Kris Carr


How to Wind Down Mindfully and Relax Before Bed

Hey There Angel,

Today I want to jam on how to wind down your day with ease.

If you’re like me, it’s easy to get into the habit of cramming in as much as possible to your already-crazy schedule. When I take off my work hat and step back into my role as wife to my guy and mom to my dogs (and caretaker of my garden!), I find a whole other (gigantic) to-do list waiting for me. Sometimes I push so hard that I’m dead to the world the second I hit the pillow. On those nights, I don’t sleep so well and you better believe I guzzle coffee the next day, then follow it up with sugary stuff to fight my fatigue.

But on nights when I wind down mindfully, I have the most restful sleeps, and productive days follow.

So what does that look like—a calming, mindful evening? Let’s find out!

Here are my 4 favorite nighttime wind down practices:

1. Start earlier

Yes, there’s laundry to do, stuff to organize and piles that won’t put themselves away. But the more amped up we get before we go to bed, the harder it is to settle in and drift off. If I don’t get eight hours of sleep on a consistent basis, my everything suffers—especially my health.

So here’s the tip: Ween yourself off the late night putter and those racking and stacking Netflix marathons! Your body, brains and beauty will be so grateful to you.

2. Take a hot shower or bath

Nothing soothes your nervous system like warm water. It washes the day and stress away. Apparently, the water raises our body temperature by one to two degrees, and so the immediate cool down period we experience clicks us into relaxation mode. Aaahhh.

Here’s a great bathtub soaking recipe: Add 2 cups epsom salt, 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda and a few dashes of lavender to warm water.

Try it next time you lounge in the tub. Light a candle. Let it all go. And while a hot shower or bath will definitely soothe your bones, you don’t want to sleep in a hot room. Keep it cool, baby. Ideally, you’ll want your bedroom temp to be between 67 and 70 degrees.

3. Be careful with the stimulants

Coffee past noon and too much alcohol at night mess with our natural sleep rhythms, as does nicotine, which raises your heart rate and brain activity. While I love a good glass of wine every once in awhile, more than one makes me wicked drowsy and then pops me awake a few hours later. Yuck. Dread. And once I’m up, I often have a hard time snoozing again.

Another stimulant to keep in check is that super-engaging iPad screen! Typically, your body uses the hormone melatonin to help make you sleepy, but here’s the thing: Melatonin won’t release properly if you’re exposed to too much light. So for the sake of your health, leave the electronics out of your room.

Oh, and one more tip: If you have trouble balancing your blood sugar, eat a teaspoon or two of almond butter before bed or if you wake up with insomnia. This really helps!

4. Prep the night before

Lay your clothes out. Pack your bags. Do whatever you have to do to ensure you’re not rushing around in the morning. I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this, but one morning last year I was late for the airport, and I literally walked out the door without my pants. Full disclosure: I had underwear and shorts on, but totally forgot my trousers. You know how it goes: you’re curling your hair, trying to put on makeup without blinding yourself, cramming stuff into your suitcase and bam! No pants. LOL.

Another way to prep is to get your juice and smoothie stuff ready to go so it’s waiting for you in the AM. Figure out what you’re going to make, wash it, prep it, put it in Debbie Meyer green bags (they extend the life of your produce) and then whip up your goodness first thing. Trust me, this one tip saves oodles of time. For yummy recipes, you can order my book Crazy Sexy Juice. I promise to blow your taste buds away. 😉

So there you have it, my love—a few ideas for how you can wind down mindfully.

Your turn: Either share how you like to wind down or share one of your recent wins! I’d love to hear.

Peace and zzz’s,

Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments
  1. carolyn fontenot says:

    Can’t wait to put these into practice and blend up juice and smoothie recipes!

  2. Donna says:

    I love this time of the year, Fall and having fire pits. It’s really relaxing and helps me sleep great!

    We also have an awesome fireplace inside our home, and love just sitting for hrs. In front of it catching up on my reading!

  3. Darcy says:

    Getting the tv out of the bedroom has been a huge win over the last month and really helped with my sleep paterns.

  4. Laura says:

    Loved this advice! Especially the 3 Wins. I sometimes will write out “to dos” which gets the wheels turning – not as effective for relaxing :). Wins puts a nice close on the day, much more peaceful. Will share.

  5. Kelsey says:

    Yesterday my win was to take a pole dancing class! I’ve always wanted to do it and apparently I’m pretty good at it!!! It felt amazing and I’m definitely going back soon.

    Thanks, Kris. Great tips!

  6. Kelsey says:

    PS. I also pull one of your Crazy Sexy Love Notes before bed along with angel cards. Love connecting with my angels before I head to dreamland. Xo!

  7. Cherry Cooke says:

    Thank you for these tips, Kris.

    Re the 3 wins, I was introduced to 5 successes, when I came out from hospital in 1999. I don’t always do them, but they are good if I’m feeling my day has been a waste of time!

    Also, I have been putting out my clothes the night before, as it’s autumn & really hot in the middle of the day & very cold morning & evening, so it’s a mind teaser.

