With technology and information available at our fingertips 24 hours a day, it’s sometimes hard to detach ourselves completely and get a good night’s rest. Our minds continually race through everything we did, didn’t do, need to do and everything else instead of relaxing and being present at the moment. With our lives being as hectic as they are and taking on more and more responsibilities, it’s no wonder we can’t get a relaxing night’s sleep and instead leave that for vacations. If we could sleep more peacefully, we could become more productive in all aspects of our lives. As Arianna Huffington stressed on her article, A Sleep Revolution Will Allow Us to Better Solve the World’s Problems, on the Huffington Post, “Sleep allows us to connect with a deeper part of ourselves. Because when we’re asleep, all the things that define our identity when we’re awake — our jobs, our relationships, our hopes, our emotions — are quieted. And this makes possible one of the least-discussed benefits of sleep — a small miracle really — and that’s the way it allows us, once we return from our night’s journey, to see the world anew with fresh eyes and a reinvigorated spirit — to step out of time and come back to our lives restored.” I know that it’s easier said than done, so I came up with my top 5 ways to turn your mind off before bed.
Make A List
One thing that helps me to turn my mind off before bed is to make a list of everything that I’m thinking about. Great post ideas, dressing my new client, strategic business relationships, going on vacation, getting my nails done and the list goes on and on. Whenever I notice I just can’t relax, I take a few minutes to write everything down. This simple action helps to empty my mind of all the thoughts that I know will keep me up at night and prevent me from truly relaxing and getting good sleep.
Turn Off the T.V.
Turning off the television before bed makes such a big difference in unwinding and letting your mind rest. Although having background noise helps others, try to substitute the T.V. with soothing music or getting use to silence before bed. Having the television on allows more information to be received and processed which only convolutes the mind when it’s trying to shut down and recharge. Plus, if you’re favorite show happens to be playing a rerun, you’ll have a higher chance of getting sucked into watching it for 30 minutes instead of turning off your mind and getting the much needed rest your body has been craving for.
Unplug For the Night an Hour Before
Similar to the concept of turning off the television before bed, unplug all your devices for the night. Logoff social media and refrain from checking your emails. It can be tempting but it’s important to understand that not everything is an emergency. A change that I made after I had my daughter Stella that has helped me tremendously is not sleeping in the same room as my phone. I’ve made it a habit to charge my phone in another room while I go to sleep. This forces me to avoid checking my phone when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. Don’t worry, I have a separate alarm in my room that yes, you can do as well. Using your phone as an alarm is not an excuse to keep it beside you when sleeping. This one may be a challenge for a lot of people, but I promise you that this is a life changer!
Enjoy a Glass of Wine or a Cup of Tea
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I personally prefer wine, however, a cup of tea works as well when it comes to shutting your mind off before bed. Both drinks have properties that help you relax and are great stress relievers. Now I advise not to overdo it with the wine but a glass or two won’t hurt.
Being grateful at the end of each day is extremely important. I am a very big advocate in consistently participating in this simple gesture. Whether you’ve had a stellar day or a bad one, take five minutes and think about all the things you are thankful for. This simple routine helps me stay grounded and be at peace. My mantra is that all is truly perfect right now.
It’s crucial to turn your mind off before bed to sufficiently get the right amount of sleep. Sleep is a big factor in productivity. As Arianna Huffington indicated in her book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, “Once I started getting seven or eight hours of sleep, it became easier to meditate and exercise, make wiser decisions, and connect more deeply with myself and others.” So although you think sacrificing sleep by answering that last urgent email (that turns into an hours worth of work at midnight) is helping you, you’re ironically losing more productivity due to sleep deprivation. So take a moment to relax and follow my top 5 ways to turn your mind off before bed to help you recharge and take control of your life come Monday morning.