Stress is a part of life in today’s world. Everything is just putting pressure on our minds. Our bills, debts, families, jobs, and not enough time to rest. Life is a rat race but do you know the only time you can close all the chapters giving you stress for a breather? At night. Night is the only time of the day that every pressure needs to stop so that you can relax a bit. But how can you de-stress before bed?
For half of my life, I’ve wasted most of my nights. I used almost all night hours to finish up the work I left during the day, this left me totally stressed and with a few hours to sleep.
I guess you are like me.
You don’t have to worry because I’ll share with you some tips that have helped me de-stress before sleep. And I know they will work best for you. You just have to give them a try.
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How to de-stress naturally before sleep.
1. Journal about your day
If you ask me why journaling is the first tip. I wouldn’t know why but all I know is it keeps me organized, it helps me let out my emotions and I just feel like I’m sharing my problems with someone (who will never judge whatever i feel). That is why you need to keep a journal for your destress session.
Write about everything that is stressing you out. If possible, give your opinions and let out whatever made your day stressful or overwhelming. Keep it in a safe place where you can access it every day before you sleep. That will help you sleep without any stress.
2. Write a to-do list and have a planner
Maybe the only reason you are stressed is that you failed to accomplish some of your goals. A lot may be going on and your mind might be spinning. Well, it’s easy. Plan your life well in writings if you don’t have a good memory. Put first things first and approximate the time needed to do each task.
So if you wake up the next morning, you will already have a visual picture of what your day will be like. If you do this, you won’t have to stay up late to do what you should have done earlier in the day. I promise you will get to bed earlier and have all the rest you need.
This research by Baylor University examined between writing a to-do list and writing about past feelings- which one provided better sleeping results? This research was done among 57 students who were divided into two groups.
One group wrote about their completed tasks while the other about what they would do the next day. After going to bed, they were monitored by overnight polysomnography, and those who made their list didn’t have delayed sleep.
This is because they did not have worries about unfinished tasks.
3. Go for a night walk
I’m a fan of night walks although I don’t do it regularly. Walking will help you clear up your mind as you get fresh air. The night breeze might be the therapy you need in destressing. You don’t have to go long distance, only a few minute walks will do.
Cornell University has explained in this study, the benefits of a 10-minute walk around nature. The study was done among college subjects and the effects observed were the improvement of mood, focus, blood pressure, and heart rate.
The co-author of the study, Donald Rawok also observed that this improvement could be seen between 10 to 50 minutes and after that, the progress tends to remain static.
4. Take a bubble bath or shower
Do you know how much tension you will alleviate in a bath? Quite a lot. If you are too stressed out, spice up some music to it.
You can just sit there for hours and forget how stressful the day was. By the time you go to bed, you will be stress-free and you will fall asleep fast.
5. Get a massage
You can’t know how stress-relieving a massage is unless you try it. This will not only help your tense muscles but also your mind.
This is much easier if you are living with someone and the best thing about getting a massage at home is it doesn’t require any expertise (just make sure it doesn’t hurt).
6. Cook your dinner or treat yourself out
Do you love eating your food? Get in the kitchen and prepare your favorite meal. Cooking, just like any other side hobby helps to manage stress. It will aid in destressing you before sleeping by taking your mind off work and concentrating on it.
Similar to that, you can treat yourself out. A change in eating environment before bed will help you relax a bit. Go out and eat or watch people around you and their actions.
This will help you recognize the world around you and not focus on yourself only.
Meditation is a very good way to distress right before you jump to bed. It helps to stay focus and makes you attentive to the environment around you.
If you want to make it a routine, meditation is easy. Just sit in a quiet place and close your eyes (not a must but it will improve your focus). Place one hand on your stomach and breath in slowly.
Make sure you feel your stomach rise and collapse as you inhale and exhale. Focus on your breathing (if possible count every breath you take).
According to this study by Carnegie Mellon University, 25 minutes of meditation for three consecutive days can eliminate stress. 66 subjects participated in the research and were divided into two groups.
One group did the three-day mindfulness meditation and the second group did a three-day cognitive training program. After monitoring, the results showed low-stress levels in the first group compared to the second one.
