One of the main reasons we have a hard time falling asleep is that our minds are preoccupied with our daily thoughts. Although we may not feel stressed per se, its is sometimes hard to relax the mind and let it sink into slumber.
Finding a way to mentally relax before bed is a good habit to have. Whether it is a television episode, a good book, some calming yoga /stretching (see second part of the Pre-bed ritual), these activities will help your mind transition out of your daily mindset and into sleep.
With a busy mind, another good trick is to write it down. At the end of the day and before going to bed, write down what is on your mind, things that need to get done, questions you are pondering about, etc. Writing it down creates a physical copy of your mental list, allowing your mind to let it go. Come the morning, the list will still be there and nothing will have been forgotten.
During my university studies, I got in a habit of making a constant ‘To Do’ list. Today, I still use this technique in the workplace. Although now I leave the list at work and don’t take it home with me, the same concept remains. Throughout the work day, I update the list by removing what got done and adding what is new. That way at the end of the day I have peace of mind knowing that, come tomorrow I have a reminder of what needs to be completed.