Before going to bed, stretch out.
The day’s tensions are held in your body, so a gentle, relaxing stretching session – even a brief one – can do you a world of good.
Skip the bedtime TV show.
I know a lot of people like to fall asleep to the TV, and if that works for you, great. But if you find yourself wired after watching Colbert or the midnight sci-fi flick, take the hint and turn off the tube. With all those flashing images, TV stimulates the brain and that’s the last thing you need if you’re trying to sleep.
Unplug electrical appliances in your bedroom at night.
The subtle electrical hum might just be enough to keep you awake, not to mention digital numbers or standby lights. If you use an alarm to wake up, keep it at least 3 feet from your bed.
Keep your workspace separate from your bedroom.
Using your laptop in bed, or even having your desk right next to your bed will keep stress and sleep intertwined – not a good combination. If you can, remove clutter your sleeping space and make it harmonious and beautiful. Perhaps some beautiful art or make an altar of special objects – anything but the office supplies!
Is it too health-nut of me to remind you not to drink coffee or eat sugary snacks before bedtime? Hey, even a few bites of dark chocolate were enough to keep me up an extra few hours one night recently, so watch what you eat in the evening. Good choices are nuts, cheese, and nut butters.
Is your mattress uncomfortable?
Are you using the right pillow? Make sure your sleeping situation is exactly right for you. If you’re tossing and turning on a regular basis, it’s probably time for a different mattress.
Keep oxygen circulating in your bedroom.
If you don’t like to leave your windows open, at least crack them or use a small, circulating fan. The white noise might help you sleep better, too.
Try aromatherapy to help you relax and sleep. Some good essential oil choices are lavender, ylang ylang, jasmine or sandalwood. Nectar Essences has a misting spray – appropriately called Sleep – made of relaxing flower essences and essential oils.
Try the old standard for nighttime relaxation: chamomile tea. If that’s too wimpy for you, check out the recipe for EcoSalon’s Sweet Dream Elixir. If you consume dairy, a glass of plain old warm milk can help, as well.
Save shower or bath time for your evening ritual.
The warmth and the water will help you relax, unwind and wash away the stresses of your day. This is especially effective if you use some of those essential oils in your bath.