Setting the Mood for a Restful Night of Sleep

Summer is rapidly drawing to an end, and before we know it, it will be time to start prepping for the holiday season. Time flies, and that’s how we live our lives these days—in the fast lane. One season hasn’t ended, and we’re already anticipating what’s coming in two or three months. To-do lists never seem to get shorter.

It’s no wonder we feel so worn out and can’t seem to get enough rest. But rest is essential to good health. I’d like to offer some tips on what experts call “sleep etiquette,” or preparing your mind and body for rest.

Ditch late afternoon coffee time

Coffee, as delicious and comforting as it is, contains caffeine, which can actually stay in your longer than you may have thought. On average, caffeine takes up to five hours to leave the body. This is why that afternoon coffee to help you get through the work day may be getting in the way of your restful night of sleep. Instead, if you are feeling sleepy during the afternoon, get up, stretch, or try going for a walk.

Work out

Working out can help you get a good night’s sleep. And the good thing is that you don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy the benefits. Lighter forms of exercise, such as walking, can also provide you with great support.

Avoid eating heavy meals at night

Dinner time is very important, and it’s a great way to make sure that you are replenishing some of the nutrients that your body needs to recover from the day. But it’s important to keep in mind that you also don’t want to burden your digestive system while you are trying to sleep. Instead, eat lighter meals at night.

Sip on calming tea to unwind

There are some great calming herbs that can help relax the body and mind. Some options include lavender, chamomile, and valerian root. All of these can be found in tea form and can be enjoyed a couple of hours before going to bed. It’s important to keep in mind that if you don’t want to make frequent bathroom trips in the middle of the night, you should avoid drinking too much tea too close to bedtime.

Get comfortable

Getting cozy and comfortable before bed is absolutely my favorite part of the day. Nothing beats the feeling of taking a warm shower or bath and putting on my favorite PJs that are heavenly soft. It’s also important to make sure that you have the perfect room temperature (not too hot or too cold), and that your bedroom is nice and dark. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night because you are too cold or with a bright light shining on your face. Set the mood right to make the most of your sleep hours.

Unplug and unwind one hour before bed

We are so wired all day long with our laptops, tablets, and phones that it can become rather challenging to just unplug. There’s always a Netflix marathon that you just can’t stop watching, and there are multiple social media platforms to check. All of it can wait until tomorrow. An hour before bed, make sure that you keep screens away so you don’t disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Instead, try meditating before bed to help your body relax and to silence your mind from your busy day.

Write about your day so you don’t think about it at night

We all have things that bother us during the day. Journaling about things that have affected or bothered you during the day is a way to release some of the tension and avoid holding on to problems before bed. Nighttime overthinking can be very disruptive to precious resting hours. So let the words flow and feel the problems melting away, allowing your body to relax.

Enjoy soothing aromatherapy

Essential oils can be a great addition to your day. Some essential oils such as orange, peppermint, and thyme are great to wake you up and get you ready for the day. There are also oils that help soothe and unwind. Try lavender or chamomile. You can enjoy these in a diffuser or even on great DIY recipes like pillow sprays, room sprays, or even relaxing bath salts.