Sleep Routine – A third of the population across the globe does not get enough sleep on a regular basis and if you are one of those, setting a bedtime routine is the first step you need to take to enjoy better sleep. A bedtime routine is a simple lifestyle change that will help the body and mind relax before you hit the bed. Bedtime routine is the activities you perform at the same time every night before you go to bed.
It will create a habit and will enable the brain to recognize when it is time to sleep. When you perform the same activities in the same order daily, the brain will see them as a precursor to sleep. If you want to reduce late-night anxiety and stress, a bedtime routine is very important. It is ideal for children and adults to have a routine that relieves them of late-night thoughts and anxiety. A routine will help the brain separate the day from night and will clear the body and mind of the stress. Here is how you can establish one.
Decide the Bedtime
The brain plays a huge role in the natural sleep and wake cycle. It will start winding down for sleep a couple of hours before bedtime. Hence, you can use the bedtime routine to make this process more efficient. Decide on the sleep and wake-up times and stick to them every day. If you follow a consistent sleep routine, it will help train the brain to feel tired when it is bedtime. Begin the bedtime routine every night anywhere from half an hour to two hours before bed.
Stay Away from Electronics
No matter what you think, your favorite Netflix show is not as important as you feel. It will not help you relax and nor will Instagram. All electronic devices emit strong blue light. Whenever you see these devices, the blue light will flood your brain and trick it into thinking that it is daytime. Your brain will suppress melatonin production and will keep you awake. Do not let your brain play tricks. You can use the blue light blocking light bulbs in your bedroom and remember to keep the electronics away during your bedtime routine.
Have a Bedtime Tea
If you have heavy meals before bed, it can lead to indigestion and acid reflux and the middle of the night restroom visits could disrupt your sleep. Going to bed hungry will upset the stomach and make it difficult to fall asleep. You can find a healthy middle ground by calming the stomach with a light snack like yogurt or a bowl of fruit. Try non-caffeinated herbal teas like lavender or chamomile to induce sleep.
Take a Bath
Your body goes through various hormonal changes throughout the day and one of its functions is melatonin production. It begins in the evening and will prepare you for sleep. This is the time your core body temperature starts to drop. You can mimic the nighttime drop in the body temperature with a warm bath. It will trigger a similar reaction. Try taking a warm bath about an hour before you go to sleep and the body will heat up from the water and cool down as the water evaporates, thus, creating a relaxed sensation.
Stretch and Relax
Practice relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises that can allow you to let go of the tension. Focus on the body and relax mindfully. Even a regular yoga practice can help improve the quality of your sleep. You can start with a few simple stretches before bed to relax your body. Such practices can go a long way to relaxing you into sleep.
Just like yoga, a regular meditation practice will improve the quality of your sleep. You can try mindfulness meditation, it is a way to learn to control your thoughts and emotions. Instead of stressing about not falling asleep, it can enable sleep onset. Simply close your eyes and focus on your thoughts and feelings, do not judge what you feel. You can also find many guided meditation exercises to practice.
Sleep is the most important part of your life and it has a direct impact on your health and wellbeing. Practice these activities before bed and the final thing you do is get into bed. Once you hit the bed, do not do anything else instead of trying to fall asleep. Your brain should see the bed as a place to rest and that is it. Do not do anything once you get into bed. If you follow the bedtime routine regularly, you will notice a difference in the quality of your sleep and your body will work accordingly. Try these simple but efficient practices to improve sleep hygiene.