relaxing reading at bed-time

How to build a better bedtime routine

6 tips for maximizing your chances of keeping a regular bedtime

Bedtime routines are not just for babies and children. They can also be useful to adults who have insomnia issues or other sleep problems.

Creating rituals is one of the most powerful ways to effect a change in behaviour, as over time these healthy habits will become automatic so you don’t have to think about them.  This will ensure that when your head hits the pillow your body and mind will be in a perfect relaxed state to enjoy a blissful night’s sleep.

Here are 6 tips to help you develop a more effective bedtime routine.

  1. Prepare for the next day before you get sleepy. Gather and prepare everything you will need for the next day (clothes, wallet, briefcase, keys, cell phone, lunch, etc.) as soon as you get home so you will be prepared for the next day before you run out of steam.
  2. Do the math. Figure out what time you need to go to bed in order to wake up rested and refreshed. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Once you determine your optimal amount of sleep, try to make your bedtime and wake time consistent.
  3. Set an alarm an hour before bedtime. Set an alarm to remind you to disconnect from chores, paperwork, computers, TV, and any other stimulating activities. You may even consider putting lights and other electronics on timers to turn off at a certain time every night.
  4. Eat wisely. It’s a good idea to stay away from large meals at night. You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol. If you need a bedtime snack, make sure to pair tryptophan–containing foods with carbohydrates (half a turkey sandwich, granola with low–fat yogurt, or a banana) that may help calm the brain and allow you to sleep better.
  5. Establish a soothing wind down routine. Once you shut down all stimulating activities and get ready for bed, it’s important to quiet your brain for sleep. Create a tranquil atmosphere by turning down the lights and choose a relaxing activity. Meditation, journaling, yoga stretches, listening to relaxing music, and reading are all good options. Once you decide what relaxes you, do it every night.
  6. Make your bedtime routine simple, consistent and relaxing.

I hope these tips will help you establish a comforting ritual that leads you into a peaceful night’s sleep!

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