15 relaxing ways to de-stress your mind and body before bed
Do you feel tired all day, but when it comes to bed time don’t feel ready for sleep?
Do anxious thoughts or worries run through your head when you’re trying to unwind?
These are common issues for a lot of people, but they are easy to tackle when you know how.
That is why we’ve put together these 15 easy to tips to get you in a relaxing night time routine.
Keep reading to find the best ways to clear your mind, relax your body and improve the quality of your sleep.
1. Make your sleep a priority
We spend around a third of our lives asleep, so it’s time to make it a priority.
It affects everything we do in life and our everyday performance.
Yes, you need to set aside 7 to 9 hours for actually sleeping, but what about preparing for sleep?
To completely relax before bed and to get the most out of your sleep it is important to make some time to go through your night routine and prepare your body for sleep.
This could be 30 minutes or two hours, depending on which steps you decide to try from this list.
2. Run yourself a bath
A hot bath is the perfect way to relax your muscles and de-stress yourself.
Add some scented oils, clear your mind and close your eyes (don’t fall asleep).
But, take caution.
Having a hot bath too close to your bed time can hinder your sleep if you are overheated.
So, it is important to let your body cool down before getting into bed.
3. Make sure to get some sun
Many people don’t realise the importance of light and dark when it comes to our sleep quality.
Make sure to get plenty of sun exposure during the day and make your room as dark as it can be at night.
An easy way to do this is using black out curtains.
This automatically wires your brain to associate darkness with sleep, which helps your mind to unwind itself when you dim the lights.
4. Get creative with scents
Scents are an easy way to instantly relax your mind and body. Whether you use a candle, oils, incense, diffuser or any other method, you will definitely feel the benefit from this addition to your night routine.
Natural Health on the Web tells us the top 10 most relaxing scents:
5. Brew some relaxing caffeine free tea
A warm cup of tea before bed can have a wonderful relaxing effect for a lot of people.
There are so many different flavours to choose from, so customise this tip to suit your taste.
However, just make sure to go for a caffeine free option when choosing a night time beverage.
This Camomile Leaf Tea has plenty of benefits for your body and is known for improving sleep and reducing stress.
6. Pay attention to your breathing
Stressful thoughts and anxiety can fill our minds when trying to fall asleep, and your breathing may be the last thing you are focusing on.
Practising breathing exercises can clear our minds of distracting thoughts and relax our bodies, helping us fall asleep quicker.
Medical Daily informs us of the ‘4-7-8 exercise’.
This involves inhaling through your nose for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds and exhaling for eight seconds.
Supposedly, if you practice this twice a day over two months it should allow you to fall asleep in a minute. (Amazing!)
Even if it you aren’t able to fall asleep this quickly, it is still a great way to relax your mind before bed.
7. Choose the right kind of music
Music has been proven to:
- Reduce stress
- Improve quality of sleep
- Reduce disturbances in the night
- Lessen depressive symptoms
And much more.
Music is an easy way to relax your mind in the evening, but there are certainly some big do’s and don’ts.
If you would like to read more on the right way to listen to music before bed and find the perfect sleep playlist, you can find our relaxing music for sleep post here.
8. Write down your anxious thoughts
Most people have experienced worrying thoughts preventing them from falling asleep.
If you are one of these people, let us introduce you to a worry journal.
When you’re getting ready for bed or trying to fall asleep and an anxious thought pops into your head, write it down.
This can feel like a weight lifted of your shoulders and can help clear your mind.
9. Create the perfect environment
What is just as important as sleep?
Your sleeping environment.
Here are some things to consider when creating the perfect relaxing space:
- Temperature – this is incredibly important when it comes to quality of sleep. 15 – 19°C is optimum according to Sleep.org
- Air circulation – fresh air lowers stress levels, lowers body temperature and improves sleep quality.
- A comfortable bed – an uncomfortable mattress or bedding can have a huge detrimental affect on the quality of your sleep. Invest in some good quality bedding to feel the most relaxed at night.
10. Swap your late night tv habits for a good book
Yes, it is tempting to drift off while watching your favourite TV show… but what is it doing to your sleep?
Watching television right before bed is often far too stimulating for our brains and doesn’t allow our minds to fully relax.
Try a calming book instead to get your mind ready for bed.
11. Perfect your personalised night time routine
We have talked about a night time routine quite a bit throughout this list, but what does this mean and why does it help?
Establishing and sticking to a pre-bed time routine helps you fall asleep quicker, makes you feel more relaxed and reduces interruptions in the night.
Your routine could be as simple as:
- Washing your face
- Brushing your teeth
- Applying a face cream
Or you could build on this and add in some of these relaxing tips, such as lighting a candle, having a cup of tea or reading a book.
Sticking to this routine every night will train your brain to automatically unwind for sleep.
12. Turn off your devices
Many studies have shown that the blue light given off by electronic devices can seriously damage our sleep.
A recent study conducted by the University of California shows that the more time spent look at a screen before bed, the less sleep you will get.
13. Prepare for the next day
A lot of stress in the evenings can come from worrying about the next day.
What am I going to wear?
What do I need to take to work?
Do I need to make my lunch or prepare breakfast?
Take half an hour to prepare all this the night before and you will feel much more relaxed and care free.
14. Use mental exercise to distract from stress
Simple mind exercises before bed can help distract your mind from stressful or anxious thoughts.
If you have thoughts racing through your mind, try:
- Naming 10 fruits or vegetables that begin with C
- Think of as many county’s that end in ‘shire’ as you can
- Name as many red things as you can
- Name 10 celebrities who’s name begins with S
Little tasks like these are very relaxing for a lot of people and you’ll drift off in no time.
15. Freshen things up
Is there a better feeling than getting out the shower into fresh bed sheets and pyjamas?
If you’re feeling especially stressed or need some extra relaxation, try this.
The smallest things can make the biggest difference.