Sleep deprivation has a variety of health implications, many of which you may be concerned about when lying awake. If you’re having difficulties getting enough restful sleep on a regular basis, look into your pre-bedtime behaviors to uncover probable issues and develop a new sleep regimen. Regardless of what else is going on in the world, nighttime habits play a role in sleep quality. Your evening activities can have a significant impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep each night.
UNDERSTANDING BEDTIME ROUTINE
A bedtime routine is a set of activities you do in the 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime in the same order every night. Bedtime rituals vary, but they frequently include relaxing activities such as taking a warm bath, reading, journaling, or meditation.
A bedtime ritual that includes a few actions toward getting ready for the next day can provide a number of benefits. To begin with, getting a head start on tomorrow’s to-do list means you’ll have one (or two, or three) fewer things to worry about as you try to sleep. With fewer things to do in the morning, you’ll be less harried, making it simpler to set out a few minutes for morning meditation or a thoughtful meal to get your day started well.
IMPORTANCE OF BEDTIME ROUTINE
Humans are creatures who stick to their routines. Bedtime rituals, like any other routine, form habits that assist our brains to identify when it’s time to sleep. When you repeat the same things in the same order every night, your brain learns to associate those activities with sleep.
Bedtime routines can also help you sleep better at night by minimizing late-night stress and worry – those pesky thoughts that keep you up at night. Your mind and sympathetic nervous system are activated by anxious thoughts and rumination. If left untreated, these thoughts might become more intense and lead to insomnia. You can keep your thoughts focused on other chores and encourage yourself to relax instead by sticking to a nightly routine.
The significance of bedtime routines may be traced all the way back to childhood. A consistent bedtime routine has been demonstrated to help children fall asleep sooner and wake up less frequently during the night, relieving fussy newborns and their parents on their own.
Bedtime routines assist youngsters in connecting with their natural circadian rhythms, learning how to relax, and practicing healthy sleep habits. Bedtime rituals have also been shown to have profoundly positive effects on other aspects of a child’s life, such as memory, mental health, and attention.
Adult bedtime routines, on the other hand, are just as vital. Bedtime habits help your brain distinguish between day and night, relieve stress from your mind and body, and relax into sleep.
What Is an Ideal Bedtime Routine?
1] Set a bedtime
Your brain begins to wind down for sleep a few hours before bedtime as part of your natural sleep-wake cycle. You can improve the effectiveness of this approach by incorporating it into your bedtime routine. First, pick a bedtime and a wake-up time that you can keep to every day. When you stick to a consistent sleep regimen, your brain learns to feel exhausted when it’s time to go to bed.
Next, choose a time each night to begin your sleep routine, anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime. If necessary, set an alarm.
2] Stay away from electronic gadgets
Despite popular belief, watching your favorite Netflix show or scrolling through Instagram will not help you relax. Strong blue light is emitted by electronic gadgets such as computers, televisions, cellphones, and tablets. Blue light floods your brain when you use these devices, fooling it into thinking it’s daytime. As a result, your brain produces less melatonin and works harder to stay awake.
Don’t play mind games with your mind. At the start of your nighttime routine, say farewell to your technology. If at all possible, limit your use of devices in the evening. Turn on your phone’s red-light filter well before your night routine begins, so that if you look at it accidentally, it won’t be as distracting.
3] Bedtime tea
Heavy meals and drinking before bed can cause indigestion, acid reflux, and waking up in the middle of the night to use the potty, disrupting your sleep. Going to bed hungry, on the other hand, can irritate your stomach and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Calm your stomach with a light snack like a piece of fruit or yogurt to find a healthy middle ground. Melatonin is abundant in cherries, grapes, strawberries, almonds, and oats. Non-caffeinated herbal teas, particularly those containing chamomile or lavender, are another good method to relax and fall asleep. Just make sure you go to the bathroom before going to bed!
4] Take a lukewarm water bath
Throughout the day, your body goes through several hormonal changes as part of the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin production, which begins in the evening to prepare you for sleep, is one of them. Your core body temperature drops at the same time.
Researchers discovered that simulating the nightly drop in body temperature with a warm bath can produce a comparable sleepy response. Consider having a warm bath an hour before going to bed. Your body will heat up from the water and cool down fast as the water evaporates, giving you a weary and relaxed feeling.
5] Listen to calm music
62 percent of the population Music is used by 18 percent of people to help them sleep. It doesn’t matter what kind the music is as long as it soothes you. Close your eyes and listen to music to help you forget about your concerns and relax.
Ambient sounds and white or pink noise are two other sorts of audio that can help you sleep. Pink noise, such as rain or waves, has been demonstrated to increase sleep quality, and white noise, by concealing other sounds, may help you fall asleep faster. On Spotify and smart home devices like Alexa, you may find tracks for various types of white noise.
Meditation on a daily basis might help you relax both physically and mentally. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, may aid in the release of stress and tension from the day in preparation for a restful night’s sleep.
Your body can rest and relax by focusing your consciousness and sitting attentively with your thoughts. You’re taking all those calm, deep breaths, right? At the same time, they tell your body to slow down.
Meditation can also help you stop doing things that keep you up at night, such as cycling through nervous thoughts.
7] Practise a hygiene routine
Basic bedtime hygiene is something that most people do on autopilot. However, practicing cleansing rituals with more mindfulness than carelessness will assist your brain and body recognise when bedtime is approaching.
- Instead of cleaning your face fast, follow the 60-second rule. Wash your face gently for one minute. Use a chant or concentrated breathing to slow down, or imagine washing away the stress of the long day as you scrub your skin.
- Bathe in a hot tub. According to research, a nightly bath should be taken an hour or two before bedtime. If you’re allergic to bubble baths or bath salts, use scented candles to create a soothing ambiance.
- Bright lighting should be avoided. What’s with your bathroom’s strong overhead lighting? It’s not the best ambiance for falling asleep. Bring some candles into the bathroom and perform your nightly ritual with the lights turned off. Choose one with a relaxing aroma, such as lavender, for added benefit.
8] Write a journal
A journal allows you to communicate any worries that are bothering you, avoiding the need to unpack them mentally in bed.
While journaling may not be adequate to alleviate acute anxiety or persistent stress, it can aid in the reduction of worrying thoughts. Physically writing about the things that are bothering you can assist you in seeing them departing your thoughts and reaffirming your sensation of relief.
Writing about stressful forthcoming situations (and writing a possible solution or two) can help you feel better prepared to handle them, which can help you feel less anxious.
9] Try to read a book
Reading is a frequent nighttime ritual that can be started as early as childhood. As part of their bedtime practice, parents frequently read to their children. Avoid thrilling genres like mystery and action when adding reading into your sleep routine as an adult. A novel with a plot that is uncomplicated, if not boring, can be the finest.
10] Prepare your bed
Make changing your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary a part of your bedtime routine. Make it a habit to keep everything as cool, dark, and silent as possible.
Set the temperature to between 60 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off any electronics that are making a lot of noise. Draw your blackout curtains and dim the lights. Remove the clutter by putting items away. With an aromatherapy diffuser, you can enjoy your favorite perfume.
The final step in your evening regimen is to get into bed. Make this the final thing you do before going to bed, and after your head touches the pillow, do nothing else but try to fall asleep. All you want is for your brain to recognize your bed as a sleeping area.
Good sleep is essential for mental and physical health, yet it can be difficult to come by. A customized nightly regimen might help you sleep better and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
If a new evening regimen hasn’t improved your sleep quality, talking to your doctor is a recommended next step to ensure there isn’t an underlying health issue causing your sleep problems.