Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Do you often find yourself lying awake at night, unable to switch the racing thoughts off in your head?
The reality is that sleep and our waking lives are polar opposites. In the daytime, you’re likely working, running around after the kids, exercising or doing anything else that your day has to throw at you. In the evening, you’re suddenly supposed to stop and fall into a deep sleep.
However, as you may have noticed, it’s not always so easy to switch between either scenario.
Instead what’s needed is a transition between the two, also known as a shutdown or wind down routine.
Examples Of Wind Down Activities
- Take a bath or a shower
- Aromatherapy oils
- Exercise such as yoga or pilates
- Preparing for the day ahead
- Put away digital devices 2 hours ahead of bedtime
- Regular massage therapy
- Conversations with friends or family
- Time spent in nature such as a coastal walk
- Abstaining from caffeine
The above list is not exhaustive but gives ideas of activities that can help you switch off from the day’s events. In particular, if you lead a stressful life and do not have a wind down routine, you will probably feel unable to relax at all. So such tasks are designed to help you bridge the gap between the two, so that both parts of your life are happy and more successful.
What Do The Experts Say?
We put it to industry leaders in business, mental health and coaching for their input on how they wind down at the end of the day, and the effects doing so has had on their quality of sleep and overall life.
This is what they had to say…
‘It’s Changed My Life’
Emma Brookes, Echor: “I created an evening routine and honestly, it’s changed my life. If I don’t have my evening routine for whatever reason, I feel completely thrown now.
I tend to go for an evening walk then about an hour before bed it’s skincare and meditation. I then either do a brain dump journal or I do a gratitude list/my intentions for the next day. I spend my final half-hour in bed reading, with a candle on and some aromatherapy oils, as the scent has such a huge impact on our state of mind.
I could not recommend an evening routine more to people – I used to think it was so pretentious and then wondered why I had such broken sleep or struggled to nod off in the first place. I also find it helps me be a better person the following day too – I wake up less groggy, more refreshed and definitely in a better frame of mind!”
‘I Meditate 20 Minutes Before Leaving The Office’
Mark Newey, Headucate.me: “For me, it is crucial to be able to properly relax and recover from the stressful day when I get home: so I need to be able to leave everything workwise at work!
“So my wind down process at work is to write the to-do list for the next day in my journal, so I know what I’ve got to get done, but most of all so that I can leave it behind. Then I meditate for 20 minutes before leaving the office to make the transition so that I can arrive at home as relaxed as possible.
“Then after dinner, I leave the phone in the kitchen and don’t look at it for the rest of the evening. We tend to watch a bit of TV, but turn it off at about 10pm and I read a book for half an hour before going up to the bed. I then get my clothes ready for the next day, clean my teeth, read for another 10 minutes and then switch the light out.”
‘You Have To Respect Your Body’s Need For Recovery’
David Osgathrop, Pro Sport Lab: “For your sanity, your relationships and most importantly for your health, it’s vitally important to wrap up work early and give time to the body to relax and the best way to achieve this is through quality family time.
“There may be the odd night when you simply have to stay late at the office or lock yourself away at home to finish the report, but this should be the exception, not the rule. If you’re going to deliver high performance day after day, then you have to respect your body’s need for recovery and this process should begin as soon as you leave the office.
‘It Is Very Important To Start My Day With Meditation And Contemplation’
Aneeqa Malik, Build Back Secure: “The world as it stands has a jarring effect on our soul. With all the traumatic and tragic news and incidents taking place around us without fail, add to this the trauma of meeting our career goals and work targets, deadlines and all.
The more pull towards material/physical things the more we are becoming separated from our inner beings. Hence why it is very important for me to start and finish my day with meditation and contemplation.
Starting my day with elemental breathing and finishing off with deep contemplation helps me to declutter my mind and wipe the slate of my heart clean to start the day afresh. Our bodies tend to absorb the external traumas, this is why I allocate (minimum) 10 minutes to stretching with some yoga positions to let the energy flow without hindrance.”
Introducing Optml – To Help You Feel More Energised In The Day And Sleep Better At Night
Another method of winding down is to try supplementation, specifically our Rest & Rise combination here at Optml.
Optml is a two-step supplement that minimises fatigue, increases energy, lowers stress, improves brain function and helps give you a better sleep.
With our Rest formula, you will benefit from an incredible array of ingredients including chamomile flower, which has tranquilising properties. In addition, Ashwagandha root, Lavender Flower, L-Theanine, Montmorency Cherry and 5-HTP (from Griffonia Seed) work together to bring about a sense of calm and relaxation.
In addition to the above tips from our experts, you’ll certainly notice an improvement especially if you currently feel stressed in your waking life, or struggle to achieve both a good quality and quantity of sleep.