Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Many guides to relaxation include, in one form or another, a process by which you gradually relax all your muscles. This usually involves reminding yourself of specific muscle groups that tend to be tense, like those around your jaw, neck, and shoulders, and making a conscious effort to relax them. There are also specific stretching activities designed to provide a similar result. Whichever technique you choose though, relieving bodily tension in a comprehensive manner can leave you primed for good sleep.
A few years ago, strange videos started to appear online. They involved people waving their hands at the screen, lighting candles next to ear-shaped microphones, people role-playing as hairdressers, and all sorts of other bizarre concepts. But we all eventually learned that this type of content is intended to trigger ASMR ("autonomous sensory meridian response"), which as Vox explained is designed to help you relax. Some respond more to these videos than others, but in the best of cases, they really are remarkably calming.
While many have come to associate certain listening podcast feeds and other listening materials with general calmness and meditation, a SymptomFind article late last year connected podcasts to good sleep as well. These shows provide different types of content, from extremely simple stories narrated by people with especially soothing voices, to guided sleep meditation sessions. It may take some time to find the right content for you, but for many, a given podcast or "sleep story" from a meditation app can work wonders.
One of the common reasons for poor sleep quality is anxiety. While there are several methods for treating this, SymptomFind notes that regular exercise can go a long way in improving anxiety and sleep quality. Research has found that moderate to vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality and lessen the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as other general wellness benefits. So if you want to fall asleep faster, you should actually try to get moving.
White or Brown Noise
If you spend a lot of time working on a computer, you might be accustomed to using particular types of music to aid your focus. Typically, these melodies lack lyrics to avoid distractions from other people's conversations or a television show playing nearby. White noise playlists and videos operate on a similar principle, utilizing nature sounds such as birds, waves, or rain to prevent excessive stimulation from the various nocturnal sounds. Essentially, they lull you into sleep by engaging your mind with a consistent and uninterrupted sound.
Leaving Your Smartphone Out of the Bedroom
While we have focused on recommending the use of tech in many instances, some proponents argue that the bedroom should serve solely as a sleeping space. They advocate against filling it with televisions, gaming consoles, and similar distractions. Similarly, it is suggested that you refrain from using your smartphone when in bed or attempting to sleep. A study published in Nature and Science of Sleep indicates a correlation between checking your phone in these situations and experiencing lower sleep quality. Therefore, it is advisable to set aside your phone well before bedtime.