Develop a relaxing bedtime routine
A consistent, relaxing routine before bed sends a signal to your brain that it is time to wind down, making it easier to fall asleep.

Start by keeping a consistent bedtime as much as possible. Then, think about what relaxes you. It might be a warm bath, soft music or some quiet reading. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, visualization or muscle relaxation not only tell your body it is time for sleep but also help relieve anxiety.

Avoid bright light or activities which cause stress and anxiety.

Ideas to help prepare for sleep

Reading a light, entertaining book or magazine
Listening to soft music or radio broadcast
A light bedtime snack or a glass of warm milk
Hobbies such as knitting or jigsaw puzzles
Listening to books on tape

Worry, Anxiety and Sleep
With busy schedules and family lives, it’s hard to leave the worries of daily life behind when it is time to sleep. Worrying and anxiety trigger the “fight or flight” mechanism in the body, releasing chemicals that prepare us to be alert and ready for action. That not only makes it difficult to fall asleep, but can wake you up frequently in the night as well. Stop stress and worry from disrupting your rest by:

Making the time before sleep a time of peace and quiet. As much as possible, avoid things that may trigger worry or anxiety before bed, like upsetting news or gory television shows.

Quiet your mind. There are many things you can do to help your brain wind down and prepare for sleep. Relaxation techniques set the stage for quieting the mind. Make some simple preparations for the next day, like a to-do list or laying out the next day’s clothes and shoes. Some people find jotting down a list of worries makes them more manageable.

Take the TV out of the bedroom - The optimum setup for better sleep is to have your bedroom reserved for sleeping. So if you watch TV in bed, even if you don’t fall asleep watching it, you are unconsciously associating another activity with the area you use to sleep. It’s best to remove the TV from the bedroom entirely, saving your viewing for the living room or den.

Trouble falling asleep without the TV - You may be so used to falling asleep with the TV that you have trouble without it. Be patient. It takes time to develop new habits. If you miss the noise, try turning on soft music or a fan. If your favorite show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day. Although the first few days might be difficult, better sleep pays off in the long run.

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