You need to give yourself time in the evening to unwind and decompress before going to bed, especially with the busy day you had. This doesn’t mean making your home a silent retreat. Mattress companies suggest changing your mattress every 8-10 years to ensure that you are resting on a comfortable supportive mattress. There are small changes that will help in wakening your senses and calming your busy mind, which makes it easier to transition from daytime to nighttime.
1. Music can be soothing. Instead of watching or listening to the news when you get home, why not put on your favorite music? Classical music has been shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, but any music you enjoy is going to lift your mood and help you quiet down. There are apps like Headspace and Sleepcasts that can help you with sounds that have been designed to soothe.
2. Dimming the lights when you get home. You don’t have to turn on the bright lights, think about a dimmer switch, lamps, or candles. They are going to create a serene setting. Light can disrupt the body’s sleep cycle, which is why it is important to have dim lights.
3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine later in the day. Winding down starts during the day. This includes limiting caffeine- tea, caffeine, and soda – in the afternoon, exercising early, avoiding foods that can upset the stomach, and avoiding alcohol. Consuming alcohol later in the day is going to affect the quality of sleep.
4. Exposing yourself to natural light. Try to get natural light outdoors if possible. Do this earlier in the day. It is important to get enough natural light because it is going to keep a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
5. Ramping down evening emails. You should try your best not to read or send emails after dinner. It is not a good idea to check your work emails after hours because it can cause stress and anxiety, according to a study done by Virginia Tech. When you get a new email, it is going to involve decisions you have to make. This is going to keep your mind active (which can take away from family time, social time, or alone time). You should practice mindfulness to stay present for family, social, and solo activities.