Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 12:18PM
- Move your body every day/exercise in some way, for at least 30 minutes. Yoga, walking, going to the gym, even dancing around your house counts!
- Cut down on caffeine and sugar in your diet.
- Stop drinking fluids by 6pm, a few sips are fine. Follow this rule if you wake up to use the bathroom even once in the middle of the night.
- Write down your to do list for the next day 1 hour before bed. This helps to dump some worries out of your mind, so you can rest.
- Journal anything that's troubling you - this doesn't have to be 10 pages of writing, unless you want it to be. If you're worried about a friend, you could simply write down "I'm worried about Susie." Again, this exercise helps to remove any troubling thoughts you might have swimming around your head at night.
- Practice deep breathing for 5 minutes each morning and each evening. Work toward inhaling to a count of 4, exhaling to a count of 8. As you work with this breath, deepen it even more, working someday toward inhaling to 10, exhaling to 20.
- Do some gentle stretches right before bed. This helps to release the physical tension from your body. Shoulder rolls, neck stretches, leg stretches, and a twist. Just a few minutes does wonders.
- Get rid of the television in your bedroom or keep it turned off at night. This is extra stimuli that you don’t need. Isn’t all that’s swimming in your head enough? You may play soft music or listen to a sound machine if it helps to relax you.
- Find warmth...whether it's snuggled in your favorite blanket, in a warm bathtub, hot shower, or with one of those rice filled bags you place in the microwave to warm and then wrap around your shoulders. Do this just before bedtime.
- Create a nighttime ritual, routinely doing several of the above, or other things to wind down your body and mind.