7 Relaxing Ways to Wind Down Before Bedtime

woman in blue shirt lying on bed
Photo by Shane on Unsplash

In our fast-paced world, winding down before bedtime is essential for a restful night's sleep. A proper wind-down routine can not only help you fall asleep more quickly but also improve the quality of your sleep. If you struggle with shutting off your brain or if you find yourself tossing and turning, trying out various relaxation techniques can be a game-changer. Here, we explore seven relaxing ways to prepare your body and mind for a peaceful night’s sleep. Keep on reading to learn more!

1. Meditation And Deep Breathing Techniques

Meditation and deep breathing work wonders in calming the mind and reducing stress levels, making them ideal practices to incorporate into your nightly routine. Start with as little as five minutes of meditation, focusing fully on your breath. You can gradually increase the time as you get comfortable with the practice. For deep breathing, try the 4-7-8 technique: inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale slowly for 8 seconds. This method is known to promote calmness and relaxation.

2. Aromatherapy

The power of scent can play a significant role in how we unwind before sleep. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood have been proven to encourage relaxation and sleep. Consider adding a few drops of these oils to a diffuser in your bedroom an hour before you plan to sleep. Alternatively, you can apply a drop or two to your pillowcase. The soothing scents will create a calming bedtime environment that welcomes sleep.

3. Reading Or Listening to Audiobooks

Engaging your mind in a light, enjoyable activity such as reading or listening to audiobooks can be a perfect way to distract it from the day’s stressors. Opt for genres and authors that evoke a sense of peace and relaxation—steer clear of thrilling mysteries or suspenseful dramas that might keep you hooked and alert. Even just 15-20 minutes of this practice can signal to your brain that it’s time to slow down. Also, invest in a comfortable reading light to avoid straining your eyes.

4. Gentle Stretching Or Yoga

Incorporating gentle physical activities like stretching or yoga into your pre-bedtime routine can have numerous benefits for your sleep. Not only do they relax the body, but they also release tension and prepare you for a night of deep rest. Consider a short series of bedtime yoga poses such as child’s pose, cat-cow stretches, or legs-up-the-wall pose to ease into relaxation. And remember, it’s always essential to listen to your body and avoid any strenuous movements before bedtime.

5. Using CBD Products

CBD, or cannabidiol, has gained popularity for its calming effects on the nervous system without the psychoactive components of its cousin, THC. Using CBD oils, gummies, or topical products can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation before bedtime. Be sure to research and choose high-quality, lab-tested products for safety and efficacy. Moreover, on the Joy Organics website, and other similar ones, you can find out more about the types of CBD products and how they can help you out. That way, you can select the most suitable CBD product for your needs.

6. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing and relaxing specific muscles in different parts of the body to release tension and promote relaxation. Start by lying down in bed, close your eyes, and tense one muscle group at a time for five seconds before releasing. Start with your toes and work your way up to the facial muscles. This practice can help you release any physical tension that may be contributing to restlessness.

7. Journaling

Journaling is a powerful tool to clear your mind and lower anxiety levels. Spending a few minutes to reflect on your day or jot down what you're grateful for can shift your focus from worry to positivity. If you find your mind racing with tomorrow’s tasks, make a to-do list to tackle them in the morning. This practice can be incredibly therapeutic and a wonderful addition to your bedtime routine. Even if you’re not a writer, jotting down your thoughts and feelings can help release any lingering stress or worries from the day.

Young woman resting in bed with hands beside her head on the pillow.
Image by diana.grytsku on Freepik

Finding the right combination of activities to wind down before bedtime can make a significant difference in your sleep quality and overall well-being. Whether it’s meditation, aromatherapy, reading, gentle yoga, CBD, or journaling, each of these methods offers unique benefits to help you relax and drift off to sleep peacefully. Experiment with these techniques to discover what works best for you, keeping in mind that consistency is key to developing a successful nighttime routine. Sweet dreams await as you take these steps towards a more restful night.