How you spend the few precious hours before bed sets the tone for your night of sleep and dictates whether or not you carry the stresses of today into tomorrow. Implement one or all of these tips below to increase your odds of achieving a good night’s sleep!

Many people claim that stress and anxiety are the cause for their sleepless nights. Studies have found that roughly seven in ten adults experience daily tension, which is a source of the nighttime sleep problems. If this is you or even if it isn’t you can greatly improve your sleep with a  relaxing bedtime routine that lowers your stress and anxiety levels. Nightly rituals such as reading, connecting with the ones you love, and unplugging from technology can all help.

Honestly, I hadn’t given much consideration to a bedtime routine. I am a natural planner and organizer, I was always the kid who had their clothes laid out and their back pack ready, papers signed, pencils sharpened! But over the last few years I have consumed a great many personal and professional development books, podcasts and online information, in order to better myself, my, health, my business, my mindset, basically EVERYTHING! LOL!

Although it sounds like some kind of fancy complicated task, a bedtime routine is not a huge commitment and with a few tweaks to what you are already doing you’ll be sleeping like a baby and waking up refreshed and ready to tackle your day. The secret to these nightly rituals is that they work best when performed regularly. The consistency of your routine helps the brain know that it’s preparing for sleep.

Here are five tips to creating a bedtime routine that will set you up to have an even more productive day tomorrow.

1. SIT DOWN FOR DINNER:

Rather than scarfing down your food in front of the TV or eating it standing over the kitchen counter, set aside at least 15 to 30 minutes to sit down at a table and enjoy your meal. Although my husband is often out to sea I try my best to set the table or even the island and sit with the kids for dinner. I love a set table, placemats, and cloth napkins nightly!

SLOW DOWN…chew your food, savor the flavors, and notice your body start to feel full. Mindful eating has been shown to help reduce stress, which is helpful as you’re winding down for a good night’s sleep.

2. SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES:

Spending time with loved ones, meeting up with a friend, playing with your kids, or sitting down for a family meal is key to your well-being and overall happiness.

Not only does quality time with friends and family help remove you from a more work-oriented mindset, it also gives you an opportunity to relax, laugh, and be yourself in a space free of judgment and pressure.

We like to play cards, do puzzles and most of all read! Well at least Emily and I do! We are still trying to convert the guys!

3. READ:

Grab a good book or even a magazine and read! Reading for pleasure can be relaxing and enjoyable and can put your mind and body in the appropriate mindset or mood to go to sleep. It allows your mind the chance to relax!

This is an easy one for me I am a READER! I love it! I am constantly reading 2 to 3 books at a time. Thankfully, my daughter, Emily is a reader too. Many nights we are both cozy in my bed reading away!

Turning off the TV or IPAD and diving into a good book is one of the best ways to distance yourself from the stresses of the day. Even just 15 minutes of reading before bed can help you relax.

4. UNPLUG:

Even if you’re just browsing Instagram or reading articles on your phone, staying connected to technology can leave you feeling anxious and distracted, especially if you’ve already been working on a computer for most of the day.

Research has shown that engaging heavily with technology before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep, in part because the blue light from our devices disrupts melatonin production.

I make an effort to unplug from my phone an hour before bed. I go a step further and put it on my charger in my closet! If this sounds to extreme or you have loved ones or others who need to be able to reach you I get it, although it is still recommended that you unplug at least 30 minutes before you crawl into bed.

5.SLEEP:

Scheduling a specific time you go to bed each night and going to bed that same time consistently will help your body learn to recognize that it’s time to sleep, meaning you will toss and turn less and fall asleep easier and more quickly.

Our bodies and our minds require a dedicated period of restful inactivity each night in order to hustle and make things happen during the day. Successful people understand the value of sleep and plan their bedtimes to ensure they get the recommended seven to nine hours of solid rest.

I hope these tips help! And would love to hear some of the things you do to set yourself up for a great nights sleep!

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