Not getting enough sleep? Do these 5 things before going to bed for a goodnight sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. There are many people who struggle to get enough sleep at night, if you’re one of them, creating a bedtime routine is one of the easiest steps you can take to enjoy better sleep. Bedtime routines are a simple lifestyle change that can help your mind and body relax before bed.

Decide on a Set Bedtime

As part of your natural sleep-wake cycle, your brain starts winding down for sleep a few hours before bedtime. You can use your bedtime routine to make that process more effective. First, decide on your bed- and wake-up times, and stick to them every day. Following a consistent sleep routine helps train your brain to naturally feel tired when it’s bedtime.
Next, schedule a time to begin your bedtime routine every night, anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed. Set an alarm if you need to.

Leave the electronics alone

Despite what you may think, your favorite Netflix show does not help you relax, nor does scrolling on Instagram. Electronic devices, including computers, televisions, smartphones, and tablets, all emit strong blue light. When you use these devices, that blue light floods your brain, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime. As a result, your brain suppresses melatonin production7 and works to stay awake8.
Don’t play tricks on your brain. Say goodnight to your electronics at the beginning of your bedtime routine. If you can, avoid using electronics in the evening as much as possible. Be sure to turn on your phone’s red-light filter well before your bedtime routine even begins, so if you accidentally look at it, it won’t be as disruptive.

Practice Meditation

Like yoga, a regular meditation practice can improve your sleep quality. Mindfulness meditation24 teaches people to allow their thoughts and manage emotions, enabling sleep onset, rather than stressing about not falling asleep.
You can practice mindfulness meditation by simply closing your eyes and allowing yourself to focus on your thoughts and feelings. Observe your thoughts, but don’t judge them. Deep breathing and visualization are other forms of meditation. You can find many guided meditation exercises for free on smartphone apps or YouTube.

Read a Good Book

Reading is a common bedtime routine that begins in childhood25. Parents often read to their children as part of a bedtime routine.
When incorporating reading into your bedtime routine as an adult, stay away from exciting genres like suspense and action. A book with a plot that’s drama-free, even boring, can be best.

Write Down a To Do List or Journal

Many people find it restorative to journal26, and doing so in the evening lets them sort out their thoughts and feelings before going to bed.
If the idea of ​​journaling overwhelms you, consider starting with a simple to-do list. One study found that taking 5 minutes before bed to jot down a quick to-do list27 of tasks that needed to be done in the following days significantly sped up sleep onset.

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