Bedtime Routines

While there are dozens of ways to make it easier to fall asleep, some are easier than others. Nevertheless, many people are just not willing to give up their tv or phone time before bed. Thankfully, there are a few other simple steps to fall asleep faster. One of the easiest ways to maintain a healthier sleep schedule is to modify your diet. The first thing to watch out for is caffeine and alcohol, especially after 5 pm. Surprisingly, although alcohol can make you feel tired, it will negatively affect your sleep quality. The next thing to avoid is foods that are high in fat and sugar which require long digestion periods. In fact, research shows that it’s best to avoid eating a meal within four hours of the desired bedtime.

Also, make sure to not drink too much water or other beverages immediately before you head to bed. You should certainly make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. But about an hour or two before you go to sleep, stop all liquid consumption. Otherwise you’ll be woken in the middle of the night by your bladder nearing bursting levels, and you won’t be able to go back to sleep until you get up and go to the bathroom. But of course that involves opening your eyes, putting on the light, washing your hands, etc., all things which will wake you from your sleepy state.

As cliché as it may sound, you really do have to take care to not watch tv or be on your phone right before bedtime. The blue light from these devices will keep your brain alert as opposed to sending it a message that it’s time for beddy by. And the stimulation of talking with others, reacting to comments, being in suspense from a drama, etc., will keep you awake well past when you should be unconscious.

Babies have bedtime rituals, but we should too. Why should they get the best sleep possible and not us? If you give yourself a routine and proper cues, you too can teach your body how to wind down for bed and relax. It can start by picking out your clothes for the next day. You can then shower and wash off from the day, or even indulge in some quiet time and take a bath. Then, change into some comfy pajamas and grab your latest book to read. Dim the lights if you can without straining your eyes in order to signal to your brain that you are winding down for the day. And then, set your alarm, turn off the lights, and go to sleep. You might need a white noise machine, an eye mask, earplugs, or something else to assist you in your sleeping habits. If you do, don’t be afraid to use it in order to get the best night’s sleep possible. You won’t regret it.

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