Our lives are so jam-packed, you might be going a mile a minute right until you climb into bed — or maybe even when you’re in bed. (You know who you are!) But working, planning, and worrying right before bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep.

Your mind and body need a signal that it’s time to relax, slow down, and drift off.

So, how can you build a buffer between your busy day and when your head hits the pillow? Try these ideas to see what works for you. And try to do it at the same time each evening, so you really train your mind and body.

1. Take a warm bath. Not only is this relaxing, some sleep experts think it has another benefit. When you cool off afterwards, that temperature drop may help your body realize, “hey, it’s time for sleep.”

2. Read or do an easy puzzle. No thrillers, please — but curling up with a book or puzzle can help you relax.

3. Listen to quiet music. Again, keep it soothing and relaxing. You might even dim the lights, and ask others in your home to give you a few minutes of quiet.

4. Check out relaxation exercises. Doing a relaxation exercise helps some people prepare for sleep. There are apps and websites you can check out.

A lot of this stuff is common sense, but the trick is figuring out your own weak spots and taking small steps to change them.


NHLBI. Your guide to healthy sleep.
HelpGuide.org. How to Sleep Better.
National Health Service. How to get to sleep.