In today’s fast-paced world we’re all connected 24/7. In this month’s Simply Family we discussed Less Tech, More Sleep and suggested turning of cell phones before bed to avoid midnight emails and bright computer screens for a better night sleep. Here are some additional tips you can use to unwind before bed so you can be sure to sleep well and be productive, mentally alert and energized throughout the day.

  1. Have a routine Create a routine and stick to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day – even on the weekends. A sleeping schedule helps to set your internal clock and trains your body to expect sleep at a certain time each night.
  2. Cut down on caffeine Skipping coffee and other caffeinated beverages like soda or even chocolate in the evening is essential to calming your mind for bedtime. Did you know that caffeine can cause sleep problem up to 10-12 hours after consumption? Try to avoid any caffeine after 2pm to ensure a calmer mind by bedtime.
  3. Avoid alcohol Although a glass of wine before bed may help you feel relaxed, alcohol can actually disrupt sleep cycles and overall sleep quality. Have a glass or two at happy hour but avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
  4. Have a relaxing drink A nice warm glass of milk at bedtime can be soothing and has the added benefit of providing sleep-inducing tryptophan. A warm chamomile tea can also be soothing and relaxing before bed.
  5. Keep it cool Most people sleep best in a cool room with plenty of ventilation. A room that is too hot or too cold can interfere with a quality night’s sleep.
  6. Darken your room Dim lights in the evening can help signal to your brain that it’s time to start winding down. Switch to low-wattage bulbs and make your room as dark as possible or wear a sleep mask at bedtime. The darker the room, the better the sleep.
  7. Block out noise If you can’t avoid nighttime noises, like a barking neighbor’s dog or city traffic, try earplugs, a white noise machine or a fan to help drown out distracting sounds for a more peaceful sleep.
  8. Relax Relaxing techniques are a great way to wind down and calm your mind. Prepare to sleep with some deep breathing exercises or meditative yoga before bed.