While sleep is important, the rituals you practice before even resting your head on your pillow can dramatically affect the quality of your time spent in bed. Making some minor changes in your actions before bed can positively influence the experience, whether you struggle to fall asleep initially or tend to wake up throughout the night. Many of the habits that encourage a peaceful slumber can also aid in improving your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. The following are routines adopted by successful people to a figurative list titled ‘before I go to sleep’, things you should consider, as well.
1. Prepare for tomorrow
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Before you even lie your head on your pillow, there are certain tasks you should implement in your own ‘before I go to sleep’ checklist. For one, you should prepare for the next day. Finish any assignments due and assemble any necessary paperwork. Pack your lunch and assemble your outfit. Even though these tasks could be completed in the morning, finishing them before bed allows you to eliminate them from your thoughts and prevent stress. These steps also foolproof any accidental sleeping-in or forgetfulness.
Also, you can prepare for the next day by envisioning your tasks and how you will accomplish them. Do not allow such an exercise to worry you, but use only as a tool to formulate a plan for upcoming responsibilities.
2. Try yoga
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Yoga, or other similar light exercise, can soothe your mind and body before bed. Certain poses help to release the stress built up throughout the day and to recharge. Postures such as Cat/Cow, Spinal Twist, and Child’s Pose can be utilized in a series or individually. In terms of bodily movement before slumber, though, one must tread lightly. While some exercises prompt sleep, others further energize the body. Focus on stretching your muscles rather than working up a sweat. Therefore, you should consider adding yoga to your ‘before I go to sleep’ lineup.
3. Read a book
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Most successful people are well-read. Reading activates learning and learning is essential to growth. Increased knowledge not only exercises the mind, but also widens your perspectives, understandings, and relevance. Thus, through the simple act of reading a book, you can become a more well-rounded individual. You can become a more valuable employee. And you can become a more imaginative individual, in general. While fiction and non-fiction books achieve these ends differently, with fiction focusing more on the creative and non-fiction on the intellectual, both possess advantages.
Also, reading a book is a natural way to make you tired, warranting addition to your ‘before I go to sleep’ list. If you are not an individual who can drift off as soon as your head hits the pillow, you seek activities that cause your eyes to droop. Enter a book. The typically black-and-white nature of novels incites exhaustion promptly but gradually. If possible, read the old-fashioned way and avoid e-books which require tablets, phones, or laptops.
4. Unplug from electronics
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Unplugging from electronics before you go to sleep contributes to multiple aspects of personal wellness. Mentally, you allow your body to focus on the task at hand: sleep. Absorbing social media posts, news articles, and text messages requires your brain to ponder these visuals and consider a response. The experiences of the day provide more than sufficient material for thought. While books also stimulate thought, they center around one plot, very different than the diverse topics which pop up on an electronic device which activate, rather than calm, your mind.
Emotionally, by unplugging from electronics, you allow yourself to come to terms with the events of a day. Continuing to converse with others, either directly or indirectly, generates emotional stimuli. Even if that stimuli is positive, with feelings of love or happiness, it is not helpful when trying to fall asleep.
Physically, looking at phone, computer, or television screens makes it difficult for your eyes to prepare for sleep. These screens emit light that confuses the brain about whether you are trying to fall asleep or stay awake. Also, simply by grabbing your device, you are likely to stay up later than you intend.
When it comes to putting ‘unplug from electronics’ on your ‘before I go to sleep’ list, be sure you are actually unplugging. Do not just set your devices on a nightstand that is within reach from your bed. Turn your phone, computer, and television completely off, and perhaps even keep them in another room. The more accessible they are, the more likely you are to cave and use them.
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As you lie in bed, after reading a book and detaching from electronics, your mind may begin to wander. Commanding this stage of your brain function is both easy and beneficial. While your mind will naturally reflect on the day, it is essential to train your mind to focus on the positives and release the more chaotic moments. If you struggle to control your thoughts, a journal may help. Writing down your worries and successes is a therapeutic exercise that helps you to achieve goals, boost memory, and spark creativity. Meditation should find its way on your ‘before I go to sleep’ in order to encourage improved, less fitful sleep.
Between preparing for tomorrow, trying yoga, reading a book, unplugging from electronics, and meditation, you can easily mimic the ‘before I go to sleep’ steps successful people follow. These rituals not only wield mental, emotional, and physical benefits on their own, but also induce more quality slumber. But, as with any tips for improved sleep, you still must get enough sleep. These practices all carry the assumption that you are striving to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you do make this ‘before I go to sleep’ list your own, be prepared for the improved sleep and success that will surely follow.