Creating a basic bedtime routine can have an impact in the quality and quantity of sleep you receive. Getting enough sleep is good for your mental and physical well being. A good sleep routine will help you fall asleep quickly, with no interactions and they make you ready for the next day.
Here are some healthy bedtime routines you should consider
Create a schedule and stay on it
Create a timetable where the sleep and waking times are constant, even on the weekends. This seems odd right? It is helpful when it comes to regulating the body clock. It has an extra benefit of keeping asleep through the night. When you sleep and wake up at the same time for a few weeks, your body clock adopts to this routine. Ensure your sleep time lasts between 7 to 9 hours to get the most benefit from sleep. Going back to school or work from a holiday means you have to change the schedule. Ensure you create a new one 1 or 2 weeks before the holiday is over so you can give your body enough time to adapt.
Be mindful of what you eat and drink before you go to bed
Highly caffeinated foods such as coffee and cola drinks will keep you from falling asleep at night. They contain sugar and caffeine which increase your energy levels making you more active. Take foods with high levels of protein and carbohydrate. Specialists recommend that you take your meal a couple of hours before bedtime to promote digestion.
Going to bed on a full stomach may be toxic. It reduces the rate of digestion and increases the risk for heart burn. Foods like tomatoes, milk, oatmeal and peanuts contain melatonin that makes you sleep faster and longer.
Get everything ready for the next morning
Prepare everything before you go to bed. You want to ensure everything is ready when you wake up. Focus on avoiding the morning hustle of packing your bags in the morning when you need to go. If you are waking up for the gym ensure your gym bag is packed and ready to go. If you are waking up for school, ensure all school work needed the nest day is done and your backpack is packed. Preparing for tomorrow saves you time in the morning. You won’t have to wake-up before the time you scheduled. If you can, make your breakfast and freeze it to save more time in the morning.
Create a comfortable and neat environment
Is your bed comfortable? An uncomfortable bed can hinder you from a good night’s rest. Ensure the bed you sleep on has comfortable mattresses and pillows. Loud noises can be disruptive when you are trying to sleep. Wear noise cancelling headphones and turn of all the electronic devices in your room. Keep out the light by closing down the curtains and turning off all sources of artificial light. Too much light will confuse your body, making you take unnecessary brakes during the night.
Relax and meditate before you go to sleep
Practicing a relaxing ritual as your bedtime routine will help you relax and make you sleep though the night. if you do not have the time or skills for exercise, you can engage in other activities that relax your mind and body.
Here are some simple ways you can meditate
Take a bath
One of the most convenient method of relaxing is taking a bath. Find time in your schedule for 20 minute baths a few times a week. Ensure the bath is one or two hours ahead of your sleep time.
Not only can the bath remove toxins from your body, it will also relieve stress by relaxing your muscles. Remove all the toxins from your body. Ensure you brush your teeth and floss, it may not be related to sleep in anyway but it keeps your breath from odour during the night.
Reading a book will help or starting a journal
When you are all cleaned up and ready for bed, you can get comfortable in your pajamas and read a book. Reading helps you clear your mind off stress by keeping all the unnecessary thoughts away. You can write down your thoughts in a journal to keep them from invading your mind when you are about to sleep.
If you have a hard time sleeping, create a playlist or do a breaching technique
Listening to music can help you relax. Create a 30 min long playlist of your favourite music that you can listen to before you sleep. Music slows down your heart rate and breathing, making you feel calm and relaxed.
Bring the temperature down in your room
You are more likely to fall asleep in cold temperature compared to warm temperature. Naturally, when you go to sleep your body lowers its temperature. In case you are wondering, the cold temperature encourages the production of melatonin which is responsible for sleeping.
Warm temperatures may also cause overheating and sweating, which is irritable and will keep you from sleeping. You can lower the temperature of the room by adjusting the temperature or opening a window
Staring at the clock all night may make it harder for you to fall asleep. The stress of not being able to sleep causes anxiety and nervousness. If you are nervous or restless, your blood flow increases and you won’t be able to relax.
Exercise can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Good exercise has been proven to reduce your stress level and lighten up your moods. Exercise does not necessarily mean lifting weight and running for miles. Home aerobics and yoga will work just fine.
When you exercise, your body uses all the energy and your blood pressure increases. After a while, all the energy is used up and your body is tires and ready for a good night sleep. Time the exercise one hour to thirty minutes before your bed time if you want this method to work
Avoid napping in the afternoon
Taking power naps in the afternoon may help get you through the day, buy you will find yourself staying away at night. Ensure your afternoon naps are not more than 20 minutes. When you regain your energy through afternoon naps, chances are, you will be to energetic to sleep at night.
Following this routine will do more than getting you prepared for the next day. They will help you keep your mental health in check. You will be active, energised and ready to tackle any issues at home, work or school.