I don't know about you guys, but I've had a hard time sleeping lately. It can slow down my whole vibe when I don't get enough rest. So I asked Jaime Crowley, a psychologist at Dallas Wellness Group and the author of "Moose The Worry Mutt!," to offer some tips on putting my mind at ease to get some quality zzz's.

Practice good sleep hygiene.

  • Exercise but avoid working out so late into the evening because this can wake your body up.

  • Avoid drinking caffeine in the late afternoon.

  • Turn off screens and devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime as the blue light from these can mess with your natural circadian rhythms and also wake your brain up. Better yet, make your bedroom a device free zone so that you're not tempted to check a last minute email or check your instagram feed.

Make your bedroom a relaxing sleep environment.

  • Keep the bedroom a cool temperature.

  • Invest in blackout shades.

  • Try a white noise machine.

  • Most importantly, don't do work in your bed! You want your bed to be an oasis/stress-free zone

Try a relaxation app.

  • "Calm" is one of my favorites at the moment because it's free to download and comes with 4-5 sleep stories and other relaxation/meditation exercises. Each sleep story is relaxing and as it progresses the person's voice gets softer and slower, helping you drift off to sleep .

  • "Mindshift" is a great anxiety management app. It has some good relaxation exercises to use before bed.

Write things down.

  • Keep a journal by your bed. Worries have this tendency to pop up at bedtime when it's most inconvenient and unproductive to be worrying about final exams for school or your to-do list for the next day.

  • Try writing down your worries or that to-do list item in your journal and as you do, imagine that they are leaving your brain and getting stuck on the paper. Tell yourself that these thoughts will stay there until you chose to think about them again at a more constructive time (Note: you will think about it again but on your own time!).

  • Use a distraction to get your mind off of whatever you just wrote down. For instance, since it's bedtime and you want to avoid activities that are stimulating, try reading a book to help you calm down and shift the focus off your worries. This strategy will help you feel more in charge of your anxiety. Schedule a time to revisit these thoughts, as your belief that you will be able to tackle these matters at a later time is key to quieting your worried brain.

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