Source: Woman’s Day

10 Ways to Unwind

1. Take time to wind down. “I suggest patients set aside at least 30 to 45 minutes—an hour is even better—to wind down before bed,” says Shelby Freedman Harris, PsyD, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center and an assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. During that window of time, you should ban yourself from anything that might be stimulating, including texting and computer work, she explains. “Keep a general schedule or ritual for that wind-down hour so your body and mind start to know that each step is one step closer to bed.”

2. Tune in if it helps you tune out. You may have heard that you shouldn’t watch TV before bed, and admittedly some sleep experts aren’t big fans, but many say a little TV before bed is a good thing—as long as you don’t watch anything too stimulating or stressful. I find that watching the series: “Mysteries at the Castle” great to fall asleep to. The voices are very mono and there isn’t a lot of background music.

3. Tap into a higher power. If you’re a religious person, or even a spiritual one, try prayer. If you haven’t prayed today, I’m sure God is waiting and wanting to hear from you.

4. Do some deep breathing. Not into prayer or formal meditation? Simply take 10 minutes to sit still and breathe.

5. Take a hot bath. It’s a cliché—but it works. “A hot bath will not only relax your muscles, but it will also raise your core body temperature, which acts as a trigger to help people fall asleep,” says Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.

6. Brew some tea. In particular, a cup of passionflower and chamomile tea can be very relaxing, says Ronald Stram, MD, founder of the Center for Integrated Health and Healing in Delmar, New York. If you’re a fan of herbs, Dr. Stram also recommends Rescue Sleep, a homeopathic spray that he says can help calm a racing mind.

7. Take a mental vacation. Think of where you would like to spend your next long weekend.

8. Exercise. There’s no doubt that it’s a great stress reliever—just make sure to do it at least three hours before bedtime, says Dr. Ojile. Otherwise it could actually rev you up and make it harder to sleep.

9. Take a whiff. A growing body of research shows that aromatherapy really is effective. Some good ones for rest: lavender, petitgrain, chamomile, geranium, sandalwood and rose.

10. Put a beautiful aquarium in your bedroom with a soft light. I find it very relaxing if I wake up during the night to look at our fish. Watching them swim around in the water puts me right back to sleep. Make sure you have fish that you like looking at. There are some fish that I do not want to be the last thing I see when I am trying to sleep.

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