12 Step Routine To Help You Reliably Switch Off By Bedtime

2nd October 2017
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If you are not getting enough sleep, it can be a great concern.

It can have an effect on both your mental and physical well being, and it can have an impact on your ability to function during the day.

how to sleep better

The struggle to get enough sleep can be difficult, and for many people, solutions can be elusive.

One of the main problems is that most people try to look for quick fixes or easy answers.

The truth is that there are many factors that go into getting good sleep every night, and there are no easy answers.

When it comes to getting better sleep, it takes a routine and discipline.

You have to establish sleep-friendly habits throughout the day and stick to the routine.

In this post, we are going to outline a basic guide to setting a daily routine for better sleep.

In The Morning

For mornings, you have two important points for establishing a routine for better sleep.

You have to take better control of the time you wake up and consider exposure to light and fresh air when you wake up.
These points are important for helping your body set its internal clock, and it will help you sleep better every night

1. Wake Up At The Same Time Every Day

You need to wake up at the same time every day.This helps your body to establish a schedule for sleeping and waking.

When you have a consistent time that you wake up every day, your body will adapt to the schedule and you will start to tire around a consistent time each night.

2. Exposure To Light And Fresh Air

As soon as you wake up, you should open your blinds and open some windows.

This is part of getting your body in line with its circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm is a cycle that helps to govern the daily schedule for things like sleeping and eating, and it is influenced by things like sunlight and fresh air.

By exposing the body to sunlight and outdoor air first thing in the morning, you are taking a step to get your body in line with its natural internal clock.

3.During The Day

Setting a routine for better sleep is as much about what you do during the day as it is about what you do at bedtime.

Many of your daily habits and lifestyle decisions could be having an impact on your ability to get to sleep at night.

4. Routine Exercise

If you exercise regularly, you will sleep better.

You do not even need to become obsessed with exercise.

Even if it is just a light routine, it will have benefits for your sleep.

Since exercise can get the blood pumping, it is a good idea to try to schedule your exercise for at least a few hours before you go to bed.

5. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy sets the tone for a better night’s sleep.

The research is a little sparse when it comes to foods that cause insomnia and foods that can help you sleep, but a healthy diet will help you to get a better quality of sleep.

6. Eat Earlier

Eating your meals at an earlier time can also help.

This is another point about controlling the internal clock of your body. Move all of your meals to an earlier time, and avoid snacking after dinner.

7. No Caffeine After 3pm

Caffeine is the enemy of sleep.

If you can cut it out of your diet altogether, that is great, but if not, you should at least cut off all sources of caffeine after 3pm.

You need to give the stimulating effects of caffeine enough time to wear off before you head off to bed.

Before Bed

As bedtime approaches, you need to do some things that can get your mind and body ready for sleep.

In the evenings, it is important to wind yourself down and take steps that tell the body that it is almost time to go to sleep.

8. Routine, Routine, Routine

Setting a pre-bed routine tells the body that certain activities are connected with going to bed, and it helps to establish a clear boundary between bedtime and the rest of the day.

Things like reading before bed can help.

Getting into your sleep attire and brushing your teeth can be a part of your before bedtime routine.

While there is little evidence to suggest that warm beverages actually help a person sleep, they can be a powerful part of setting the bedtime routine.

By having a glass of warm milk or herbal tea at bedtime, the mind will start to associate the activity with sleep, and that can have an impact on your sleep psychology.

9. Screen Blackout Before Bed

You should avoid things like your phone, tablet and PC for at least an hour prior to your bedtime.

The first point is that these activities can stimulate the mind and make it harder for you to sleep.

Additionally, this is another point that concerns your body’s internal clock and the circadian rhythm.

The light from these screens can have a similar effect on the body as sunlight does.

By exposing your body to these light sources before bed, you could be throwing your body’s internal clock off.

10. Reduce Light Levels Later At Night

Exposure to light has a significant impact on your mind and body.

You do not want to wait until just before bed to start reducing your exposure to light.

About one to two hours before bed, start turning off some of the lights in your home.

If you have lights with dimmer switches, you could start dimming the lights while maintaining enough light to get around the house.

Bedtime – Hack Your Senses

If you have followed the entire routine up to this point and established a consistent bedtime, all you need to worry about for going to bed is setting the right environment for sleep.

In this, you need to work with your senses to create an environment that is conducive to sleep.

11. Sight And Sound

Of course, darkness and quiet are great for helping a person sleep, but there are some other things that you can do.

If for some reason you cannot turn off one of your devices hours before bed, you could at least take advantage of the device by watching a relaxing video.

Some people also like to listen to relaxing sounds as they go to bed. For some people, it is listening to music, but for others, it can be recordings of nature sounds.

12. Touch

A nice warm bed in a cool room can be great for getting better sleep.

If you want to make your bed warmer, it is all about the types of blankets and linens.

For sheets, flannel is great for creating a warmer bed.

If you don’t like the texture of flannel, you could go with a heavier linen.

As a natural fibre, wool is great for adapting to the temperature and it can be used in all seasons.

If you really want to stay warm, you could also layer several blankets to trap in your body heat.

It is also important to take care of your sheets to maintain the consistency the feel of your bedding

Bonus Tips: Smell

You could also try a bit of aromatherapy to help you sleep.

Your mind makes strong associations that are connected with the olfactory system.

You can take advantage of this by exposing yourself to smells that you find relaxing.

If you establish this as a part of your bedtime routine, your mind with associate the smell with bedtime, and it will help you sleep.

You could do this with a wide range of smells, but you could also use things like essential oils and you can even find aromatherapy linen sprays that are designed to help people sleep.

So many people have a hard time getting enough sleep, and they start to think that there is nothing they can do. More than likely, the problem is that you have been looking for answers in the wrong places.

It might take some effort, and require a few changes to your life, but by following a routine like this, you are setting the foundation for a better quality of sleep and a better quality of life.

Michael Thurston is the creator of the Five Minutes More a blog about sleep and everything sleep related.

He is passionate about the idea that everyone can find ways to improve their life and health through better sleep.

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