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There is no dispute that a good night’s sleep is beneficial for your health. It is important to ensure that your mental “sleep” environment is as conducive for rest as the physical one is.

Establishing a relaxing pre-sleep routine is key to transitioning from wakefulness to sleep. Identify what you find soothing, whether it is reading, practicing meditation or other relaxation technique, or something equally meditative, like knitting. Take a warm bath—the rise and fall in body temperature encourages the mind to calm down. Do whatever you find soothing about an hour before you are ready for bed.

It is very important to avoid anything that causes you stress or stimulation, whether it is doing work, discussing emotional issues, or exercising too soon before going to bed. This kind of mental or psychological stress may cause the body to secrete cortisol, the stress hormone associated with heightened alertness. If you find you cannot put the problems of the day aside, try journaling. The act of physically writing down the problem and then putting it aside can help; even better, write them down in another room so you don’t create an association between the bedroom and those problems.

Sleep well!