If you’re not getting enough restful sleep every night, something is wrong with your sleep routine. Sleep or bedtime routine refers to activities you usually do in the hour or less before bed.
These activities could be healthy, meaning they promote sleep, or unhealthy because they harm your sleep.
If you don’t have a bedtime routine or don’t think you need one, you may be switching up activities before bed, which may interfere with your sleep schedule.
For a healthy sleep routine, it’s important to adopt sleep hygiene tactics that promote restful sleep.
Here are tips to get you started.
1. Limit Daytime Naps
Sleeping during the day can throw off your body clock, which determines when to sleep and wake.
Try limiting daytime naps, especially long ones, for a healthier sleep routine.
While some studies encourage short, half-hour power naps to recharge and boost brain function, you must keep them consistent and take them in the early portion of the day.
Basically, keep naps short and regular, and take them early to avoid disrupting your sleep cycle.
2. Fix Your Bedroom
Sometimes, your bedroom is the main reason you’re not sleeping well. Before you start worrying about your mental state or any other possible culprit, look closer.
Your environment can either promote relaxation or not. If you turn your bedroom into a gaming or movie enclave, your mind will likely associate it with those activities and not sleeping.
As you build a healthy sleep routine, make your bedroom a space for no other activity but rest. Get in the habit of preparing the room for sleep by cleaning around, cutting out noise, and minimizing artificial lights.
3. Put Away Electronic Devices
After a long day, you probably just want to lie in bed with a remote control or scroll through your phone until you fall asleep. It may feel like a relief, and you may fall asleep, but it will likely result in an irregular sleep schedule.
Computer, TV, and smartphone screens produce an artificial version of the sun’s blue light, which your brain uses to regulate your sleep cycle.
When you expose yourself to blue light shortly before bed, it tricks your mind into thinking it’s daytime and you need to stay awake. As a result, your brain prevents or reduces melatonin production, a hormone that responds to darkness to induce sleep.
Put away electronics as you begin your nighttime routine. If possible, stop using these devices earlier in the evening to minimize the disruption associated with them.
4. Take A Warm Bath
The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to fall asleep. Your aim is to ensure your body isn’t too active or stimulated when you go to bed because those states are associated with being awake.
One way to prepare your body to shut down is to take a warm bath or shower. Warm water is super therapeutic. It soothes your nerves and muscles, allowing you to relax.
The drop in body temperature after a bath is also crucial to a restful sleep as it speeds up the natural nighttime drop in body temperature.
5. Try Supplements
If your sleep pattern is irregular or you struggle to get restful sleep, you may need additional help. You could get melatonin supplements, which boost melatonin production.
Besides supplements, you could try natural herbs that promote relaxation and induce sleep, such as ginkgo biloba, chamomile, and valerian root.
Alternatively, you could try cannabis. While it’s not fully studied, it has much potential as a medicinal herb.
Besides helping you sleep, cannabis can relieve symptoms of various health conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, migraines, and vertigo.
Just remember that cannabis is not a magic pill. Health issues like vertigo, for instance, call for proper diagnosis and evaluation to determine if it’s the right option for you.
6. Get A Book
Books have a unique way of filing away stressful thoughts and getting you to loosen up. You can make reading part of your sleep routine.
When reading material that’s not too exciting to keep you alert, you’ll find it easy to relax and fall asleep in no time.
It’s not difficult to sleep better, even if there are things standing in your way. What you need is to prioritize quality sleep and to commit to putting in the work. With some lifestyle adjustments, you can create a healthier sleep routine that fits into your life.
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