Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Close Banner
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

6 Quick Nightly Habits To Help You Unwind From The Day In Minutes

Emma Loewe
Author:
February 28, 2023
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Image of a person enjoying alone time by journaling.
February 28, 2023
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

The human body doesn't come with an on-off switch; it takes time and effort to unwind from the day and prepare for sleep. With that being said, some wind-down routines work faster than others. For days when a long, leisurely bath or extended bedtime meditation aren't in the cards, it helps to have some speedier relaxation hacks in your repertoire. Here are six ways to quickly prepare your body for deep sleep—all of which can be done in mere minutes:

1.

Make your to-do list for tomorrow.

If you're someone whose mind tends to race with lingering tasks, quickly jotting your to-do list down on paper may be helpful before sleep. That way, if the tasks keep coming up when you're in bed, you can tell yourself that they're already written down so you don't have to think about them anymore.

If seeing everything on one list just gives you more anxiousness, psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist Shelby Harris, PsyD, DBSM, recommends splitting the list up into "need to get done," "would like to get done," and "doesn't have to get done" columns to take the pressure off. If there's one task in particular that's causing you stress, you also might want to spend a few minutes journaling on why it's such a trigger for you before you go to sleep.

2.

Take a sleep supplement.

Sleep supplements don't work magic, and they can't override or undo poor sleep hygiene habits. However, a high-quality sleep aid can help kick-start your body's relaxation response when incorporated into an otherwise healthy routine.*

Take mindbodygreen's sleep support+ supplement: a combination of magnesium, jujube, and PharmaGABA® that leverages powerful sleep-promoting ingredients at science-backed doses to improve your sleep quality.* Reviewers note that the nonhormonal formula helps them fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed when taken one to two hours before bedtime.*

3.

Play relaxing music.

Think back to the last time a sentimental song made you cry, or a fast-paced track got you through a tough workout. Clearly, music has a powerful, near-immediate impact on mood.

Researchers have found that listening to soft, smooth, melodic music can help people get into a bedtime state faster. Opt for songs that don't have lyrics—they'll be less likely to stay stuck in your head as you're trying to snooze.

4.

Smell something soothing.

Certain smells can also activate our relaxation response almost instantly, and lavender, chamomile, and bergamot all have research to back them up. Smell these essential oils from the vial or place them on your wrists (safely, with a neutral carrier oil) and sniff for a soothing ritual you can do in bed. A pillow spray can serve the same purpose here.

5.

Put devices away.

Looking at your phone can rev you up during the hours you want to be winding down. Put it away so you can start to disengage from constant pings and focus your attention on sleep. You can either place your phone facedown, put it in a different room of the house, or set it aside in a box if you're tempted to peek. Switching over to a separate alarm clock can help you resist the urge to set your phone alarm (and then, inevitably, start scrolling).

6.

Visualize.

Finally, many health experts recommend using those last few minutes before bed to visualize the future you want to see. This quick practice can involve picturing how you want the next day to go, how you want to end your year, or anything in between. By ending the day with a visualization, you'll drill these positive images into your subconscious mindand you may even set yourself up for some constructive dreams in the process.

The takeaway.

If you're low on time and want to get ready for bed fast, making a to-do list, taking a sleep supplement, listening to soothing music, sniffing a relaxing smell, putting your phone away, and visualizing can all help. And the faster you fall asleep, the more time you'll be able to spend in deep, restorative rest.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

What Is Meditation?

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Light Watkins

Box Breathing

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

What Breathwork Can Address

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

Nutrition | Rich Roll

What to Eat Before a Workout

Nutrition | Rich Roll

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Nutrition | Sahara Rose

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Love Languages

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Related Videos (10)

What Is Meditation?

Box Breathing

What Breathwork Can Address

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

What to Eat Before a Workout

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love Languages

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

More On This Topic

more Health
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.