Try This Now: Write Down Your To-do List Before Bed

Can’t fall asleep? This technique can help, according to research.

By Igisheva Maria/Shutterstock
By Igisheva Maria/Shutterstock

Lots of people write or journal before bed as part of a winddown ritual, and research has found that this routine does help people doze off. But a recent study found that what you write before bed actually makes a difference in how quickly you fall asleep.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, writing your next day’s to-do list before bed is more effective for helping people fall asleep than reflecting on accomplishments or anything that’s occurred in the past.

The study consisted of individuals ages 18 to 30, each of whom were assigned to either write a to-do list or write a list of the day’s completed activities before going to bed. The findings concluded that those who wrote the to-do lists fell asleep faster than those who penned finished tasks or things from the past, which the researchers found surprising, considering that incomplete chores often tend to cause anxiety and worry.

The difference here, however, is that participants focused on creating their to-do lists, as opposed to “mentally ruminating” about pending responsibilities. Specificity has to do with it, too: The more specific a to-do list, the better the participant’s sleep, the researchers note. 

If you have trouble ruminating over all your upcoming tasks before you fall asleep, take a lesson from this research, and start a new Microstep. Take just a few minutes to write out your to-dos before you go to sleep. That helps get them out of your head and onto paper.  

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

How to Manage Insomnia During the Pandemic & Lockdowns

by Ali Eather
DeeDee Mehren
Community//

10 Things I Did to Finally Kick My Insomnia and Sleep Again

by DeeDee Mehren
Image Courtesy of Twitter Account: @BTS_twt
Community//

The Importance In Maintaining A Night-Time Routine

by Lily Low
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.