If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, it may be because your bedtime routine doesn’t prime you enough for a quality night of rest. Establishing the ideal bedtime routine or ritual can be the key to you falling asleep quickly and staying asleep throughout the night. Now, the idea of having a routine before bed might sound a bit juvenile and only necessary for a young person, but it can also significantly improve the sleep of adults as well. Experts of sleep recommend establishing a bedtime routine can help calm and relax you as you prepare for sleep. There is always a lot of information about the ideal morning routine to get your day off to the right start. But, what about the ideal evening routine? This routine is just as important. Crafting such will help you fall asleep in no time whatsoever.
A lot of what your bedtime routine is will base off of what you do throughout the day. Of course, you don’t want to stress yourself out all day about trying to fall asleep at night, but there are a few things you will want to keep in mind to ensure that you will have a better sleep at night. For instance, you will want to plan the meals in your day so that dinner will fall in the early parts of the evening. The rule of thumb is that you want to give yourself about 2-3 hours between your last meal and when you decide to go to sleep. Health sites like Helpguide.org have revealed that fatty foods take a lot of work for the stomach to digest, making it harder to fall asleep. However, that is not to say you can’t have something small to eat before you sleep. There are a few foods that are fine to eat before bed and can even help you sleep better. Amongst these foods are bananas, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread.
Staying active is another bucket you will want to check off your list. Getting in a regular workout, regardless of the time of day can help you sleep better at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercising in the afternoon can help deepen shut-eye and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Although, it is important to note that you don’t want to have any vigorous exercise leading up to bedtime as that can cause reverse effects. Another study in 2003 found that a morning fitness regimen led to better sleep at night. So it is essential to find some time to get some exercise in, just so long at it is not too close to your bedtime. Doing so will aid in your attempt to fall asleep faster.
Now that you have primed yourself with a proper eating schedule and some daily activity, it all comes down to what you do just before you shut your eyes. One thing you want to figure out is the perfect bedtime. It is crucial that you get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health and performance. Try going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning because this will help you build your body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm). You also want to find a relaxing activity to do before bed that doesn’t involve looking at a screen. Bright screens such as your TV or your phone will suppress melatonin, the hormone that encourages your body to go to sleep. So trying reading a book or doing some nighttime yoga. Finally, you need to create the right environment for sleep. That means you want to make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and well ventilated to allow for better sleep. Figure out what works best for you as it pertains to room temperature, and light and noise levels. Putting these foundations in place will make it very easy for you to hop in bed and fall asleep a lot quicker.