Do you have a bedtime routine? Most of us have at least a small routine that we follow every night. Even if it only consists of brushing your teeth and getting to bed before midnight. But having more complex bedtime routines can be even more helpful for your health than you had previously assumed. Think about it this way- doctors and health specialists recommend that children have a consistent bedtime routine. Ask any new parents and they’ll probably be able to recite their children’s bedtime routines by memory. First they have a bath, then they brush their teeth, then they have a book read to them and then they go to sleep. Doctors recommend establishing bedtime routines with children because it helps them get more restful and peaceful sleep.
Do you think a bedtime routine was something you outgrew when you were a child. The best thing about having an adult sleep routine is you get to have “me” time. Adults who follow a healthy bedtime routine experience the same benefits. They sleep better and longer and have noticeable health benefits. However, if you don’t have a consistent bedtime routine and are looking for some inspiration, here are some tips to getting a good night’s sleep:
Keep your phone far from your reach
In this day and age, pretty much all of us are addicted to our phones. Aren’t we? If you’re like most of us, your phone is the first thing you look at in the morning, the last thing you look at night. So how can you possibly expect to get a good night’s rest by leaving your phone on your nightstand, within easy reach? Research has shown that individuals who use their cell phone less before bed and keep it further from where they sleep are generally healthier. They don’t stare at the bright screen before bed, which means your eyes will have time to adjust to your dark room and you’ll be able to sleep much better.
Don’t eat chocolate or caffeine late at night
A sure fire way to have a poor night’s sleep is to have caffeine before bedtime. A cup of coffee contains anywhere from 80-120 milligrams of caffeine. The truth is caffeine can stay in your body for up to 12 hours. So even caffeine at lunch can be too close to bedtime for some people. Tea, coffee and- yes – even chocolate all contain caffeine and are known as the sneaky sleep saboteurs. If you are looking for an alternative – turn to herbal teas such as peppermint or chamomile varieties. Any varieties containing black, green or white tea leaves contain stimulants. So make sure not to drink caffeine or eat chocolate too close to your bedtime to avoid feeling too hyper to sleep.
Take a soak in the bath (or a relaxing shower)
A hot bath in the evening is a great way to prepare the body for a good night’s sleep. Make it more beneficial by adding sleep promoting bath salts. Bath salts contain magnesium which is absorbed through the skin. Insomnia can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. The warmth of the water soothes and helps to relax tired and aching muscles. Relaxation before bedtime is one of the key elements for greater healing to take place during sleep. This is when the body does most of its repairs.
Do some light breathing and stretching exercises before heading to bed
Stretching loosens tight muscles and helps your body to let go of tension and move you to a more relaxed state. Breathing exercises also help to calm your mind. If you find your mind racing and unable to sleep because of it, start by breathing in for a count of 4 then out for the same count of 4. These breathing and stretching techniques will relax your body and calm your mind. This will help you drift off to sleep more easily and can improve everything from sleep quality to mental clarity. Sweet dreams!!
Sleep on or in silk
First of all, silk is incredibly comfortable. When’s the last time you slept on silk? Didn’t it feel like you were sleeping on a cloud? We all know how comfortable silk is, but did you know that silk is a natural thermal regulator? When you lay on a silk pillowcase or wear some silk sleepwear, not only do you feel like you’re living the life of luxury, but you’re also ensuring that your body temperature will remain steady throughout the night, which is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Laying down on a silk pillowcase or in a silk nightie has that initial cooling feeling, but throughout the night, the silk helps lock in your body heat and thus can help regulate your body’s temperature throughout your sleep cycle.
Write a sleep journal to quiet your mind
There is nothing worse that lying in bed trying to get to sleep and all you can think about is what you did that day/or what you have to do the next day. Writing your thoughts into a sleep journal or read a book helps to quiet your mind and to wind down. Another great option is to have a pen and notepad by your bed so you can unload your thoughts onto the paper instead of the same thought processed over and over again, as you are trying to get some well earned sleep.