Restful sleep is vital for your physical and mental health. Creating a consistent bedtime routine can help you get the quality sleep you need. A bedtime routine is a set of activities that you do in the same order and that focuses on relaxation.
Establishing habits that teach your brain how to recognize bedtime can alleviate nighttime anxiety and stress. These routines are effective for all ages and maintaining one as an adult help to reconnect to your circadian rhythm and soothe yourself.
Many options exist to encourage sleep as an adult and creating your routine ensures it works for you. This routine can take from 30 to 60 minutes depending on what you want to include in it. The main goal is the consistency to properly train your mind and body to fall and stay asleep.
Optimize Your Bedroom for Rest
Arranging your bedroom so it encourages good sleep is part of creating your bedtime routine. Making it cool, quiet, and dark, helps your body fall and stay asleep. Your body’s temperature drops during your sleep cycle and bundling up under extra blankets promotes better rest than raising the thermostat. Keeping your room between 60 and 70 degrees and well-ventilated promotes quality sleep.
Dimming the light and using blackout curtains makes it easier to fall asleep once you’re in bed. Wearing earplugs or using a white noise machine can block out outside noises.
You can also try the following solutions:
- Consider keeping your pet outside of your bedroom if they regularly wake you up at night
- Experiment with soothing essential oils
- Leave all electronic devices in another room
- Replace your mattress every seven to ten years
Keep Your Sleep Schedule Consistent
Scheduling seven to eight hours for sleep every night is optimal for your health. Another key element is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and vacations. This helps set the body’s “internal clock,” so you fall asleep around the same time every night.
Going to bed and getting up at the same time during your days off can be challenging. You can give yourself a leeway of up to one hour of difference, but more can be detrimental to maintain a regular bedtime routine and consistent sleep.
Minimize Screen Time
Electronic devices emit blue lights from their screen and trick your brain into believing it is daytime. This prevents your brain from producing melatonin and it interferes with going to sleep.
Putting your electronics away by the beginning of your bedtime routine or at least two hours before sleep can make a big difference in your relaxation. And if you use a computer, phone, or tablet at any time during the evening, use a red-light filter.
Screen-free activities for your bedtime routine include:
- Reading a physical book
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Word or number puzzles
- Board games
Make Time for Relaxation
Stress management can help you relax before bed, whether you need to write tomorrow’s to-do list or prepare clothes for the next morning.
Updating your pajamas can help you feel more comfortable and signal to your brain that it is bedtime. Choosing soft fabrics and non-restrictive garments are good for light stretching and evening yoga and for curling up under the blankets.
Learning breathing exercises can help you let go of tension and be more present. Meditation is also an effective practice to prepare for bed. You may experience with various types of methods until you find what works for you.
You may also listen to some white noise or music to fall asleep quicker. If you choose music, stick to relaxing and soft instrumental tunes.
Avoid Interfering Substances
To promote rest, make sure to have a light snack before going to sleep if you are hungry, but you should avoid heavy meals up to two hours before bedtime. Going to bed stuffed can cause discomfort and interfere with your rest.
Remember not to consume any stimulant close to your bedtime routine. Stimulants include nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. Whether you use nicotine patches or smoke cigarettes, the effect wears off hours after use. Quitting smoking can lead to difficulty falling asleep but usually goes away within a few weeks.
Alcohol can help you fall asleep quicker, but it acts as a stimulant several hours later and reduces sleep quality for the rest of the night. Limiting your alcohol intake to one or two drinks a day at most helps minimize sleep issues, especially if you don’t drink within three hours of your bedtime.
The following products contain caffeine:
- Certain medications and supplements
Stopping any caffeine intake six hours before going to bed can help improve your sleep quality. Caffeine can have noticeable effects up to seven hours after you had it, so try to keep it for the morning and early afternoon depending on your schedule. Drinking a cup of herbal tea is a soothing option that will not keep you up at night.
Soza Weight Loss is here to support you create and implement healthy habits. Call us today at (504) 475-9817 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.