5 Ways to Unwind At Night

The evening is a great time to relax and let go of some of the day’s troubles. Everyone has various rituals, and habits for relaxing in the evening and some are more conducive sleep than others. The following are great ways to relax and prepare your body sleeping.

1)   Read a book

Instead of turning on the TV, pick up a book. Watching TV right before bed can over stimulate you and the bright screen may disrupt your natural sleep rhythms. While it has not been proven, it is logical to assume that looking at bright screens close to bedtime will disrupt your sleep.  Reading a book will engage your mind, and keep you away from bright TV and computer screens. 5 Ways to Unwind At Night

2)   Turn the lights down

For the same reasons watching TV disrupts your sleep, bright lights may prohibit your body’s natural ability to produce melatonin, a hormone that signals sleep. Using a few lamps in the evening instead of many bright overhead lights, may make it easier to fall asleep.

3)   Have a light snack

According to Healthy Living Talk, certain foods help people fall asleep at night such as complex carbohydrates. Don’t eat so much that your stomach is full, but a little snack may prevent you from waking up hungry during the night.

4)   Write

Making a list for tomorrow, may help you not worry about tomorrow’s needs and plans before you fall asleep. Journaling is also a great habit to aid falling asleep. Your mind is less likely to race if you write out the things you are thinking about. A calm mind will help you fall asleep quickly.

5)   Stretch

Many people carry around tension from the day in their muscles. Taking time to stretch can relieve some of that tension, so that you can rest easier. Avoid exercise that elevates your heart rate, as it may take some time to relax afterward. Instead do simple stretches, that do not push your muscles past the point of pain.

There are many ways to relax in the evening. Some people enjoy playing games with family, playing or listening to music, or drinking a cup of tea. Unwinding is an important part of the day. If your evening activities aren’t helping you sleep at night, consider what you can change. What is your favorite way to unwind in the evening?


Photo “Day 9: ‘Evening Routine” courtesy of Sean Freese

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