Having a bedtime routine is necessary if we want to get better quality sleep consistently and be more alert daily.
Whenever our sleep is compromised, it affects our rhythm, mood and how effective we are. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is vital for our productivity, focus and our ability to get things done.
A bedtime routine will help us get the quality of sleep we need each night to be at our best.
The Benefits of a Bedtime Routine
Like any other routine, a bedtime routine will bring consistency to what we do to get ourselves ready for bed. Some of the benefits include:
- We’ll fall asleep quicker.
- We’ll stay asleep longer.
- We’ll have lower levels of stress.
- We’ll be more focused and productive.
- We’ll feel calmer, relaxed and happier.
By paying more attention to the things we do before bed, we can easily create an effective bedtime routine.
I aim to get at least seven and a half hours sleep every night, which is five sleep cycles. It’s very rare that I’m able to get to six sleep cycles or nine hours sleep. I usually give myself an hour to wind down and get myself ready to go to sleep.
A bad habit I am working on eliminating is using an electronic device just before falling asleep. Even though most devices have the option to use “night mode,” it still affects how quickly we fall asleep.
I’m very fortunate in that I will fall asleep within five minutes of closing my eyes. It wasn’t always that way. I’m now more intentional about what I do before going to bed.
5 Things You Can Do to Develop an Effective Bedtime Routine
- Decide how much sleep you want to have every night. Defining how much sleep we want every night will help us determine when we need to be in bed by. For example, if we want seven and a half hours sleep and want to get up at 6.00am, we have to be in bed by 10.30pm. The aim is to train our bodies to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Stop doing any type of work. This may include chores in our homes or working on our computers or devices. We do not want to be in an active state prior to going to bed. Instead, we want to get our bodies to start relaxing.
- Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before sleeping. This includes not watching television and not touching our phones, computers or other devices. The aim is to be in a more relaxed state prior to going to bed. If our minds are active or highly stimulated, it will be a lot difficult to fall asleep quickly.
- Avoid heavy meals, caffeine or alcohol. It’s recommended not to have a heavy meal at least two hours before bed. Similarly, having caffeine or alcohol before going to bed will make us more active and keep us in a stimulated state a lot longer.
- Practice mindfulness techniques. As mindfulness is all about being more present and relaxed, it will greatly aid our quality of sleep, Doing deep breathing, meditating or listening to soft, relaxing music are ways to get ourselves in a more relaxed state.
Other Activities That Can Be Part of a Bedtime Routine
As everyone’s priorities or circumstances are different, certain activities will not be relevant or applicable. It’s always helpful to have other options to choose from. Other activities that can be part of a bedtime routine include:
- Changing into your bedtime clothes at a certain time.
- Reading a physical book.
- Getting your clothes ready for the next day.
- Evaluating or journaling about your day.
- Visualizing your next day.
- Having a conversation with a loved one.
Things that can be done to create a bedtime routine are simple to do, but they’re also simple not to do. Establishing a bedtime routine will help us get better quality sleep every night, which will support us in being more effective. The more attention we give to what we do before going to sleep, the more likely we’ll form a bedtime routine that will support us.
Question: What are other things that can be done to create a bedtime routine?
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