Sleep is one of the most important components of our overall health and affects us both physically and mentally. Even though sleep is crucial, a large percentage of the population struggles with sleeping problems, which can lead to lower energy levels throughout the day and less productivity.
One of the healthiest habits to form that encourages better sleep is creating a nighttime routine. Nighttime routines are customizable to each individual and can vary depending on what you like and need. Creating a consistent routine reinforces healthy habits that will contribute to a good night’s sleep. The following suggestions are just a few of the many helpful strategies that you may want to consider adding to your nighttime routine:
- Wind down
- Disconnect from all devices
- Lower the lights and thermostat
- Make a to-do list
There are numerous ways to wind down before bed, making this option accessible for everyone. Winding down 30 minutes before bedtime makes it easier for your body to doze off quickly and easily. Some great options for winding down include:
- Listening to soothing music
- Light reading
- Low-impact exercises, such as yoga or meditation
- Drinking something warm
Incorporating just one of these options into your nightly routine can result in better sleep and help to form healthy nighttime habits. Winding down may also include setting up a healthy sleep environment. For example, designing your bedroom can be a great option to help you enjoy a quality night’s rest.
Disconnecting from all Devices
Many of us are consumed with our technological devices, such as cell phones and laptops, all throughout our day. This keeps your brain awake and alert, making it difficult to relax and fall asleep. The blue light that technology gives off can suppress your body’s natural production of melatonin, creating a possible hindrance to your body’s sleep cycle too close to bedtime. Disconnecting from these devices at least 30 minutes before bed will help your body naturally wind down.
Lower the Lights and Thermostat
To help your body recognize that bedtime is approaching, lowering or dimming the lights is an excellent way to start melatonin production. Along with dimming the lights, lowering the thermostat to at least 65 degrees will quickly help your body start to feel drowsy and is optimal for a good night’s sleep.
Make A To-Do List
Another hindrance to your sleep cycle can be anxiety. Whether you’re anxious about an upcoming event or just the new day in general, a great way to reduce your anxiety levels before bed is to make a to-do list. Bedtime writing can create mental ease by easing your stress when it comes to the next day’s tasks. When you wake up, you’ll have an itinerary so you can start your day feeling ahead.
Consistency is Key
When it comes to creating your nighttime routine, the most important thing to keep in mind is staying consistent. Following your routine every night will help form healthy sleep habits. Making small changes and working your way up is a good place to start, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Your nighttime routine should be 30-60 minutes long. This gives the body enough time to register that it’s time to start slowing down and healthily prepare for sleep.
Contact Dr. Lauck for any Sleep Questions
If you have any questions about forming a nighttime routine or how to fix any sleeping problems, contact Dr. Lauck at North Texas Sleep Solutions by calling 817-431-6764. You can also fill out a contact form on our website and a member of our team will get back to you shortly. We look forward to meeting you!