Restful Sleep: Five Tips for Winding Down

If you have trouble winding down at night for a good night's sleep you are not alone. The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) report the nearly 41 million adults are sleeping less than six hours per night and report restless sleep. Work responsibilities, relationships, and constant screen time consume our lives and hinder our mind's ability to shut down. Trying one or a variety of these options below can considerably help you wind down at night and ensure a goods night sleep.

Avoid Screen Time: Screens such as cell phones, TV's, computer's, and other electronic devices emit blue light. Blue light has been found to suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone secreted to help regulate the sleep cycle. Screen time should be stopped two hours before sleep to help your brain shut down and fall asleep faster. 

Yoga: Take a few minutes before bedtime to do some relaxing yoga poses. You don't need to be an advanced yogi to reap the benefits. Just some simple poses like Child's Pose, Corpse Pose, Legs-up-the-Wall-Pose, and Adept's Pose and some conscious breathing will have you relaxing in no time. 

Journaling: Numerous studies have shown that journaling can improve your mental health by helping to cope with life stressors and relieve anxiety. Journaling before bedtime can assist you to process your feelings and unwind. You can simply begin with a blank journal and write about your day, goals, or start a gratitude journal. If you have difficulty with thinking of something to write about you can obtain a journal that prompts you with ideas.

Hot Tea: There's something about a hot beverage that relaxes the mind and body. Caffeine-free green tea and chamomile tea are great options to help relax. If you have trouble shutting off your mind try valerian tea. Valerian tea is derived from the valerian root, which has homeopathic properties for helping with anxiety.

Reading: Reading a book or magazine before bed can help you relax significantly. The Sleep Council reports that over 39% of people who read before bedtime report to falling asleep faster and getting a better nights rest. Remember, no screen time two hours before bed so reading on your iPad, Kindle, or Nook is not recommended.

Jennifer Silvershein