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Wind-Down Routine

Wind-Down Routine

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by Alex Nekritin

CEO and Founder of Ultiself

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Do you make an adequate transition between your daily activities and bedtime? Working hard is just as important as being able to disconnect and rest as relaxation and lower stress levels are goals themselves. 

A smooth transition involves little physical and mental activity. It will ease your anxiety, decrease the stress level, and set a better mood, which is ideal to improve your sleep quality.

Here’s an excellent routine to decrease your activity level, relax, and get ready for bed.

Habits

Morning

Meditation

DESCRIPTION - Meditation offers both physical and mental benefits. It helps to reduce stress by decreasing sympathetic overstimulation, which is correlated with less psychological stress and anxiety. Additionally, regular practice may lead to lower cortisol and epinephrine levels. You don't need to spend too much of your time to get these benefits - the key is consistency. Most people prefer guided meditation because it helps them to focus, but you can try the most effective way for you.

ACTION - Meditate for at least 5 minutes on a regular basis.

6X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Morning

Stretching

DESCRIPTION - It is usual to accumulate muscle tension during daily activities. Most of the time it is related to rigid postures that are adopted at places like work. Stretching is the best option to decrease muscle tension, which in turn decreases anxiety and stress levels. We suggest you perform these stretches sequentially, starting with the upper muscles and ending with the lower ones.

ACTION - Stretch for at least 10 minutes every day before bedtime.

6X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Morning

Gratitude

DESCRIPTION - Emotions are related to what we focus on. It is easy to get lost in the daily routine and focus only on stress and anxiety. Gratitude is a simple way of moving focus to the positive things in life, thereby improving one's sense of well-being. To practice it you can write three things you are grateful for each week or journal at the end of the day about the good things that happened to you or the people around you.

ACTION - Journal what you are grateful for on a regular basis.

5X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Morning

Evening

Reading

DESCRIPTION - Reading stimulates cognitive function, promotes empathy, social perception, and more importantly, builds emotional intelligence. The combination of these benefits help to decrease stress and anxiety levels. To get the most of this habit, choose books related to your interests, that way your motivation will improve. You can start by reading 15-20 pages every day before bed.

ACTION - Read a book after your daily activities for at least 30 minutes.

5X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Evening

Digital sunset

DESCRIPTION - Screens have become part of everyday life. One of the side effects of the blue light produced by them is that it negatively affects the production of melatonin. If this hormone is not produced properly, the quality of sleep decreases. In addition to blue light, the content of social media and other applications is very stimulating and generates an alert state in the body.

ACTION - Avoid looking at screens for 1 hour before you go to bed.

5X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Evening

Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses

DESCRIPTION - Short wavelengths, such as blue and violet light, interfere with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This can disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to poor sleep patterns and fatigue. If you can't stop using screens before bed, be sure to use blue light blocking glasses, so they don't interfere with your sleep quality.

ACTION - Wear blue light blocking glasses at night if you are going to use any screen.

5X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Evening

Any Time of Day

Drink Lemongrass Tea

DESCRIPTION - Many people have difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety or stress. Lemongrass tea has been shown to be effective in reducing sleep latency, that is, the time between wakefulness and total sleep. This is because lemongrass has a mild sedative effect, which helps to decrease the stimulation caused by all the activities of the day.

ACTION - Drink a cup of lemongrass tea before going to sleep.

2X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Any

Listening to Classical Music

DESCRIPTION - Music has the potential to decrease tension by redirecting attention to less stressful stimuli. Classical music has been found to help decrease the activity of the entire nervous system, inducing a state of relaxation. If you prefer other kinds of music, make sure it is slow and calm, so that it does not generate excessive stimulation. You can complement this habit with meditation and/or reading.

ACTION - Listen to classical music after your daily activities.

5X / WEEK

Best Time of Day: Any

Core Habits icon Why Core Habits are Important for Wind-Down

Sources list icon

Sources

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  1. A Chapter a Day – Association of Book Reading with Longevity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5105607/
  2. Meditation: Process and effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895748/
  3. Muscle stretching as an alternative relaxation training procedure. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2197297/
  4. Effects of Mobile Use on Subjective Sleep Quality. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7320888/ 
  5. Systematic review of light exposure impact on human circadian rhythm. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30311830/#:~:text=Further%20analysis%20of%20these%2015,(424%20nm%2C%20violet) 
  6. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4170112/
  7. When classical music relaxes the brain: An experimental study using Ultrasound Brain Tissue Pulsatility Imaging. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167876020300209?via%3Dihub 
  8. Gratitude and Well Being. The Benefits of Appreciation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010965/
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Category

 Mood  Confidence  Health  Sleep  Productivity  Focus  Sharpness  Motivation
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