While many sleep doctors advise people to avoid TV at night, Dr. Gehrman says watching a relaxing show is actually fine if the TV is at least a few feet away from you. But watching a show on your iPhone will make it harder to wind down, because having light that close to your eyes is too stimulating.
3. Schedule 10 minutes of "worry time" earlier in the day
If work stress is keeping you up at night, then deal with it before it's time to go to bed, both doctors recommend. Set aside 10 to 12 minutes of "worry time" earlier in the day to focus on what is stressing you out.
Write down your stressors and split them up into two categories: Those you can control, and those you cannot. For example, you can't control how your boss may treat you tomorrow. But if you're stressed about getting to work late again, you can control whether you manage to leave your house on time.
For the factors you can control, write down specific steps you can to deal with them, like preparing for work the night before to help you get out of the house more quickly. Even for the factors that you can't control, sometimes just acknowledging that you can't control them can help you stop worrying, the doctors say.
Once your 10 or so minutes are up, move onto whatever else you would do.
"If you know you're going to bed and are having a stressful day, maybe you should set up worry time in advance," Dr. Dasgupta says.
When worry thoughts start circulating around bedtime, tell yourself that you will deal with them during tomorrow's worry time. Your mind may actually listen.