What’s your bedtime routine? Whether you read a few pages from a book or sip a hot cup of chamomile tea to soothe yourself to sleep, practicing a simple nighttime routine can give you several advantages.
The Benefits of a Nighttime Routine
- You’ll have less difficulty willing yourself to sleep.
- It helps you sleep deeper and longer.
- It allows you to slow down and kick off the stress and anxiety after a long day at work.
- As a result of getting sufficient hours of sleep, you will have a sharper focus and a higher energy level for a productive day come morning.
- You will notice that you seem to be in a positive disposition.
Following a bedtime routine every single night dramatically improves your sleep quality and, in turn, enhances your physiological and psychological health as well. It’s a minimal health improvement that can make a huge difference in your life.
Sleep deficiency is a major contributing factor to a person’s performance, productivity, and social functioning. When you’ve had a rough night without adequate sleep, for instance, you notice that you wake up lethargic, unmotivated, frustrated, and anxious in social situations.
For children, getting poor quality sleep at night can lead to hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and irritability the following day. It’s why training them to follow a nighttime routine while still young is something that could be of great help to them as they grow older.
Building Your Own Bedtime Routine
Believe it or not, an effective nighttime routine doesn’t only involve pre-sleep routines or steps you do in the bedroom before hitting the hay but also covers several hours leading up to your bedtime.
Generally, there is no cookie-cutter formula for building a nighttime routine that will work for everyone. People have a different lifestyle and vary in how they develop habits. But in this section, we share several practical sleeping tips to give you an idea of what should be in your own bedtime routine.
In the afternoon…
- Skip the coffee or any form of caffeinated beverages by 4:00 PM.
Caffeine stays in your system for a long time and can keep you awake for up to six hours. As an alternative, opt for caffeine-free tea or warm milk at night.
- Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration can hamper your body’s energy levels, making you feel sluggish and triggering you to reach for coffee or soda for a quick caffeine boost. Make it a habit to hydrate your body by drinking water throughout the day.
- Set a time for a hard stop at work.
This is especially important now that many people are working from home. Staying in front of your computer for extended periods can increase your stress levels and blue light exposure. If your work hours end at 5:00 PM, make it a point to log off on all office-related activities, such as emails, phone calls, and instant messaging platforms.
In the evening, four hours before bed…
- Think twice about alcohol.
First of all, wine and other types of alcoholic drinks should not be considered as sleeping aids. Pouring yourself a glass or two of wine to doze off not only leads to poor quality sleep where you fail to reach REM sleep, but it also poses a greater risk for alcohol dependence, which is a more significant and more problematic issue.
- Schedule your dinner at least two hours before your intended bedtime.
Heavy meals or overeating can make you vulnerable to bloating, indigestion, and other stomach issues, which can wreak havoc on your sleeping experience. If you can’t help snacking close to bedtime, reach for fruits, vegetables, and other light snacking options.
- Tidy up your space.
Simple things like clearing the table, loading the plates in the dishwasher, and straightening up the cushions in your living room can give you a sense of accomplishment and control. The mere act and the visual result of getting rid of the clutter give you a clearer headspace and something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning.
- Carve out some me-time.
Whether this means snuggling with the kids, soaking up in a bubble bath, or watching a movie, reward yourself with something that would make you happy after a hard day’s work. However, set a time limit to your screentime, especially if you will be sitting in front of the television. It’s easy to get hooked and suddenly find yourself binge-watching an entire season of your favourite show, still awake way past your bedtime.
An hour before bedtime…
- Impose a strict no-gadget rule at least an hour before bedtime.
It’s a nighttime routine that is super crucial because you’ll cut down your screen time and exposure to blue light that messes up the body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin production, prompting the body to stay awake and active.
- Read a book for six to 10 minutes.
Six minutes of reading can ease the tension in your body effectively and calm your nerves quicker than listening to music or having a glass of wine. Whether you are a bookworm or only keen to develop good reading habits, you’ll find yourself reaping the benefits of this nighttime routine.
- Set the thermostat in your bedroom to the ideal temperature for sleep.
According to studies, the best temperature for sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). A colder bedroom makes a more conducive environment for sleeping than a warmer one.
- Do your nighttime skincare routine if you have one.
Bedtime skincare rituals have a relaxing and calming effect that can lead to a restful night in bed. Gently applying and massaging your face with creams and serums can slow down your heart rate and have meditative effects.
Sleep experts recommend going to bed at the same time every night to establish your nighttime routine successfully. Investing in the best sleeping essentials will also play a crucial role in your overall sleep health. No matter how hard you work on a bedtime routine, if you feel uncomfortable in your bed, your efforts will be futile. SmartSilk offers the comfiest cotton-silk bed sheets, pillowcases, comforters, and all kinds of bed essentials.
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