If you find it hard to control your breathing and maintain focus, take this course by Wilson Meloncelli. It will help you to take control of your breathing in just five minutes so that you can distress very easily.
Meditation can be boring if you practice the same steps every day. It is like eating the same food for a whole year (which I think is impossible).
You need to blend in different techniques in your meditation routine to make it always enjoyable. This meditation program by Mark Stephenson can give you more skills and techniques to use in your self-meditation. The program is guided so you don’t have to learn the hard way.
8. Practice visualization
Who doesn’t want to be in their dreamland doing whatever they always dreamt of? Visualization is very powerful in mind coordination. Therefore, it is a fast way to distress yourself.
It sounds more like meditation but very different. Lay on your bed, close your eyes, and practice the breathing exercises like in meditation. Breathing helps your mind to be stable.
If you are already taking slow long breaths, imagine yourself in a place you love while having what you’ve always wanted.
Know that feeling? it is like going to your imaginary land. This can be a place you’ve been before or just imagined. Focus on every action you do and what your imagination creates.
This will help you relax and forget what you are stressing about. De-stressing is easy while visualizing and it is a technique that is not complicated.
9. Listen to calming music or nature.
Slow music has a large calming effect when dealing with mental health. This is a very easy technique when you want to ease the mind before sleeping. You can also listen to the sounds of water, birds, rain, and more.
The music can be plain (without words) or nature associated. This will help you diminish stress easily. Greg Thurston has created this program with many audios to help in managing stress. Also, the program helps in the management of insomnia and other mental health issues. You can give it a try.
10. Listen to the radio or audiobook
At night is the only time you have for relaxing. Sometimes it becomes hard to even fall asleep if you have stress. The only way to do this is to calm your mind. A soothing ear can be more than important.
You can opt for an audiobook, that will ease your mind and you will drift into sleep fast (even if you are stressed).
11. Talk to someone that makes you happy
This is a game-changer. If you feel journaling makes you uncomfortable, talk to someone. It can be a family member, friend, or pet.
Either one is perfect. This way helps to give encouragement and strength that there is also someone who cares for you and are important rather than the stress you have.
It is good that technology made it easy. Even when you are far from that person you can speak through the phone or by video.
12. Do a puzzle or crosswords
I would have said play a game. But most games have elevated anxiety for many people. It is just frustrating to keep losing at a game.
To trade that, do a puzzle or something that will not put you under stress. It will take your mind away from everyday stress and help you think in a different direction.
13. Change your attitude
Most people always set their minds to think positively in the morning. Like an old Swahili proverb says, “the virtuous star always appear in the morning.” What if you fail to sleep peacefully because of stress, will you think the positive in the morning? The only time to set things right is at night.
Before you sleep, think about how your day went. If all was wrong, probably you will have a bad night. So put your positive affirmations intact for the next day.
Shower enough love to yourself. Smile, laugh, and talk to yourself each night. This will make certain you have a relaxed sleep and a better morning. Your mindset is the first step to help you de-stress quickly before sleeping.
14. Don’t touch your work at night
This is much of a reminder than a tip. If you are not a night worker, do not carry your work to your bed. Make sure to finish everything on time so that you can have enough time to rest.
That is why it is so important to have a clear planner for all your schedules. This will help you de-stress quickly.
15. Say a prayer
If you believe in a superhuman power, prayer is very helpful and it is an easy way to distress before you sleep. You can say your prayer out loud or quietly. But be sincere.
Say everything troubling you. Just let it out. It not only is your belief but it will also help to release all your emotions and everything that burdens your mind.
The study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that many people have been able to manage their emotions through prayer. It is like they found a reliable place to vent and a listening ear.
This has helped them have positive perceptions and relief to their problems.
If you are not a religious person, do put up affirmations that can encourage you. Before you sleep, read them and believe in everything you wrote. It will assist to de-stress so you can sleep well. Just works like magic.
Wrapping up on how to distress before bed.
The night is the only time you can distress easily without any distraction. These tips will help you relax easily before bed and they will help you get better sleep. Thank you for reading this far. If you have more ideas, let me know in the comments.