15 Relaxing Things You Should Do Before Bed

You won't have trouble falling asleep if you incorporate these relaxing moves into your nighttime routine.

September 23, 2016
reading in bed

Here are some ritual ideas you can get into the habit of including in your bedtime routine to help you relax and get ready for sleep.

More: 50 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

These activities can act as triggers to get your body and mind into a restful state. Use them alone, or in combinations that work for you.

bubble bath
1. Take a bath

Take a hot bath with epsom salts and calming essential oils like lavender.

2. Show your gratitudes

Take a few minutes to write in a gratitude journal. 

More: 3 Ways to Enhance Your Daily Gratitudes

3. Show your "ohm's"

Engage in a spiritual practice like prayer or meditation

writing in notebook
4. Address your worries

Create a "worry list" to help get these items out of your head as you ready for sleep. 

More: 8 Ways to Build Hope Every Day

stretching in bed
5. Just breathe

Do some gentle stretching and/or breathwork. Perform just a 15-second breath exercise to center your body and yourself. 

dim lights bedroom
6. Turn down the lights

Dim the lights—you might enjoy candlelight or salt lamps. Science has proven than light pollution wrecks your sleep, so close the shades and dim the lights before bedtime. 

More: 11 Ways to Improve Your 'Sleep Hygiene'

essential oils
7. Use oils

Use aromatherapy or essential oils that are calming or relaxing.

reading in bed
8. Reach for a good book

Read a relaxing fictional book (taking care that it isn't too gripping or stimulating).

More: 7 Better-Sleep Strategies You Need to Adopt Today

washing face
9. Treat yourself

Take time to practice your bedtime self-care routine (washing your face, brushing your teeth, moisturizing your skin).

listening to music in bed
10. Bust out the tunes

Listen to calming music. Like with your reading, make sure the tracks you choose are relaxing and put you in a calm headspace for sleep. 

More: How the Most Common Sleep Positions Affect Your Health

woman sleeping bed
11. Scan your body

Engage in a "body scan"—lying in bed, start at your toes and end at your scalp, tensing each part of your body and releasing it.


couple cuddling in bed
12. Engage in cuddle time

Quietly cuddle or engage in personal contact with your partner or family members.

More: How the Big 'O' Impacts Your Sleep

charging phone
13. Go screen-free

Take some time to unplug your devices and place them in another room.

choosing clothes closet
14. Pick out your look

Prepare your clothes and belongings for the next day.

couple sleeping
15. Be mindful

Practice a mindfulness routine—focus on your breath, the environment, and body sensations in the moments before sleep. 

Adapted from The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook

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