    Even putting my coffee cup & saucer out on my little Singer sewing machine table makes me feel I am self nurturing.

    After 30 years of being with my soul mate & losing him suddenly when we were both 50, I have had to learn so much about self reliance!

    Cherry xxxx

    • Debi Moore says:

      Good for you Cherry! Sometimes it’s hard to get back into life but think “baby steps”.Your here for a reason!;)

  8. Tara Kemp says:

    Thanks for these tips! I want to get better about turning off my computer earlier in the night before I’m heading to bed.

    Another thing that I find really helpful is doing a short meditation before bed. This helps me clear my head and find a calm state so that I can fall asleep more quickly, without having to sort through my rambling stream of thoughts that I otherwise tend to get caught up in as I’m laying in bed.

  9. Sarah says:

    I actually laughed out loud at the “no pants” part! Great tips Kris, thank you! Lately it seems like if I work out in the evening as opposed to the morning, I sleep better, which is opposite of what I thought. Or, maybe it’s that I take a warm shower at night and don’t drink wine if I workout at night! LOL

  10. Robyn says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    I have a question about the wine, coffee and sugary things you mentioned- I haven’t had any of those in just over two years since like four days after my diagnosis (Surprise! You’ve got cancer, stage IV.) when I devoured your books in between crying in the bathtub. I’m in grad school with zero alcohol and zero coffee. Zero chocolate of the non-cacao nib type. And people are like, just have ooone glass, it’s not going to make your cancer come back, and I’m like dude, I don’t know that, I don’t want to feed any life-stealing cells that may be floating around. I want to have done everything I could.

    So, how did you decide to still have some?

  11. Wendy says:

    I like these tips. Also, I make sure the clock is dim because when I do wake up in the middle of the night, I find that not knowing what time it is helps me fall back to sleep easily. When I used to look at the clock, I found that my mind would instantly calculate how much time I had left and begin planning the day. 3 wins – love the positive mindset!

  12. I baked my first load of bread yesterday. Okay, my first and second. The first was two inches thick and fifteen pounds, but the second was delicious and my kids ate it for breakfast with homemade peach jam. That’s a win for this guy!

  13. Kristie says:

    Girl thank you so much for all that you share!

  14. Helen says:

    The way to wind down was awesome, my doctor told me a couple of years ago. If I want a good night sleep I needed to stop everything get into bed a couple of hours just to let my body unwind & relax, I would be able to get a good night sleep. And yes it works. So thank you for sharing with us what you learned about falling asleep it was also helpful.

  15. Mandy Dugas says:

    Hey Kris!

    Ive been having a hard time falling asleep lately so when I got this email in my inbox I was like How Perfect! My mind just wont shut off! Thanks so much for the tips. I drink green tea around 2 pm when I need to get my kids from school. Do you think that could be effecting my natural rhythm? Love your blog Kris!

    Love Mandy

  16. Gisela says:

    Great suggestions. I love the almond butter one. Who knew????

  17. Tiffany says:

    It’s so easy to receive your tips, not only because they are wonderfully helpful tips – but also because you have the sweetest vibe – thanks for being you 🙂

  18. shirley says:

    My win:

    After 18 months of wheelchairs and crutches and I won’t lie… A fair amount of despair…I have started yoga again.

    It is hard. It hurts.
    I am impossibly weak.
    But I am doing it. I laugh when I fall over and try again. And again. And again. And I will get there…

    Not the most noble of goals… but I plan to skip into all the doctors offices, kick them with my foot that will never walk again and skip out. Especially the one who wanted to amputate.

    Thanks for the help Kris.

    • Kris Carr says:

      Sending you buckets of love and support, shirley. xo, kc

    • Shirley!! You are rockin’ it!! Your yoga practice is inspiring – and just that, a practice not a perfect. Keeping that in mind will make it easier to continue greeting your falls with laughter and trying over and over again! You will indeed kick those doctors and skip right out of their offices and their lives!! Why do we think it’s okay to amputate parts of ourselves that are just crying out for love and care?? There is such wisdom in our symptoms if we would incline our hearts and ears to hear their message. GO GIRL!!! You inspire!

  19. Carin says:

    Love your posts….that was sooo funny, remember my first poop in the wilderness like is was yesterday, and being immensely proud of it! Going free camping in the south of France with no make-up, washing yourself in the river, and sleeping in a bus transformed as a camper van, still greatfull for that experience…not bad for an Amsterdam born and raised city girl…wishing all of you loads of new experiences and wild camping trips!

  20. T says:

    Oooh, oooh, oooh!!!! Kris, I LOVE the 3 wins (talk about raising one’s frequency, yay!). I also really, really appreciate how “real” and down to earth you are, i.e., admitting that you sometimes guzzle coffee or eat sugary stuff or walk out the door without your pants!!! (something I’d totally do) – we all have what we might label as our “weak” moments — it’s part of the human experience — Thank you for not preaching from on high from some unreachable pedestal. I love you xO

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *