Although most people think that bedtime routines are only meant for children because they need to develop a good sleeping habit, it is also important for adults as well; because as we grow older, the harder it gets to sleep easily. The fact is that no one can ever outgrow the necessity of a good bedtime routine. An efficient bedtime routine would help prepare the body and mind for bed, thereby giving rise to high-quality and restorative sleep. Relatively, calming bedtime rituals have been proven to help prepare and calm your body and mind for the much-needed sleep ahead.
The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be over-emphasized as it is an important ingredient that wields a wide range of benefits if properly utilized. A good night’s sleep can give rise to better productivity, beautiful skin, and a great functioning body system. It is recommended that the human body needs to get a full seven to nine hours of sleep every night for our system to continue functioning well. Most sleep-deprived people find it hard to get through their day as they may easily get frustrated and may end up being depressed.
For some people, falling asleep requires a lot of turning and tossing, this is often due to the busy schedules and thousands of distractions that the brain has encountered during the day’s activities. Therefore, it is necessary for us to make sure that the brain gets relaxed before we drift off to sleep hence the need for bedtime routines. Not getting enough sleep for a long period of time can lead to certain medical conditions like heart diseases, pain, obesity, and high blood pressure.
The importance of Bedtime Routines
The chances of going to sleep immediately after a hectic day are very slim and this is why indulging in certain calming activities before bed is quite important. These routines help you to unwind from stress and help your body relax better. Sleep is a relaxing activity, and this is one of the reasons why you can’t just go from working to sleeping unless you’ve been sleep-deprived for a long period. If you are suffering from insomnia or have trouble sleeping at night because your mind keeps racing; having a good bedtime ritual may be the most efficient cure for you. Bedtime routines help to prepare our bodies physically and mentally for sleep. There are several stimulating activities that you can engage in to help your brain transition from action-packed mode to a sleep mode before bed. Such activities can include listening to music or reading a book before bed.
Tips for Creating a Bedtime Routine that Works
Find an Activity to Unwind: one of the mistakes we make when going to bed is to not decompress from the activities of the day before hitting the mattress; the truth is our brain does not like this. The human brain needs at least a few hours to slow down before sleep comes in; it’s just like you expect a hot bowl of soup to cool down within a few seconds. To get the best use of a bedtime routine, find an activity that you find really relaxing and do it before bed, this will help you relax and ultimately get a good night’s rest.
Get Rid of the Gadgets: making use of your phone before bed should never be incorporated into your bedtime ritual as it would deprive you of falling asleep quickly. The light from computers and tablets have a great impact on sleep quality and can increase your risk of getting insomnia.
Choose a Schedule: our bodies tend to get accustomed to habits fast thereby helping us to stay true to a schedule. When crafting a bedtime routine, always remember to choose one that you can easily adapt as a regular pattern; consistency will help you to fall asleep faster. Endeavor to have a regular sleep cycle; go to bed at a similar time every day.
Your Bed is for Sleeping: if you want bedtime routines to work for you, stop getting into bed hours before you want to sleep. When you stay in bed for long, your brain gradually gets accustomed to staying awake in bed; instead, engage in other activities if it is not yet your bedtime, only get into bed when you are ready to fall asleep.
Stop the Caffeine and Alcohol: research has shown that taking energy drinks or teas that contain caffeine before bed can make it very hard to fall asleep and even when you do fall asleep, it prevents your body from getting high-quality rest thereby making you wake up early than usual. Although alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt your sleeping pattern in a number of ways. From making you snore to causing you to urinate more often.
Create Darkness: finally, you need darkness for a good sleep. Our body needs a hormone called melatonin to get good sleep, and this hormone can only be efficiently produced in the dark and this one of the reasons why you need to turn the lights off before bed or dim them. Sleeping in the dark can help with getting a regular sleeping cycle.
