sound sleep
Health and Lifestyle

How improving your bedtime routine will help you get a better nights sleep

If you are like most people, then your bedtime routine probably isn’t given much thought. Bedtime varies from day to day, you finish a big evening dinner with a glass of your preferred alcoholic beverage. You have been slumped on the sofa catching up on your favourite TV shows, then, when you start feeling sleepy you head to the bathroom to brush your teeth, put your comfy PJ’s on and go to bed with your phone, scrolling through Facebook and digesting all the worlds current problems until you fall asleep.

If any of that does look familiar then it’s likely that you also experience a bad night’s sleep and suffer from some drowsiness the next day.

Creating a good bedtime routine will help you to switch off for the day and get mentally and physically prepared for bed. Within almost no time, as soon as your head hits the pillow, you will be able to drift off into that nice deep sleep you have been craving.

Set a bedtime

set a bedtime
Experts say that between 7-9 hours is the amount of sleep we need in a 24 hour period to feel suitably rested.

In all likelihood, you have heard of the famous ‘8 hours of sleep’ a night. We are told by experts that between 7-9 hours is the amount of sleep we need in a 24 hour period to feel suitably rested.

Following this golden rule, we can work from the mornings, backwards. Say you need to wake up at 7 am for work and you know you need 8 hours of sleep. This would mean that you need to be asleep by 11 pm at the latest. This doesn’t mean that you are lying in your bed, getting ready for sleep, it means eyes closed!

It takes between 30-60 minutes to put your bedtime routine into place. So, you will need to start winding down at around 10 pm.

Put the gadgets away

Keeping mobile device away from your bed
Try not to look at devices up to 1 hour before you go to bed and make sure that you have switched the do no disturb on.

As technology keeps improving, it becomes harder and harder to put our devices down. We have become so dependent on our phones, laptops, tablets and TVs for everything ranging from work and networking to entertainment and hobbies which makes it hard to switch off.

One of the main reasons we should ditch the devices before bedtime is because of the blue light which our phones and other such items emit. This blue light imitates daylight and can suppress melatonin levels in our body which are key for helping us drift off into a nice deep sleep.

Scrolling through your favourite social media accounts will keep your brain working and this stimulation makes it hard for you to fall asleep. Try not to look at devices up to 1 hour before you go to bed and make sure that you have switched the do no disturb on.

Avoid heavy meals and caffeine

Eating a heavy meal before you hit the sack could cause indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn. It’s recommended that you eat your dinner 3 hours before your bedtime.

If you do get peckish before bed try snacking on some nuts or other non-sugary nibbles. Eggs, milk, nuts and fish are some foods that have high levels of natural melatonin which can help you get a great night’s sleep. Avoiding caffeine before bedtime is a vital part of making sure you get to get to sleep easily. This one needs a little more preparation as you should avoid drinking any caffeinated drinks from about 4 pm onwards. Here are some other great alternatives for your afternoon coffee.

Set the mood

Making your bedroom look like a place to rest is a good way to trick your mind into thinking it’s bedtime.

A few simple things you can do are to dim the lights, adjust the temperature to between 15-19°C, turn off any loud or distracting sounds such as the TV or radio and keep your sleep space tidy.

Doing these easy steps will make your bedroom feel cozy and welcoming and therefore you will look forward to your bedtime.

Relax and take time to unwind

Relaxing and unwinding is another great way to switch our brains from daytime to night time.

Writing a to-do list for tomorrows tasks will help you turn off from the day and prevent you from overthinking about upcoming tasks. Likewise, jotting down your daily activities in a diary can help you to stop dwelling on what you may or may not have achieved.

Take some time to include some stretching or meditation into your bedtime routine. This can help to relieve any aches and pains and quieten down the mind.

If you are someone who craves entertainment and struggle with not looking at their phone then try picking up your favourite book instead.

Taking a warm bath or shower is also a great way to wash away the day’s stresses. Not only is it nice to feel clean, but bathing close to bedtime lowers your body’s core temperature which signals to your brain that it’s time to get some shut-eye!

By just adding one of these new habits at a time, it won’t take long before you can slip into your new routine with ease and restless nights will become a thing of the past. Sleep well!

Georgina is a freelance writer and English teacher. She has been writing content for websites for almost 5 years and has been teaching English as a second language to people of all ages for the last 8 years. She is originally from the UK and now resides in Bali with her family. Asides from writing and teaching, she is a keen Skiier and Scuba Diver. Georgina owns a small diving center in Bali, together with her husband.

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