Getting an adequate amount of sleep is the first step in fixing your overall routine. There are a plethora of changes that you can make to improve your quality of sleep, not just the number of hours. Having a solid routine prior to going to sleep is just as important as getting the right amount.
By setting a consistent time you go to bed, you allow your body to maintain its natural clock or circadian rhythm. When your body is getting into bed at the same time each night, it will EVENTUALLY naturally shutdown and give you that drowsy sleepy feeling that’s associated with a regular bedtime. This may not happen the first few nights because your body is not adjusted yet, but given time, usually a week to 10 days, it will learn the new rhythm.
Having a regulated circadian rhythm also helps your body to regulate other systems within your body like your cardiovascular system. This improves your heart rate, blood pressure and other heart related disorders.
Shutting down electronic devices, allows your brain to relax and recognize that it is time to wind down and get ready for sleep. The blue light on our devices is meant to keep up us awake and stimulated, it gives our brain the message that it is still daytime. Stop using these at least an hour before bed. You can read a book, play with your kids, do a puzzle, or a thousand other things before bed to “relax.” Watching your favorite Netflix series that you might end up binge watching could delay your bed time by hours than you initially planned.
If you need assistance in getting your body to start winding down a great option is to take a hot bath. Our body’s natural temperature drops as it gets closer to bedtime and starts producing melatonin. By taking a hot bath and allowing body temperature to rise and then quickly decrease as the water evaporates and cools, this mimics the same process.
Another big impact on your sleep routine is your bedroom. Setting your bedroom up for a successful bed time is one of the most important things you could do. Getting your room as dark as possible is helpful with not only the circadian rhythm but also keeping us asleep throughout the night. Any amount of light can be disruptive to our sleep so keep decorative lights or phones that might light up in the middle of the night, out of the bedroom. Keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature anywhere from 61 to 70 degrees. Having the room clutter free and just ready for sleep is another great help. If you enter your bedroom and there’s a pile of laundry on top of your bed, this disrupts the routine of going to bed. If you do not want to fold your laundry that day, it’s okay, just don’t leave the pile on your bed! As you get into your bedroom, your body should be only focused on one thing, and that is getting into bed to drift off to sleep land!
All of these tips and tricks can help you to have better quality of sleep. Feel free to use one or all the tips we’ve discussed and get yourself a better sleep routine!