Food & Home

6 Techniques to Help you Wind Down at the End of the Day

Photo courtesy of Kat Borchart/The Licensing

6 Tips to Help You Wind Down
at the End of the Day

In partnership with our friends at Buffy

It’s 10 p.m. You just got home from dinner. You wash your face, put on your pajamas, get into bed, scroll through the news. The day felt ninety hours long. You’re going to fall right sleep. Except you don’t. Now it’s 11 p.m. Now it’s 11:30. Now it’s tomorrow. That’s when the anxiety of insomnia sets in.

Laura Pensiero would tell you it was those last few hours that are to blame. Says the breathwork practitioner and Reiki master, “You want to make certain you release any emotional, physical, and spiritual tension before bed. You do not want to take the stress of your day with you to the bedroom.”

But considering kids, work, partners, friends, Instagram, unsent emails, shopping lists, and all of the other things that swirl around in our heads, Pensiero’s mandate can be far easier said than done. Which is why we asked her for the advice she gives her clients to help them ease up, wind down, and fall asleep.

(Pensiero also led the Buffy Sleep Sanctuary at our most recent In goop Health. We tucked under the sustainable comforter and let her work her magic. It was a snooze—in the best possible way.)

  1. TIP 1

    A few minutes
    of breathwork

    “There are various types,” Pensiero says. “I use ones geared toward mental clarity, physical relaxation, and sleep.” Follow these steps: Inhale through the nose as the belly rises and exhale through the mouth as the belly falls. “You are turning off the fight-flight-or-freeze response and getting the body relaxed and ready for sleep,” says Pensiero, who suggests pairing this breathing exercise with either a mantra or a visualization “to up the relaxation factor.”

  1. TIP 2

    A Simple Mantra

    While you’re doing the breathwork, close your eyes and visualize that you’re inhaling relaxation and exhaling tension. Think: “My mind is calm, and my body is relaxed. I am at peace. I welcome sleep into my being. And I am love,” says Pensiero, who recommends closing your eyes and imagining soothing light surrounding you and flowing through your body.

  1. TIP 3

    A Cloudlike Comforter

    The shell of this comforter is made of hypoallergenic eucalyptus fiber, which makes it light and breathable. “It feels like I’m sleeping on a cloud,” says Pensiero. “It’s amazing.”

    Buffy, starting at $120

  1. TIP 4

    An Early Dinner

    Try to avoid food for at least two hours before bed. “It’s hard for the body to wind down and fall asleep if it is digesting food,” says Pensiero.

    “If you are having trouble sleeping, I recommend weaning yourself off of caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods,” she adds. “The clearer your system, the more in tune you will be with your body—and learning to listen to your body and its needs is crucial.”

  1. TIP 5

    Strict(er) Phone Rules

    Turn it off. Or even better: Put it in the other room. Less screen time is a big one to help us wind down. “The light from our screens disrupts the body’s natural melatonin production,” says Pensiero. “It tricks the body into thinking it is daytime, which keeps us awake.”

  1. TIP 6

    Calming Scents

    “Sage and palo santo smudge sticks are great for calming down and clearing out negative energy,” says Pensiero, who also loves a good soak with natural salts and essential oils “to relax the muscles and soothe the body.”


  2. Palo Santo Wood Hand-Pressed Incense
    palo santo wood
    hand-pressed incense

    goop, $12
  3. goop Body G.Nite Bedtime Bath Soak
    goop Body
    g.nite bedtime bath soak
    goop, $12