4 Tips for the Perfect Nighttime Routine
Any time is a great time to adopt healthy habits. Most consider diet and exercise to be the most important areas for improvement, but sleep is actually the foundation to success in either area. Perfecting your bedtime routine is a great way to set yourself up for success when it comes to keeping your wellness goals — or in this case, dreaming of them. Here are a few tips to improve your nighttime routine.
1. Regulate Your Routine
Having a consistent nighttime routine helps get our bodies in the mindset that it's time for bed, which makes catching some Zzz's a breeze. Not only should we aim for 7 - 9 hours, but going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help synchronize your sleep with your internal clock.
Whether that means putting on your face mask and robe or reading a chapter of your favorite book, sticking to your routine can help ease you into sleep.
2. Stay Away From Screens
The technology we often use before bed (computer, TV, phone, etc.) emits a harmful blue light that can actually keep us awake. It's hard to change old habits but watching TV or online shopping until you feel sleepy can disrupt the secretion of a natural sleep hormone called melatonin, leaving you with a night of restless sleeping.
Worse still, if we repeatedly use screens before bed, we create a sleep association with our technology, meaning that once the screen is no longer present, we can have difficulty falling asleep. While disconnecting at bedtime may seem tough, there are simple steps you can take in this area that will make a big difference.
3. Disable Your Disrupters
Know your bedroom disrupters and prepare for them. Nothing is more annoying than noisy interruptions during your slumber. Consider using a white noise machine to help drown out any distracting noises such as busy streets or rambunctious roommates. If that doesn't help, you can always settle for some good old-fashioned ear plugs.
Another easy sleep distraction can be the temperature. If you know you get hot during the night, get back a few hours from tossing and turning and set your fan on high and use light-weight blankets.
4. Schedule for Sleep
According to a recent survey by Mattress Firm, 67% of Americans reviewed wish they got more sleep. A solid snooze of 7 – 9 hours is not just a suggestion; sleep helps our bodies recover from a stressful day and prepare for the morning ahead. So, if you know you need to wake up early for a workout class or to drive the morning carpool, try to hit the hay earlier in the night.
If you know that it's tough for you to get enough sleep regularly, commit to making time for at least one night of quality sleep time each week. Being sleep deprived can take a serious toll on your body. In these cases, even eight or nine hours each night may not be enough.
The experts at Mattress Firm suggest trying out a new nighttime routine, reviewing it and then tweaking it to meet your specific sleep needs. Be tough on yourself and commit to bedtime, your body will thank you in the end!