One of the most recommended ways to get a better night’s sleep is to establish a nighttime routine. It seems like a pretty simple thing, so why does it help?
Your body loves regularity. It loves habit. If you always do the same few things at night before bed, your body is going to adjust to the pattern and learn to prepare itself for sleep. It learns to relax as the evening ritual starts, which makes it more willing to fall asleep when you crawl into bed. This, in turn, will help you fall asleep more quickly.
What does a good bedtime routine entail? Well, there’s no singular method to prep your body for bed. Most of it is just establishing a calming nightly pattern. But here are a few common things that help many people wind down for bed:
- Drinking a cup of tea
- Taking a warm bath
- Reading a book (a physical book, not an ebook)
- Journaling about the day
- Listening to soft music
If there are activities recommended to help your body relax, then there are certainly a few to avoid before bed. Certain enterprises will get you too amped up, either mentally or physically. Here are some activities to stay away from at night:
- Watching TV or looking at electronics. Why? The blue light emitted from the screens triggers the part of your brain that thinks it’s daytime, which means that you’ll have a harder time falling asleep.
- Working in bed (this one goes hand-in-hand with looking at electronics)
- Eating a meal
- Drinking alcohol
For various reasons, all of which have been researched and written about extensively, these activities will actually inhibit your body’s ability to go to sleep, or even remain asleep.
Try it for yourself! Start your own bedtime routine, and let us know if your sleep improves. Or, if you already have a routine, tell us about it in the comments!