You went to work. You got everything done. You had fun after work.
Now it’s midnight, and you know you need to sleep soon so you make it to work on time without feeling like a sleep-deprived sloth, dark under eyes and all.
Then the stress kicks in as you start ruminating about what you missed, whether you got enough done, and whether you’ll be able to get what you need to get done tomorrow!
The Sleep Foundation has found that being under stress before sleep can lead to insomnia.
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through 4 tips for how to relieve stress before sleep.
Exercise in the Morning
Were you hoping for a quick hack you could do immediately before sleep? We’ll cover a couple of those, but consider the wise words of Benjamin Franklin.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
You can play a sport, run, jog, walk, cycle or swim! It doesn’t matter. As long as you’re getting some real physical activity in, it will help tremendously. A little sweat is preferred.
Physical activity helps release tension and stress. The reason exercise is recommended in the morning is because it warms you up! It literally increases your body temperature, so it’s best to exercise at least three hours before getting in bed to sleep.
Chill Out Before Sleeping Time
The last hour of your day will not benefit from overstimulation. Take at least the last hour or so to wind down and chill. Avoid texting, catching up on work, and watching intense movies/shows/videos. It’s the last thing your mind needs.
Instead, turn everything down. Turn down the lights, turn down the volume, and tune into an interesting book. You could also listen to some music that calms you down and take a bath.
Do Something that Really Calms You Down
Take 10-20 minutes before you sleep to do something that really calms you down.
Here are a few solid ideas to get you started:
Each of these can help you calm down in different ways.
Calm Your Mind
It can be a real mission to get your mind to calm down before sleep. For some, it’s much harder than for others.
Here are some common thoughts that may sabotage your sleep:
- “Did I get enough done today?”
- “Will I do enough tomorrow?”
- “What am I doing with my life?”
- “Was I wrong for what I said today?”
- “Should I be upset about what they said to me?”
Spare yourself the stress and shallow time consumption that these questions provide.
Some of these questions are great things to ask yourself, but not late at night. Ask yourself these kinds of questions in the early morning so you can prime yourself to tackle the problems in the day.
However, constantly repeating these kinds of questions and their attached answers throughout the night becomes little more than a source of wasteful rumination.
Do yourself a favor and recognize these thoughts, and then allow them to fade away. Do not give them too much attention. Realize that thinking about them right now will not produce a positive result for you. Write them down so you can remember them later if you'd like!