10 Proven Calming Activities for a Good Night Sleep
If you always find it hard to sleep when you get into bed, adopting a habit of doing something before bed each night will ensure that you get a better night’s sleep. Here are a few calming activities that you can engage in before bed:
- Create the Right Mindset: you need to realize that sleep is very essential and not negotiable when it comes to staying healthy. if you want to have a good night’s sleep, stop taking your problems and worries along to bed. It is called sleep for a reason, which means bedtime is solely for relaxation and rest. Thinking about the work or chores for the next day during your bedtime will not make you fall asleep easily because your brain is still working and at alert. Creating the right mindset towards sleeping will help you fall asleep faster; once you acknowledge that sleep is important, you can then put in the effort towards sleeping well.
- Create a Relaxing Environment: falling asleep in the right environment can help you sleep well and better. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and has a moderate temperature. It is advisable that you keep the temperature in your room cool at night as it helps with body relaxation. Get a comfy mattress and pillow that supports your body well; also make sure your room also looks tidy.
- Utilize Relaxation Activities: a study has proved that engaging in relaxation activities can help you sleep better by reducing your racing thoughts and anxiety. There are several relaxation techniques that you can utilize to help you relax and sleep better; they include breathing and guided imagery. You can practice breathing by finding a quiet place at the corner of your room, then sit or lie in a comfortable position, then concentrate on breathing in and out slowly till you feel your body relaxed and drifting into sleep mode. Guided imagery also involves you breathing as the above but this time you are concentrating on calming and positive images; it could be memories or whatever works to keep you calm.
- Have a Warm Bath: you can never go wrong with a warm bath; a warm bath is one of the most common and efficient bedtime rituals that has ever been known. A warm bath does not only help you relax, but it also benefits the body as it helps to loosen up tight muscles. If you go to bed with muscles that ache, you are at a chance of not getting good sleep and can even wake up feeling worse in the morning. You can also opt to throw in some Epsom salts in your warm bath to help reduce the inflammation of joints. Soaking in a hot bath right before sleep will also help improve your body temperature thereby giving rise to the production of melatonin which will, in turn, help you get quality sleep.
- Listen to Music: Music therapy has always been known to have a great effect on certain moods; for example, music helps people exercise better and have a party livelier. But do you know music therapy can also help you sleep better? when it’s your bedtime, just literally do nothing and relaxingly listen to music, include soothing tunes in your playlist and listen to them as part of your evening routine before bed, it will absolutely help you to drift to sleep faster. You can start with genres of music like jazz, folk music or classical, then as time goes on try to find out with genre best works for you.
- Aromatherapy: this has to do with the use of essential oils to relax the body in order to enable a soothing effect that would give rise to better quality and quantity of sleep. Aromatherapy is widely used by people all over the world and has been proven effective for ensuring a good night’s sleep. All you need for this bedtime ritual are essentials oils and a diffuser which would help in infusing your room with soothing scents while you enjoy your amazing sleep. You can use lavender and chamomile scents.
- Eat Light: it is never advisable to consume heavy food right before bed, always try to have your dinner a few hours before bed; preferably 2-4 hours before. Consuming heavy meals before going to sleep may cause indigestion thereby disrupting your chances of getting good sleep. If even after taking dinner, you feel hungry right before your bedtime, only eat a snack on something healthy and light. You can snack on bananas, berries or an apple.
- Read a Book: I have heard many people say they fall asleep faster when reading a book from their favorite author; reading is known to help with relaxation. Choose a good book from the shelves and curl up in bed with your warm blanket and comfortable pillows and read a few pages. However, remember to never read from an electronic gadget as this will do your sleep schedule more harm than good, read an actual book that has prints.
- Get a Journal: most people have trouble sleeping not because of depression or anxiety but because their mind is swarmed with different thoughts about their daily life. This can lead to stress thereby reducing such a person’s sleep quality. A good solution for this problem is to cultivate the act of journaling which in the long run necessitates gratitude and happiness. If you are looking for an evening routine that can help you relax better and take your mind off the day’s stress; get familiar with journaling. Get a journal and focus on writing out things that made you happy during the day. You can also write down your plans for the next day.
- Engage in a Craft: a good night’s sleep also has to do with you being in the right frame of mind to be able to relax, including a craft in your bedtime routine can help you achieve this. Using a craft to unwind from the day’s workload can help prepare your mind for sleep. Some crafts that you can engage in include knitting and coloring.