Can’t sleep? Check your stress level. Seven out of ten adults in the U.S. say that they experience anxiety on a daily basis, and this stress is often at the root of sleep issues, including insomnia. Whether a fight with your spouse, a deadline, or financial angst is keeping you up at night, running through a calming routine before you hit the sheets may help you score better sleep. In addition to logging off your phone, tablet, and laptop, try these ideas.
Take a bath. Soaking in a warm tub is a soothing way to end the day. Using lavender-scented soaps or a bubble bath mix can help you shake off stress even more. Even just sniffing the scent before bed has been shown to help people get deeper sleep. So add a lavender-scented candle for a warm, relaxing glow.
Turn on the tunes. Now’s not the time to rock out, but listening to soft music (such as classical) could help prepare you for sleep. As bedtime approaches, turn off the TV and put iTunes or Spotify on instead.
Start a tea ritual. A comforting cup of caffeine-free tea is a wonderful way to de-stress before bed. Try sleep-promoting flavors like chamomile, ginger, or peppermint.
Get bendy. Exercise can help you sleep, but working out too close to bedtime can backfire for some people and actually interfere with your shuteye. The exception: yoga. Stretching your body out with relaxing poses can help you prepare for sleep. Stash a yoga mat in the bedroom and practice a few simple poses before getting under the sheets.
Start writing. The simple act of journaling can help with managing anxiety. Transferring worries from your head to paper may also be particularly helpful come bedtime, since your thoughts won’t be bouncing around your mind as you try to fall asleep. Keep a journal on your bedside and spend a few minutes writing every day. The goal is to make this a positive experience, so don’t force it if the words aren’t coming naturally to you (and now isn’t the time to worry about spelling or grammar!).