How to Get Better Sleep with A Better Healthy Nighttime Routine
Consider this your healthy nighttime checklist.
Lots of people tell me that they can’t go to bed on time and or that they can’t fall asleep before midnight. If you are one of these people, then chances are it is because of the way you live out your day. What you do daily can have a significant impact on your ability to get to bed early and have a quality night’s sleep. There are so many things that affect the way we sleep that happen throughout the day, but perhaps the biggest influence on your sleep is your routine before bedtime. What you do at night can make or break your quality of sleep, which can then impact your entire day.
Having an amazing bedtime routine will lead to better sleep. This means having a plan before you go to bed and not just jumping into bed when you realize it’s midnight and you should be asleep. Creating a routine is the best way to start fostering healthy sleep habits. If you can’t sleep, it’s because you’ve created habits that don’t allow you to sleep soundly and disrupt your natural sleep pattern.
Here are some ways you can establish a healthy nighttime routine so you can get a healthy night’s sleep…
Set Two Alarms in the Morning
The First Alarm
Your first alarm is the “get ready for bed” alarm. This is the first step and will set to remind you to start your nighttime routine. This will ensure that you get through your routine and in bed so you can get enough hours of sleep. I like to give myself 30 to 45 minutes before I want to be in bed. This is usually a good amount of time to get a lot done so you can sleep easy.
This is the time you use to turn stuff off around the house, tidy up, write your to-do list for the next day and scrub a dub-dub. Do whatever you need to do to get ready for bed. That includes washing your face, brushing your teeth, flossing, moisturizing, changing into your pajamas, and then setting your alarm to wake up in the morning.
This also means locking up the house, taking your dog out for their last walk, and putting your kids to bed if they’re not already there. If you have more responsibilities, be sure to give yourself a full hour. You don’t want to be rushed.
If you are on social media, get your last scroll in and begin to close everything down for the night. If you tend to lay awake at night, thinking of all the things you have to get done the next day, write out a to-do list. This is an easy way to put your mind at rest so that you can turn your thinking off and get some sleep.
It is also a good idea to lay out your clothes for the next day the night before, this way you have more time to get ready in the morning and have one less thing to worry about.
The Second Alarm
Your second alarm is there to tell you when you need to be in bed. This is why you should give yourself 45 minutes to an hour, so you are not rushing. When this second alarm goes off, it means it is time to physically get into bed and go to sleep.
Once you are in bed, your television and all electronic devices should be off. If your phone is nearby, set it on airplane mode. When your phone is on airplane mode, your morning alarm will still go off, but you won’t be alerted to any calls, text messages or notifications from social media. If you need to, you can add people to your favorites list, which will allow them to get a hold of you still even when your phone is on airplane mode, just in case of an emergency.
Also, if someone outside of your emergency contact list needs you, all they have to do is call you three time, and your phone will put them though. This way you can get a restful night’s sleep without your phone continually alerting you.
Social Media Detox
If you are someone who tends to browse through social media, airplane mode will be best for you, so you are not tempted.
It has been proven that social media scrolling is addicting and can interrupt your quality of sleep. If you are on social media, set a time for you to log off and put it away at the end of the night.
Meditating and Reading in Bed
Now that you are in bed, there are a few things you can do to continue to wind down to ensure a good night’s sleep. This is especially helpful if you are someone who is restless and overthinks things at night.
Just because you are now in bed, doesn’t mean your mind is there yet. If you’re still wide awake, you can spend the first five to ten minutes meditating.
Once in bed, start some deep breathing exercises and begin to calm yourself, breathing in and out. Let the airflow through your lungs and down to your toes. Shut your eyes and focus entirely on your breathing.
Once you are calm, grab a book and spend some time reading. This is a great way to unwind from your busy day.
If you are not a reader, you can listen to a book on audio. Just lay back, close your eyes, relax, and focus on the words.
If you are listening to an audiobook, keep the volume low, so it’s not blaring in your headphones. Audiobooks are available for almost any title online, and you can even set a sleep timer for it just in case you fall asleep before turning it off, and you won’t lose your place. If you have a low red light to read by, that’s better than the yellow light that is in most night lights and room lamps. This will help you fall asleep faster as well.
Another good option is to also use a Kindle that has a backlight if you like to read. This will also allow you not to lose your place if you fall asleep. The lighting can be dimmed down really low so that it’s not stimulating your eyes as much and keeping you awake.
Begin by establishing a routine before you go to bed, and even once you are in bed. If you try this for just a week or two, you’ll find that your nights become less hectic, and you’ll be getting a better quality of sleep every night. Eventually, you will fall asleep faster as you nail down this routine and find what works for you. There are other tips and tricks you can use throughout the day to make sure you’re tired at night, but this is a great starting point to get an excellent nighttime routine together so you can get to bed on time and less stressed out.