroom. Instead, this is a room that should be for sleeping and intimacy only.
- Keep your brain busy with mental exercises – This will help to distract you from your worries. Focus on something else, such as going through the alphabet and thinking of animals, clothing brands or anything else beginning with each letter. It’s a similar concept as ‘counting sheep’.
So there you have it: a number of different ways you can shut your brain off before you go to sleep. Follow the tips that have been provided above, and you are bound to notice some improvements with a bit of persistence.