There is a saying that goes; Learn how to relax before bed, and you’ll sleep like the dead! If there’s a big day on the horizon, you’re definitely going to want to find out how you can sleep like a baby. Whether it’s a big job interview, first day at a new job, or the night before a stressful presentation, getting your beauty sleep is going to ensure that you do well the next day.
Where do sleep problems come from?
Did you know that between 5-10 million Kenyans have some sort of sleep difficulty? That makes for a lot of restless nights, and a lot of tired workers. It’s a simple fix, though, because most of these long nights can be ended by learning how to relax before bed. For many people, it comes down to a question of discipline.
If you don’t know the right routines to help you sleep effectively, how will you ever get a good rest? The problem isn’t from a lack of effort, but a lack of knowledge.
Most people also feel like the evening is “their time”. They get off work, and now they have the night to themselves. So many folks have the desire to “make it count,” whether that means going out on the town, having friends over, or simply staying up late watching their favourite movie.
We’re all trying to take back the night, but it’s hurting our effectiveness during the day! All of your time should be “your time,” and that will become readily apparent once you know what it feels like to get some good shuteye.
How to relax before bed
There’s a lot of things you can do to work on getting a good night’s rest. Some of the tried and true methods are as follows:
Watch What You Eat
The rule is two hours. Two hours before bed is when you should be having your last meal. A late-evening snack is fine, but you shouldn’t be consuming a box of Krispy doughnuts right before you hit the hay.
However tempting it might be to do that. Your last meal for the day should be something helpful, perhaps even something that helps to induce sleep (bananas or salads are all good examples).
The main thing you’ll want to remember is that going to sleep on a full stomach is going to keep you up later, especially when you’ve been eating fatty, greasy foods.
Sip On Something Sleepy
Sure, a quick beer might seem like the perfect way to de-stress before you go to sleep for the evening, but it will have the opposite effect.
Alcohol dehydrates you, and this will give your body trouble trying to fall asleep. Instead, you’ll want to drink something before bed that will help you sleep.
Something like milk, herbal tea, or drinks sweetened with honey will help you get to bed. They have chemicals in them which trigger sleep, so take a sip and take a (long) nap.
Ditch The Java
Oh, coffee – the lifeblood of the revolution and the reason we get up every morning. There’s nothing wrong with continuing to love a warm cup of coffee, that’s for sure, but it’s going to be a question of monitoring when you indulge.
After lunch, don’t put any more coffee into your system. Coffee is a morning drink, and that’s the way it should stay. Caffeine sitting in your body will affect you all the way to bedtime, so it’s best to avoid it altogether, especially when you have a big day ahead.
Light Exercise Before Bed
Doing some stretching, yoga or meditation will help you get to sleep much faster. It won’t take too much of a toll on your body, and it will give you the opportunity to get lost in your own thoughts. Breathe deeply, and exhale everything that’s bothering you so you can learn how to relax before bed.
Don’t Stress Yourself Out
Learning how to relax before bed is all about ditching the things in your life causing you stress. If you want to sleep like a baby, you’re going to need to distract yourself from the thing stressing you out.
If this means performing some sort of calm, meditative game before bed, or cleaning your home – it’ll be whatever works best for you. The main thing is: you can’t afford to stress yourself out about the future. Take your mind off tomorrow, and focus on getting a good sleep tonight.
Time for a Shower
Really feeling restless? Take a moment and have a warm shower or bath. Washing your body will not only help calm you down but will make you feel sleepier as a result of the heat (when you exit the shower).
Take a soak and take your time, the time spent on the shower will also help you slow everything down so you’re not stressing as hard by the time you get to bed.
Will my phone help me sleep like a baby?
Most definitely not! The less screen time you have right before you shut your eyes, the better. If you keep your phone, your tablet or your laptop by your side, not only are you going to be interested in checking it, but the screen will keep you awake for much longer.
If this is a non-negotiable part of your sleep routine, at least consider using a screen dimmer to help save your eyes from being kept up all night by the harsh glow of technology.