How do you feel before you go to bed at night? Are you relaxed and ready to sleep, or are you anxious and unable to forget about the day’s events?
If you’re like most people, you don’t normally go to bed in a peaceful and relaxed state. However, these relaxing bedtime activities will help you achieve a more peaceful and relaxed state before bed.
Here are the best relaxing things to do before bed to sleep better and stress less:
1. Mindful Meditation
One popular method of mediation is mindfulness meditation, which allows you to take time to observe your thoughts, surroundings, and body without judgement, in order to achieve a sense of calm.
If you find yourself getting distracted, don’t worry. It’s normal. Just bring your attention back to the present moment.
2. Mindful Reading
It is not necessary to say it, but if you want to read for relaxation you should choose something with a light tone and not something that is exciting.
There are many different types of books that can help ease stress and anxiety, such as books on meditation or bedtime stories for adults.
3. Take a Warm Bath
Soaking in a warm bath before bed can help you sleep better by relaxing your muscles and lowering your body temperature.
If you want to feel relaxed, pair a warm bath or shower with some stress-relieving bath products.
4. Listen to Music
You might want to try listening to some different genres of music to help you relax. Smooth jazz, classical music, cafe music, ambient sounds, chillstep, and slow hip hop and R&B are all good choices.
Spotify and similar apps offer a variety of playlists designed to suit different moods, including those which promote relaxation.
5. Stretch Your Body or Do Gentle Yoga
There are certain yoga poses that can help reduce stress and would be perfect to do before bedtime.
An easy way to reduce tension and improve your mood before bed is to stretch your legs by placing them up against a wall or headboard.
6. Drink a Warm, Soothing Beverage
You don’t want to drink too much before bedtime or you’ll have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But a cup or two of tea can help relieve stress and help you sleep better.
There are numerous benefits to journaling, but it is especially useful as a relaxation technique because it can help reduce stress. You can write about anything that comes to mind, use a guided journal, or respond to journal prompts.
Choose a journaling method that works for you and stick with it.
8. Listen to Soothing Sounds
There are many things you can do to relax before bed, such as listening to soothing music, ASMR, sound meditation, or nature sounds. You can also try sleep hypnosis audio recordings to help you relax and fall asleep.
9. Use a Meditation App
An app can be a great way to get into meditation if you’re feeling lost and want some guidance.
There are a few mediation apps that are highly rated, but they mostly offer features like soothing sounds, guided meditation sessions in audio or video format, deep breathing exercises, and educational content.
10. Practice Guided Imagery
Guided imagery may be more effective at relaxation than mindful meditation if the latter does not appear to have the desired effect. Guided imagery is a bedtime activity that employs all five senses to ease the mind and reduce tension in the body.
To begin with guided imagery, first think of a tranquil place such as the beach or anyplace that makes you happy. Then contemplate and focus on the sounds, aromas, and other details about this area.
Do this until you’re relaxed, and then you can sleep.
11. Try Something Crafty and Creative
There are many benefits to being creative, including reducing anxiety and helping you to relax. There are many different ways to be creative, such as drawing, knitting, or cooking.
It’s not important what it is, as long as it helps you relax and you enjoy it.
12. Eat Sleep-Promoting Snacks
If you’re looking for ways to relax and sleep better, look no further than your kitchen! Certain foods can help you ease into a restful state.
Choose a snack that is high in carbohydrates and contains magnesium, omega-3 DHA fatty acids, lycopene (an antioxidant compound), and naturally occurring melatonin.
13. Get a Massage
There’s no doubt that getting a massage is an incredibly relaxing experience that can lead to a good night’s sleep.
There are other options besides having someone massage you, like using a massage pillow or handheld massager.
14. Wind-Down with Puzzles or Crosswords
Puzzles and crosswords can help to bring your attention to the present moment and help to calm a racing mind before bed.
15. Set the Right Environment
If you want to feel calm and relaxed before going to bed, you should create an environment that promotes relaxation and sleep.
There are various things you can do to make your environment more relaxing, such as using a glow light or sound machine, and making sure the room is the right temperature.
16. Put on a Face or Eye Mask
Applying a face mask is a great way to relax and improve your skin. Look for face masks with calming ingredients such as chamomile or lavender, and apply them while taking a hot bath or reading a good book.
If you don’t want to use a face or eye mask, you can simply put a warm cloth over your face instead.
17. Color or Draw
Both coloring and drawing can be helpful for reducing stress levels. Both activities can help to take your mind off of stressful thoughts, and can provide a sense of calm and relaxation.
One of the best ways to relax before bed is to do some calming activity, such as coloring in one of the many fun stress-relieving coloring books available for adults.
