Decide when you want to wake up and count backward about seven hours. Now take about a 15-minute period before that to start your slowdown process. That means taking five minutes to finish up must-do chores, followed by five minutes of hygiene stuff (flossing, washing your face and so on) and five minutes of relaxing into your sleep state, through things like meditation and saying "I love you" as you lie in bed.
Then, stop doing things at night that are counter-productive to actually sleeping. Instead, make slight changes in your rituals to prepare your body for rest.
- Dim your lights several hours before bed to avoid the stimulation caused by artificial light pollution—which is all around us through TV, computers and indoor lighting—and serves to stimulate us.
- Come up with a regular, rhythmic evening ritual that allows you to embrace anxieties that get released when you slow down. Meditation, prayer and deep breathing are all good methods.