In the age of false lighting, Netflix, and late-night delivery, our sleep quality has taken a major hit. Being bombarded with sleep-aids and anecdotal advice hasn’t helped many of us over the years. However, now we know that a better bedtime routine is helpful.
Good Sleep is Important
The most important part of a bedtime routine is the commitment to the routine. It may seem hard at first, but like mastering any skill, staying consistent with your practice will help you on your bedtime journey. Below are 6 ways to build a better bedtime routine:
How to Get Better Sleep in 6 Steps
1. Set up a regular wake and sleep time
One of the most important practices to develop for your bedtime routine is setting up a regular sleep schedule. This isn’t as simple as deciding to go to sleep at 10 pm. You should set up an evening schedule that allows you to create a relaxing environment, reminding your mind and body that it’s time to settle down. Having a consistent wake time will also help you adjust in the evenings.
2. Get regular exercise
Before you can have a relaxed mindset, you must spend a good amount of energy during the day. This ensures that both the mind and body are ready to enter a restful state later in the evening. Check out this article for an in-depth look at the benefits exercise has on your sleep.
3. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol before bed
As you are working on building a better bedtime routine, we highly suggest avoiding nicotine, caffeine and alcohol as a part of your routine. None of these substances will help create a calming and restful environment as they are all stimulants. In addition, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine have been proven to negatively impact sleep quality.
4. Sip some chamomile tea
A lovely complement to any bedtime routine is a delicious tea. Caffeine is off the table, but there are plenty of caffeine-free teas that will put you in a mellow mood. We have used teas for centuries as a natural sleep aid and to calm anxiety. Consider adding some chamomile or valerian tea to your bedtime routine.
5. Avoid blue light
For those who don’t know, blue light can disrupt sleep, and suppress the secretion of melatonin – the hormone that lets your body know it’s time to sleep. The best practice is to avoid blue light thirty to sixty minutes before you want to fall asleep. This will allow your brain to note that it is no longer time to be productive.
6. Practice relaxation and meditation before sleep
Since you won’t be using your phone, tablet, tv, or computer before bed – you’ve got some time freed up to practice relaxation. Relaxation can come in many forms, such as a hot bath or shower, listening to calming music, or prayer and meditation. The goal is to create a regular pattern of activity before bed, to regulate feeling sleepy.
We hope these 6 suggestions help you create a better bedtime routine and improve your sleep quality. Make sure you make a bedtime plan and stick to it!