How to wind down for sleep

How to wind down for sleep

How to wind down for sleep

Winding down for sleep can be tough–so we’ve got you covered with five tips for better snoozing.

The Found Team
Last updated:
March 9, 2023
5 min read
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Shutting your brain off before bed can be challenging. If you don’t know where to start, we got you covered.

Why should I wind down before bed?

If you’re under any tension or worried, it can produce stress hormones sending you into fight or flight mode. This can disrupt sleep, among other things. But relaxation slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and decreases cortisol and oxygen use. 

How do I wind down?

The goal is to reduce bedtime stress and get in a state of calm. Try the following pre-bed relaxation techniques to get better sleep:

  • Do some deep breathing: Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and let your belly fall and rise. Deep breathing helps slow your heart rate and get more oxygen which tells your brain it’s time to calm down. 
  • Practice meditation: Meditation looks different for everyone, and there are hundreds of online resources if you’re new to this. Meditating will help you quiet your mind and promote overall calmness. 
  • Use noise to your advantage: Peaceful music or white noise has been proven to improve sleep quality. Yup–that’s right. Make a 10-20 minute playlist to honor your sleep latency, or use a white noise machine. 
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation: Contract one muscle at a time and then intentionally release it. You can start bottom up or top down. This technique provides quick and instant stress relief. 
  • Create a bedtime routine: A routine signals to your brain when it’s time for sleep. Simply choose an appropriate time before bed to shut off technology, and do 1-2 relaxing activities like reading a book, stretching, taking a warm bath, or any of the above strategies. 

Bottom line: relaxation is your ticket to falling asleep faster. Happy snoozing!


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Published date:
March 9, 2023
Meet the author
The Found Team
The Found Team

Sources

  • Dickson, G. T., & Schubert, E. (2019). How does music aid sleep? Literature review. Sleep Medicine, 63, 142–150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2019.05.016
  • Riedy, S. M., Smith, M. G., Rocha, S., & Basner, M. (2021). Noise as a sleep aid: A systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 55, 101385. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2020.101385
  • 5 Things To Know About Relaxation Techniques for Stress. (2022). NCCIH. Retrieved September 2, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/things-to-know-about-relaxation-techniques-for-stress
  • Jerath, R., Beveridge, C., & Barnes, V. A. (2019). Self-Regulation of Breathing as an Adjunctive Treatment of Insomnia. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00780
  • Toussaint, L., Nguyen, Q. A., Roettger, C., Dixon, K., Offenbächer, M., Kohls, N., Hirsch, J., & Sirois, F. (2021). Effectiveness of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Deep Breathing, and Guided Imagery in Promoting Psychological and Physiological States of Relaxation. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2021, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/5924040
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