How many nights have you spent aimlessly scrolling your phone until your eyes felt heavy enough to sleep? It may be a convenient way to prepare for bed, but it’s not the healthiest way. Bedtime routines aren’t just for Youtube vloggers and toddlers. They’re actually essential to improving your sleep quality and ensuring you get 8-hours each night. Here’s 3 reasons you need a new bedtime routine ASAP.
It helps you fall asleep faster
According to the sleep school at Harvard University, a relaxing bedtime routine is the secret to falling asleep fast. It helps your body wind down from the day’s activities and, if you keep to a regular sleep schedule, you should find yourself waking up easier too. The human mind loves a routine. So, by creating habits that tell your body it’s time for bed, you’ll soon find yourself getting sleepy at the same time each night – even without completing your routine.
It prepares you for the morning
Some of us just function better at night, no matter how much we try to be morning people. If you’re one of these people it might help to incorporate some of your morning prep into your bedtime routine. You could choose your work clothes for the next day, prepare a healthy breakfast to get you on the go faster, or have a hot shower to cut down on your morning tasks. All of these things avoid the night routine no-no’s – like technology or TV – and have the added bonus of getting your morning off to a great start.
It helps with anxiety
It’s fairly common to find your brain bringing up all the worst things about your life just as your head hits the pillow. An anxious mind is an active mind and you need to find a way to slow down your thoughts. A calming bedtime routine is the perfect way to stop your brain from going into overdrive. If you’re still struggling with anxious thoughts, try a quick meditation or perhaps some journaling to dump those troubles somewhere else for a while.
Read my journey with mindfulness to help keep anxiety, stress and restlessness at bay.
Designing your bedtime routine
The ideal night time routine is anything that you find relaxing. Maybe that’s reading a book, maybe it’s not. It could be a hot shower or a face mask. The key is finding an activity that you enjoy and that also relaxes you. Common things to avoid include:
- Bright lights
- Strenuous exercise
All of these stimulate your body and mind which is the opposite of sleep-inducing. A bedtime routine doesn’t have to be exactly what the research prescribes to make you ready for sleep either. Finding just one or two activities that work for you are enough to train your body out of its bad habits and into healthier ones.
Julia is a Melbourne-based writer specialising in content marketing and digital content. When she’s not writing, you’ll usually find her sipping hot tea, reading a great book and planning the next big travel adventure. Visit Work With Me if you’d like to collaborate.