By: Daisy Hemmen
Adults ages 18 and older should be getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night.1 That may sound like a pipe dream, especially when you’re trying to balance work, family, and Netflix’s latest binge-worthy drama.
Plus, on top of being busy, you may also be suffering from anxiety: According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.2
This common disorder can leave you with a major sleep problem.
In this guide, we’ll offer tips and tricks on how to relax before bed, from calming your anxious mind with meditation to creating a sleep oasis in your bedroom.
Four Ways to Relax Before Bed
Yes, getting at least seven hours of sleep a night is important, but that doesn’t mean you can just lay down, snap your fingers, and voila, lights out.
Luckily, there are a variety of tried and true methods you can explore to determine which works best for you and your sleep cycle. As you get ready for bed, consider:
- Quieting your mind
- Slipping into comfortable sleepwear
- Preparing yourself for the next morning
- Setting up a sleep oasis
#1 Quiet Your Mind
Time for bed and your mind won’t turn off? Try the following:3
- Meditation – Depending on your previous meditation experience and comfort level, there are several types of meditation you may try for better sleep quality. You can implement this mind-body practice to help ease insomnia, meditating before bed or during the middle of sleepless nights. Different kinds of meditation include:
- Mindfulness meditation – This can be done anywhere, anytime. Simply sit back and observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment, letting emotions wash over you unimpeded. This form of meditation may be difficult to begin with, but over time you’ll learn how to control your wandering thoughts.
- Body scan meditation – This is a great relaxation technique for meditation newbies. Using a systematic or random scanning method, concentrate on different parts of your body, noticing how they’re feeling and seeing if you can relax the muscles in your forehead, hands, legs, feet, until you reach total relaxation all over.
- Guided meditation – There are plenty of popular apps that you can download for guided meditation. A speaker will guide you through meditation; you can choose which speaker you prefer, what background noise you want, and how long you want the meditation session to last.
- Deep breathing – Taking slow, deep breaths is a physical practice that can help slow the racing thoughts in your head. There are various deep breathing exercise techniques but you can start with something as simple as putting your hand on your belly and counting your breaths in and out.
- Meditative movements – Regularly incorporating yoga into your routine can help you improve stress management as well as your mental and physical health. It can also help you get better sleep. This doesn't mean you need to complete a 45-minute vinyasa flow during your evening routine. Instead, consider practicing a few gentle, easy poses as you run through your bedtime routine.3
Entertaining relaxing thoughts and working through anxious thoughts before bed may be easier said than done, but with a little practice, you’ll soon be able to use meditation and deep breathing exercises to get one step closer to a calmer, quieter mind.
#2 Slip Into Something Comfortable
From undies to loungewear to sustainable athleisure, if your essentials are dreamy, chances are you’ll slip into the dreamworld more easily. By the way, if you are wondering, “what is loungewear,” or “what is athleisure,” we’ve written about these topics in detail on our blog!
Here at Boody Eco Wear, we know that sleepwear should be held to the same high standards as all your other wardrobe staples. Our Goodnight sleep dresses, camis, T-shirts, and sleep shorts are all made with our signature viscose bamboo clothing blend.4
This means you—and your skin—can breathe easily throughout the night
Plus, you can rest easy knowing that Boody Eco Wear pieces are made using organically grown bamboo, leaving a small carbon footprint. We also carry beautifully crafted bamboo joggers for women that are perfect for lounging or going out. To learn more, visit our article about how to style joggers.
#3 Set Yourself up for Success
In addition to meditating, practicing breathing exercises, and donning the best sleepwear around, there are some other steps you can take to set yourself up for a successful, deep sleep and productive morning.
- Take a bath – Bathing can help lower your body temperature, which may help you fall asleep faster. Also, going to bed feeling clean and smelling good will give you one less thing to worry about in the morning.
- Journal – Practicing a relaxing activity like journaling, jotting down any last minute thoughts, worries, or to-do list items before shutting your eyes, can help you calm your busy brain activity. You know once it's written down, you can always return to the concern in the morning.
- Limit screen time – Limiting or eliminating screen time before bed is important for two reasons:
- Mindlessly scrolling through celebrity relationship timelines and stressful world news updates will only give your racing thoughts more fodder.
- The actual blue light being emitted from your devices can interfere with your circadian rhythm (your internal clock).
#4 Create a Sleep Oasis
You won’t look forward to getting your requisite seven hours if your bedroom is a disaster zone. Creating a serene space for winding down will help you doze off faster.
Think about the following (in addition to a tidy room and clean sheets) when setting up your oasis:2
- Light a candle – Lighting a scented or unscented candle as you get ready for bed and dimming your bedroom lights can ease your mind into the understanding that you’re switching from high-energy daytime to low-energy nighttime. Adding this simple step to your routine will help you feel productive as you wind down—plus, switching up candle scents can also keep you motivated to stick to your routine once it’s established.
- Get a weighted blanket – If you struggle with an anxiety disorder, investing in a weighted blanket may help to keep the nervousness at bay. These blankets can reduce “autonomic arousal” which can cause anxiety and an increased heart rate.
Get a sound machine – Some sleepers prefer a dead quiet room, but many people cannot snooze without a little soothing background noise. Sound machines can create whatever environment you desire, whether that’s a seaside villa (ocean waves) or a tropical forest (falling rain).
De-Stress and Get Cozy With Boody Eco Wear
If you’ve been wracking your brain for how to wind down before bed, some key practices you can easily implement into your daily life include meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, and limiting screen time.
You can also invest in incredibly comfortable, stylish, timeless sleepwear that will feel like silk on your skin.
At Boody Eco Wear, we pride ourselves on creating breathable, comfortable, sustainably made clothing—the kind of pajamas you can’t wait to jump into every night. That’s because we know a good night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold, and we want you to be rich in dreams every time your head hits the pillow.
About the author:
Daisy Hemmen is a San Diego State University Fowler College of Business alumni. Based in Encinitas, California, Daisy is a part of the marketing team at Boody North America. She is passionate about learning the ins and outs of living a happy and healthy lifestyle that benefits both people and the planet, and enjoys sharing her bountiful findings with the community.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Are You Getting Enough Sleep? https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/getting-enough-sleep.html
- Healthline. Tools and Tricks to Calm Your Anxiety and (Finally) Get Some Sleep. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/tools-and-tricks-to-calm-your-anxiety-and-actually-get-some-sleep
- Sleep Foundation. The Best Ways to Relieve Stress Before Bedtime. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/how-to-relieve-stress-for-bedtime
- Boody Eco Wear. Women’s Bamboo Loungewear & Pajamas. https://boodywear.com/collections/lounge