Over the years, I’ve put more emphasis on getting sufficient sleep to stay healthy. When I try to get by with less than seven hours of sleep, I find myself:

… not as sharp as I need to be throughout the day

… snacking a lot – mainly on sugary stuff

… looking older with dark circles and blotchy skin.

I don’t like who I become when I have insufficient sleep. For that reason, I make an effort to go to bed in a timely manner.

To unwind, I follow a routine. It helps my mind know it’s time to slow down and relax.

This pre-sleep routine may sound silly to some, but think about how many athletes and speakers use a routine before they perform. When teeing off for golf, good golfers follow a routine.

Routines help your mind and body know what to expect. The more you practice your routine, the more consistent your performance becomes.

To begin my pre-sleep routine, I turn off electronics – no television, no laptop, no phone. There are many studies that confirm how the light flicker from a screen stimulates rather than relaxes your mind.

If things are very hectic, I prioritize what I need to tackle for the next day while I wash my face and brush my teeth. It’s a way for me to address what I can now and prepare my mind to relax.

When I don’t do this prioritization, I find myself constantly thinking about my list of to-dos while trying to fall asleep.

While in bed, I sip a cup of Sleepytime Tea by Celestial Seasonings. This tea works magic for me and helps me go to sleep faster.

While sipping tea, I read. It’s another way to distract my mind from my endless to-do list. Usually by the third page, I’m ready to go to bed.

It’s not a long routine. It’s not a complicated routine. It’s something I’ve found that works for me.

Have you developed your own pre-sleep routine? Give it a try, and note how much better you feel with sufficient sleep.

(Update to original post from February 24, 2017)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”