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Alaska Sleep Education Center

The Ultimate Bedtime Routine for a Healthy Life

Posted by Guest Author: Allison Staley on May 2, 2019 1:02:00 PM

tired-morning-routineMost of us have a routine we follow.  We get up at the same time, go through the same steps to get ready for the day, and even have the same thing for breakfast. 

There are many reasons we follow routines.  We may do it out of habit, or do it because it’s comfortable, or maybe it’s the most effective and efficient way to go about our days.  Our habits and routines can even make us more successful according to an article recently published in the Harvard Business Review.

Our nightly routines are very similar, and arguably even more important than our morning and daily routines.  For those of us struggling with sleep, setting an effective nightly routine can produce drastic improvements in your quality of sleep. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What time do I go to sleep?
  2. Do I stick to a regular bedtime?
  3. Do I watch TV right before going to bed?
  4. Do I fall asleep watching TV?
  5. Do I check my smartphone right before going to bed?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it may be time to reevaluate your bedtime habits.  But the good news is that it doesn’t take a Herculean effort to improve your nightly routine.  With a few simple tweaks and changes, you can start getting the sleep you deserve. 

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An average adult is expected to sleep for 6 to 8 hours per day. While sleeping durations vary depending on work schedules, shorter sleeping hours are horrid. A decline in performance at work, possible heart attacks, reduced interaction with other people and poor concentration are some of the consequences of sleep deficiency.

Possible causes of sleep deficiency are poor planning, insomnia, overeating, thirsty, stress, depression, drug abuse and overindulgence in electronic devices.

Detaching oneself from poor sleeping habits is difficult. Hope is however not lost; the article furnishes you with classic sleeping routines for an active and longer life.

Take Enough Water

Dehydration leads to dizziness, headaches and poor concentration. According to a study from Sleep Research Society, there is a link between short sleeping hours and dehydration. Regular intake of water during the day and a few hours before sleep is an excellent remedy. If you want to stay hydrated throughout the day, carry a water bottle. If you find it difficult to keep filling your water bottle every now and then, carry one that is  32 oz made in  stainless steel . The temperature of the water will be maintained for long and you will not need to keep filling it since the size is big enough to last for a few hours.

Warm Shower before Sleeping

After a long day at work, the best way to freshen up is a warm bath. A warm shower invigorates and calms your nerves. It helps to ease fatigue and general body pains resulting from the days’ pressure and tasks. The right time for a night shower is approximately 60-90 minutes before bedtime.

Listen to Music before Bedtime  

There is no need for studies to prove that music can help overcome sleeping disorders. Standard proof is where mothers sing lullabies to help their babies sleep. Suitable music options to speed sleeping are slow and soothing tunes. Music is known to calm the nerves while lowering blood pressure.

Music therapy is also used to alleviate chronic sleeping disorders and insomnia. You can play relevant music at least 30 minutes before bedtime. If you do not like earphones you can use the pillow speakers.

Early Meals

Taking meals; two hours before bedtime enhances digestion and movement of food to the small intestines. It is also recommended to take lighter meals at night. Usually, at night we spend little energy, going to bed immediately after eating can result in gloating and increase in body weight.

Reflect on the Outcomes of the Day 

It is wise to spend a few minutes before bedtime in analyzing the happenings of the day. The session helps in sifting out any negative occurrences while appreciating the fun events of the day. Clearing your mind from negative thoughts helps you sleep faster. It is also good to plan for the next day's events. Planning gives you a clear guideline of handling upcoming tasks.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol  

Students and workers use caffeine to extend and work late in the night. Consumption of caffeine when going to bed can result in alertness and lack of sleep. Other effects are poor productivity at work due to poor sleep patterns. It can also lead to headaches and dizziness. If you must take a caffeinated drink, take it at least four hours before bedtime.

While alcohol is at times used to induce sleep, it also results in the distraction of sleep or oversleeping. Alcohol is also addictive and may lead to an over-reliance on it as a sleep cure.

Have a Bedtime Schedule

Having a predefined sleeping time is essential. You can choose the appropriate time you want to sleep. The habit if developed helps in avoiding any sleep distractions minutes before bedtime. For example, you can skip late night shows if your planned sleeping time is 10:00 pm.

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Topics: routine, bedtime resistance, sleep hygiene

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