When trying to sleep at night, a routine helps. It gives your body a sign that the day is over and it is now time to switch off for the day. By creating habits and a routine that help you fall asleep, you are promoting better sleep, better health and managing any stress you may be experiencing at night. No matter how you were feeling during the day, by having a routine, you will feel better and ready to get a night of good sleep.
The ideal bedtime routine to sleep better
Light stretching. After a long day, your body may be stiff and a little tight. Take a moment to stretch out your muscles and ease any tension that may be stored. It’ll loosen up your body and prepare it for a good night’s sleep.
Calming music. Listening to calming music helps you relax, wind down and allows your brain to switch off. Put on sounds of the rain falling, waves of the ocean or a soothing breeze. These sounds are known to create restful sleep and hence, help you sleep better.
Breathing. Breathing exercises are a great way to help bring your heart rate down, switch off your body and allow you to enter a balanced state of mind. Take 5 minutes whenever you can to sit down and pay attention to your breathing. Belly breathing and box breathing are incredibly powerful ways of helping you relax and preparing your body for sleep.
Stay away from screens. For about 30 minutes before you sleep, put away all your electronic devices and your phone. By browsing social media or reading news, you are stimulating your brain and not allowing it to switch off. Moreover, the blue light emission keeps your brain active and reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone that creates restful sleep. As a result of keeping your phone away, you end up falling asleep faster or sleeping better.
Journal. At the end of the day, take some time to write down 3 things during the day that made you happy and 3 things that did not. By acknowledging what went well and what didn’t, you can accept it and be at peace with it. Be thankful for what went well and as for what didn’t go well, say that tomorrow will be better. By making this into a habit, you are able to assess your day clearly and don’t go to bed dwelling on things.
Meditate. Meditation has proven to be an effective way to fall asleep at night. It helps you relax, switch off your mind for the day and allows you to get more restful sleep. Taking out 10-15 minutes at night before you fall asleep to meditate and spend some time with your thoughts can help you tenfold. Not only will it help you sleep faster, but also get better quality sleep. If you find it difficult to perform self-meditation then you can do guided meditation which has the same benefits as self-meditation
Read. Reading a book helps reduce stress. Reading is found to decrease blood pressure, lower heart rate, and reduce stress. According to a 2009 study, stress is reduced up to 68% just by reading! By letting go of stress and switching off your body, you’re allowing yourself to sleep better. Thus, read for 15-20 minutes a night and it’ll help.
Your sleep is dependent on your lifestyle, including food and your night time habits. Having a routine for bedtime will help you sleep better, help you feel refreshed in the morning. As a result, it will give you the right platform for the next day ahead.
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