When it comes to health and wellness, we tend to talk a lot about building the perfect skincare routine to help us achieve that glowing and flawless skin or we place a great deal of importance on creating a fitness program that will get us into shape, but we don’t talk nearly as much as we should about building a proper nighttime routine.
That’s not because we have sleep issues all figured out and most of us sleep like babies the moment we lay our heads on the pillow. On the contrary, insufficient sleep and poor-quality sleep have become common problems these days. According to statistics, between 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia.
The problem is that we have come to think of sleep issues as something normal that all adults deal with at some point in their lives. We also tend to associate bedtime routines with babies and young children, so we don’t pay much attention to our sleep habits. And that’s how sleep disorders have turned into a silent epidemic that is taking its toll on our physical and mental health.
But we believe it’s finally time to address this situation and focus on getting those z’s that we need so much. So, here are some tips that you should try if you want to build a better bedtime routine and enjoy a deep and restful sleep from now on.
Go to sleep at the same hour
If you want to create a healthy bedtime routine, you should start by setting a bedtime and sticking to it. A lot of people have very hectic schedules and go to sleep at different hours, making it difficult for their bodies to adapt to so many changes, so it’s no wonder they’re having a hard time unwinding and preparing for sleep.
The easy solution is to set an alarm to notify you it’s time to start your bedtime routine, so you don’t forget about it. By going to sleep at the same hour every night, you’ll train your brain and body to enter a wind-down stage, so you can relax and fall asleep with ease.
Create a good sleep environment
Another way to enhance your nighttime routine is to create a proper sleep environment. If you’re tossing and turning all night long and you wake up tired every morning it might be because there’s something wrong with your sleep setting. An uncomfortable mattress, a room that’s too hot or too cold, or noisy electronics can be the culprits in this case.
Fortunately, with a few simple tips, you can turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary: invest in a good mattress and quality bedding, set an optimum temperature, make sure your bedroom is properly ventilated, choose comfortable plaid pajamas for the holidays and dim the lights. Then you can get into bed and wait for Sandman to come.
No late-night snacks
Some people believe that the best way to relax before bed is to snack on something while watching a movie. This seems to be the most popular bedtime routine lately, but it’s far from being a healthy option. While you might think this relaxing, your brain and body tend to disagree.
Late-night snacking can lead to acid reflux and that can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. This doesn’t mean you should go to sleep feeling hungry, but you should avoid heavy meals before bedtime if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Alcohol is not a good idea either, so you might want to cut back on drinking in the evening as well.
Take a warm bath
Need something that can help you leave all the stress you’ve accumulated during the day behind and get rid of all your worries? A warm bath can usually do the trick. Soaking up in the tub one or two hours before bedtime is the best way to wash off the day.
Even if you’re the kind of person who enjoys taking short showers in the morning to freshen up, a nice evening bath is always welcome. This will give you time to relax and unwind properly before hitting the bed.
Put your gadgets away
Another unhealthy habit that many people have these days is going to bed with their gadgets. You might lie to yourself that you’ll just check your social media accounts really quick and then you’re off to sleep, but then three hours later you’ll still be scrolling aimlessly on your phone, watching memes and funny cat videos.
Despite popular belief, this is not going to help you relax. The blue light that your phone, laptop, or tablet emits tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime, so the natural result is that you’ll just stay awake for longer. That’s why it’s best to put all your gadgets away a couple of hours before bed and let nature follow its course.
Read a book
So, if falling asleep watching your favorite shows on Netflix is not such a good idea, what else can you do with your time before you go to bed? Might we suggest picking up a good book instead?
Yes, we know that not everyone is into reading, but that’s probably because you don’t have enough exercise. Choose a light and easy book to read and stay away from genres that can give you an adrenaline rush. After a while, you might find this a lot more enjoyable than watching popular Netflix series.
Listen to some relaxing music
Several studies have shown that music facilitates relaxation and can improve sleep quality. So, if you have a bit of extra time before you go to bed, you can listen to your favorite tunes to help you snooze. The genre doesn’t really matter as long as you pick up songs that you like and make you feel better.
You can even create a special playlist for your bedtime routine and include tunes that you find soothing and relaxing, so you don’t have to search for the right songs every evening.