When an exhausting day of work comes to a close, sometimes all you feel like doing is crashing in front of the T.V. and binge-watching your favorite show until you fall asleep on the couch. But without proper time to unwind, you’re not setting yourself up for success. A relaxing evening routine gives you a structured way to switch gears from the day, calm any swirling stress, and prepare for the day ahead. 

Getting into a good routine is the first step to a more consistent, restorative sleep schedule. As reported in this recent Thrive Global story, Cheri Mah, M.D., physician scientist and sleep and performance specialist at the University of California, San Francisco (U.C.S.F.) Human Performance Center, says that even five to 10 minutes of wind-down time can go far. “Use this as a dedicated time to process your thoughts from the day and anticipate what needs to get done the following day,” Mah says. The beauty of such a small commitment is that it gets you in the daily rhythm you need to form a healthy habit with staying power. Once you have five or 10 minutes down, Mah says you can build up to 20 minutes or more. 

“There isn’t one thing that’s going to work for everyone, so find a routine that works for you,” Mah says. This could mean cozying up with a warm mug of caffeine-free tea and a good read, or even solving a Rubik’s cube, as one of her patients does to unwind. So give your Microstep a go with something relaxing that you’ll look forward to in the throes of the workday, and you’ll be on your way to reaping the well-being benefits of better sleep habits.

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  • Mallory Stratton

    Director of Content Operations at Thrive

    Mallory is Director of Content Operations at Thrive. Prior to Thrive, she was Associate Editor on “It’s All In Your Head” by Keith Blanchard (Wicked Cow Studios, 2017), an illustrated brain science book, and worked closely on its accompanying cross-platform partnerships with Time Inc. and WebMD. She spends her off-hours curating playlists, practicing restorative yoga, and steeping new teas.