How Should I Approach Planning My Day Before Bedtime Without Getting Stressed Out?

Question: I like to plan the next day's schedule before going to sleep, but I usually end up getting stressed about my responsibilities. What should I be doing differently?

Answer: There are definitely alternatives to this. So what we recommend to patients is to, when, before going to sleep, really get yourself into a routine, one that you find to be relaxing. So what can be helpful sometimes is creating what's called a worry list. About half hour, hour prior to bedtime, really sit down, and write down your concerns or worries. Or if you're planning the next day, write these down and then put it away and really deal with it and say, "I'm, I'm done dealing with this and now is my time for sleep."

Other strategies that can be helpful are things such as relaxation techniques, and these sorts of techniques can involve either listening to relaxing tapes, or what we call progressive muscle relaxation therapy, where you focus on relaxing specific muscle groups one at time.

And if you'd like to learn more about these types of strategies, then I would discuss it with your primary care physician.