18. Listen to the Sounds of the Night
Listen to the droning of the insects and the leaves rustling in the breeze. Before you go to bed, sit outside in silence and listen to the nature sounds like the droning of insects and leaves rustling in the breeze.
You will notice many subtle noises emanating from the darkness, mostly from insects, bugs, frogs, and some birds. If you listen quietly, you can sense a harmony in their music which seems to relax your mind automatically.
This is an excellent way to relax before bed.
19. Read some Calming Literature
Most people fall asleep while reading because it is a very relaxing activity.
Reading allows you to focus your mind on something other than your repetitive thoughts, helping you to escape from your own mind.
It is much more relaxing for the body when there is no constant stream of thinking, and this can help bring about a state of restful sleep.
Make sure the book you’re reading doesn’t agitate you, but is a relaxing read.
Some examples of calming books are as follows:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
- Open City by Teju Cole
- The Din in the Head by Cynthia Ozick
- The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr
- About Grace by Anthony Doerr
- The World of Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne
- Far from the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Stay Calm by Jenny Kempe
- Mink River by Brian Doyle
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami
- One Man’s Meat by E B White
If you want to stay up longer, reading novels might not be the best option for you. Try reading a collection of short stories instead so you can go to bed on time.
20. Practice Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness is a good way to relax your body and fall asleep.
Focus on your breathing and notice the sensation of cool air as you breathe in and the warm air as you breathe out. When you focus on something like breathing, it takes attention away from the thoughts that are constantly running through your head.
Practicing this breath awareness for around 2 to 3 minutes is more than sufficient to attain a calm state.
You can even do this breathing lying in bed.
There are two other breathing exercises you can do to help you relax, the 4-7-8 breathing and bee breathing.
21. Listen to Delta Frequency Binaural Beats
Deeply relaxing states can be achieved by altering the frequency of your brain waves with binaural beats.
When you listen to delta binaural beats, your brainwave activity begins to match that frequency, resulting in a more calm state of mind. This is called brainwave entrainment or brainwave synchronization.
Delta binaural beats can be used to relax your mind and aid in deep, restful sleep. You can find free binaural beats on YouTube or some websites that sell them.
22. Have a Cup of Chamomile Tea
There is nothing more soothing to the nerves than a tea made from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant.
Chamomile has long been used as a stress reliever and sleep aid, and there is some scientific evidence to support these uses.
The best part about drinking chamomile tea is that you don’t have to drink it regularly to get the benefits. You can have a cup around half an hour before you sleep.
If you’re not a fan of chamomile, there are other decaffeinated teas you can try, like peppermint, kava, and lavender.
23. Diffuse Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender has been used for centuries to promote sleep, and for good reason.
Research indicates that lavender essential oil can help to slow down heart rate, relax muscles, and promote a state of parasympathetic activation.
You can create a relaxing environment in your bedroom by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser an hour before your sleep time.
If you cannot diffuse your oils, you can still use them topically by adding a few drops to a spray top bottle with some water and shaking it well. This will allow you to spray the diluted oil directly onto your pillow and sheets.
An alternative to medication is steam inhalation with lavender oils.
24. Do Steam Inhalation
Mix water and lavender oil in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pot from heat and place your head over it, draping a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe deeply for 10 minutes. Warm steam inhalation with lavender oil has been shown to aid relaxation and significantly improve sleep quality.
To make this even more beneficial, mix water and lavender oil in a pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pot from heat and place your head over it, draping a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe deeply for 10 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in a heatproof bowl. Take it off the heat and add a few drops of lavender oil. Inhale the therapeutic steam for a few minutes.
You may use a towel to cover your head if you wish.
25. Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation
PMR is a great way to relax your body before bed.
To use the technique, you need to tense up various body parts and then relax them.
26. Spend Some Time Journaling
If you’re finding it hard to sleep, try writing in a journal before bed. It can help to get your thoughts off your mind, and make you feel more relaxed. You can write about anything that’s on your mind, whether it’s something that’s happened during the day, or something that’s been worrying you.
27. Solve Puzzles
Solving puzzles can help to calm you down as it refocuses your attention, and is not as stimulating as a video game.
There are many different kinds of logic puzzles you could do, such as Crosswords, Sudoku, Nonogram, Dot-to-dot (connect the dots), Boogle, Trivia, or even mechanical puzzles like Jigsaw Puzzles or the Rubix Cube.
A good solution is to purchase several puzzle books so that you always have access to puzzles.
28. Listen to ASMR
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a relaxing, often sedative sensation that begins on the scalp and moves down the body. Whispering, rubbing, tapping, scratching, and brushing can trigger tingling sensations and relaxation responses in some people. You will just have to find out if it works for you.
There are a lot of ASMR videos on YouTube, Spotify, and other podcast apps.
READ MORE: Water Before Bed Can Improve Sleep