When’s the last time you had a truly restful night’s sleep? Have you ever had a truly restful night’s sleep? If the answer is no, then you’re truly missing out on one of life’s simplest (and greatest) pleasures. Sleeping fully and deeply can help you feel energized and in a great mood to take on the rest of the day. Who doesn’t need more motivation and energy, right?
Unfortunately, the importance of sleep is lost in our country. Nearly 70% of adults report insufficient sleep. Seventy. Percent. Let that sink in for a moment. Are you among that 70% of people?
The CDC recommends that adults aged 18-60 should be getting at seven or more hours of sleep per night. While many factors can contribute to a poor night’s sleep, we’re going to identify a few of them while we show you how to make a better routine for restful sleep. Get ready to break some bad habits and make way for the new.
Go To Bed And Wake Up At The Same Time Daily
This one seems simple enough, right? Except there’s that show you really want to binge-watch tonight. Oh, and you won’t get home from karate practice until 8 pm. And Ben has baseball practice, so you’ll have to pick him up. There’s just so much going on during the day—how can you ever stick to a bedtime?
The answer is to trim the fat in your life. That means get rid of things that take up your time unnecessarily. Do you really need to binge-watch that show, or would going to sleep be more beneficial for the next day? You’ve woken up groggy and unmotivated every day this week.
Set a strict bedtime and do your best to stick with it. Yes, things will happen, and there will be nights you don’t make it to bed on time. That’s fine, as long they don’t become frequent habits. You’ll want to get up at the same time every day also so that your body can fall into a natural rhythm.
A Bedtime Ritual Isn’t Just For Kids
Don’t think that creating some sort of routine for bed is just for children. Parents have used the bedtime routine for generations to make bedtime easier, but it works just as well for adults as it does for the kiddos. Set yourself up with a calming routine right before bed. Maybe you soak your feet in a warm tub of Epsom salt water, lay back, and relax. Or, maybe you meditate on the day and focus on being present. Some people pray or listen to audio bible stories for adults.
It’s always a good idea to keep the hour or so before bedtime nice and quiet and relaxed. Before you climb into bed, you want to wind down from your stress and let your body relax, so that it falls into the sleep rhythm more naturally. Going to bed tense and upset will only make you toss and turn all night.
If you have a partner, you can enlist them in the bedtime routine, too. Mutual massages, reading to one another, or simply sitting and talking are great ways to both connect and wind down for bedtime.
Put The Phone Down And Read
Many people scroll social media, browse the web, or use their mobile devices for something before bed. We’re all so used to having phones on us at all times that we’ve even adopted the bad habit of bringing them into bed with us. This is a mistake. Blue light actually keeps you awake, and researchers have linked to it certain health conditions, as well.
Blue light interrupts the body’s natural cues, making the brain think it’s time to be awake when you should be winding down to sleep. Instead of scrolling Facebook or sharing memes, put your phone outside of your room and pick up a book instead. You can learn something new, share in an adventure, and calm your mind before you turn in. This is much healthier for the brain, body, eyes, and your sleep schedule.
No Coffee After Work
Caffeinated beverages dominate our food chain, and most people have 2-3 per day. Are you guilty of chugging an energy drink or sipping coffee after work or late in the evening? I know I certainly am. But adding caffeine to the body a few hours before bedtime is only going to keep you awake until you crash.
Caffeinated beverages are usually accompanied by copious amounts of sugar. While the combination can certainly give you a temporary boost, it’s probably keeping you from a restful sleep, too.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
Do you snack before bed? Or worse, do you eat in bed just before you go to sleep?
This could be preventing you from having a good night’s sleep. You’re putting your body into work mode when you eat. It starts the digestion process, which is something you don’t really want to sleep on. Not to mention, eating will give you energy—which is what you want to be out of when you climb into bed.