These days, it seems like everyone is searching for that perfect night of rest. Unfortunately, Healthy People 2030 notes that 1 in 3 Americans are not sleeping well. The costs of poor sleep go beyond just feeling tired. Sleep deprivation is a real concern, and can affect your productivity in the workplace or at school, and causes public safety issues like drowsy driving. The World Sleep Society has made “Sleep is Essential for Health” the focus of World Sleep Day this year. Practicing good sleep hygiene, and having healthy bedtime routines can help you feel your best and wake up refreshed.
Why Are Sleep Routines Important?
A good sleep routine is essential for having a successful night of sleep. There is a strong connection between rest, your dreams, and your brain’s productivity. Moreover, your brain loves routines, and also loves sleep. The two go together fantastically, as having a set routine before bed trains your brain when it needs to start being sleepy. By going to bed at the same time every day, and following the same routine each time, your brain gets adjusted to its sleep-wake time schedule and can set its circadian rhythm.
As such, by developing good sleep routines, you are able to have better sleep. You’ll feel more energized and productive the next day, and avoid the symptoms of sleep deprivation such as poor mood, reduced attention span, heightened anxiety, or seeing windmills as giants. Poor sleep can even hamper your body’s immune system, your metabolic health, and increase the risk of heart disease.
Now that you understand the importance of a good night time routine, look at these 4 sleep routines so you can get on track to feeling and looking your best!
- Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Making sure you have a comfortable place to sleep is essential for having quality rest. There are many factors that go into having a quality sleep environment, and spending time before bed to prepare your room can help set you up for a great night’s sleep.
Having your room be the correct temperature for sleeping has such an outsized impact on your rest compared to other factors. Additionally, many people have different preferences for what temperature to sleep, so getting this one right can be tricky. Adding a temperature controlled cover like the Eight Sleep Pod can make sleeping at the right temperature for you a breeze — and has been clinically proven to improve sleep quality by up to 32%. Air temperature and humidity are one of the biggest factors leading to poor sleep quality and a dynamic temperature regulation of the sleep pod can keep you in your “goldilocks zone” of just right all night long. Plus, Eight Sleep members reported an 11% increase in perceived calmness of their sleep after just 1 week of sleeping on the Pod.
A cluttered bedroom can also affect your sleep. A room with less clutter can reduce stress and promote a more peaceful environment for sleeping in. By spending time tidying your space before bed, you can give your room a chic and zen vibe. If you feel more comfortable in your space, you’ll be able to sleep there better.
Additionally, sound can have a big effect on your sleeping environment. Wearing noise canceling earplugs, or playing white noise, can block out most unwanted sounds that might rouse you in the night. While some sounds are unavoidable, controlling the sounds you can will set you up for a better night of sleep.
- Hold Nightly “Me-Time”
After a busy work day and balancing in your personal life, it’s important to unwind with a nightly routine to avoid building up your sleep debt. This signals to your brain that it’s time to shift its focus onto sleeping, instead of the stressors of the day. By dedicating some time to self-care before bed, you will wake up feeling refreshed and looking your best. Beauty sleep isn’t just a myth! By combining good rest with a healthy nightly routine you take full advantage of the all natural beauty product that is sleep.
A lack of rest can have negative effects on your appearance, such as dark circles under your eyes or dry skin. Additionally, a lack of quality sleep can disrupt the hair growth cycle, preventing your body from regrowing hairs that are falling out. By being proactive in your sleep routines, like developing a skincare routine or using products to target hair loss before bed every night, you maximize the tools your body can use to look your best.
A sleep beauty routine can be invaluable, and should be personalized to you. While some people can commit to a nightly relaxing bath, hair mask, eye-cucumbers and the whole nine yards, others can barely find time to squeeze in brushing their teeth. Start off with some easy steps, like washing your face or a hair care routine, and add in more as you develop a routine you can stick to.
- Limit Screen Exposure
Blue light has developed a bad reputation. It’s a natural part of sunlight, and also emitted from our electronic devices. It’s not dangerous, it’s not going to damage your eyes. However, blue light can disrupt your sleep. Therefore, before bedtime, it’s important to keep an eye on how much blue light you’re looking at.
One of the easiest ways to reduce blue light before bed is to turn off your screens. Giving your body two hours without screens before you nod off will help it produce the melatonin it needs to make you sleepy. Additionally, you could use bluelight glasses to filter out some of the light rays.
Moreover, using your phone at night stimulates your brain, and keeps it from falling asleep. Putting your phone on do not disturb or using a sleep focus can prevent intrusive notifications while you’re getting ready for bed, and you should leave it alone for at least 30 minutes to make sure your brain has adequate time to adjust.
- Have a Sleep Friendly Diet
Having good eating habits is essential to a great night’s sleep. You can promote better sleep through eating, both in what you eat and when you eat it.
Before bed, it is important to only have foods that promote better sleep. As a stimulant, caffeine should be avoided closer to bedtime. Instead of soda or coffee, opt for soothing teas, like chamomile, that are caffeine free and low in calories. Additionally, stay away from foods that can cause indigestion or an upset stomach. Food that is too heavy, overly spicy, or acidic can keep you up all night, and interfere with your sleep. Instead opt for foods high in magnesium to promote better sleep.
When you eat also has an affect on your sleep habits. Maintaining a regular eating schedule throughout the day can help your body maintain its circadian rhythm, which will cause it to naturally be sleepier at bedtime. Additionally, eating too close to bedtime will disrupt this rhythm, so it’s best to avoid snacking after dinner.
The Importance of Settling Down
While it can feel like you’re maximizing the time in your day if you jump right into bed after your daily activities, it’s important to unwind, relax, and follow your routines. By practicing good sleep hygiene through your new routines, you can feel and look your best all night long.