Skip to content

Adopt a Pre-Sleep Routine

Plan for work before you go to sleep. Prepare food for the trip, pack your grip, and set out your clothes.

Wind down 30 minutes before bedtime. Avoid checking email, watching TV, or exercising for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. A half hour of quiet time will help you relax mentally and physically.

Devise a relaxing bedtime routine to follow at home and away. Enjoy a snack, listen to music, read, work on a puzzle, take a shower.

Reserve your bed and bedroom mainly for sleep. While many people find reading in bed relaxing, watching TV, playing computer games, paying bills, and engaging in other mentally-challenging activities in bed may delay sleep.

Pick a “thinking time” several hours away from bedtime. Some people call this their “worry time.” Set aside a regular time every day to deal with family finances and other household matters, concerns about children or other relatives, and other worrisome topics. It often helps to write down both problems and possible solutions. This act helps banish nagging bedtime worries. Try not to talk about unpleasant topics with your spouse or partner at bedtime, either. 

Adopt relaxation techniques. Learn yoga, meditation, or deep breathing techniques, and use them regularly. Try mental or muscle relaxation exercises at bedtime. These techniques help ease stress any time of the day. 

If you don’t fall asleep in 30 minutes or so, get out of bed. Sit in a comfortable chair, keep the lights low, and read or listen to music, using headphones if you’re not alone. Don’t watch TV or check email; these activities are energizing. Go back to bed when you feel drowsy. Use this same tactic if you awaken, and can’t fall back to sleep.