Healthy bedtime rituals aren’t just for children. Setting the tone for a restful night’s sleep can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and benefit from deeper sleep. Finding the routine that works best for you may be a process of trial and error, but FitClub has a few ideas to get you started sleeping better than ever.
- Cool down. Turning down your thermostat or otherwise cooling down your bedroom before you’re ready for sleep cues the body that it’s time to rest. Our bodies’ temperatures naturally rise and fall throughout the course of the day, and it’s the low temperatures that tell our body that it’s time for sleep. If you’re having trouble shutting down your mind and body for sleep, try taking a hot bath and shower thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime. The heat from the water and the cool of the air will naturally cause your body’s temperature to mimic that of its biological clock and promote better, faster sleep.
- Take a nightly digital detox. The light emitted from your smart phone, laptop, or other devices has a stimulating effect on your mind and body. Let your eyes and mind power down before you hit your bedroom by turning off your digital devices at least an hour before you’re ready to fall asleep.
- Stop eating earlier. Like your brain and eyes, your stomach also needs a chance to power down before you fall into bed. Make your last meal or snack at least three hours before your intended bedtime to ensure that your stomach has had time to properly digest. Eating too close to bedtime may lead to unwanted heartburn, gas, or stomach troubles while you try to sleep.
- Write it out. If your mind races when you hit the pillow, worrying with tomorrow’s to do list or other life stressors, keep a journal and pen by the bed to use as an outlet. The act of writing out your thoughts and worries allows your mind to free itself up for slumber. Writing down any important tasks that need to be done tomorrow helps put your mind at ease, so you won’t worry that you’ll forget.
- Be consistent. A consistent bedtime and wake time is essential for teaching your body to fall asleep naturally. If you’re not sure what your perfect sleep schedule looks like, keep experimenting by going to bed earlier or later in 30 minute increments and aiming to wake up within seven to nine hours of when you fall asleep. When you’re able to fall asleep effortlessly and wake well rested, you’ll know you found your perfect calculation.
Falling asleep and staying asleep naturally is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt. Do you have a perfect bedtime ritual that works consistently? Share your own tips with your fellow FitClub members in the comments below.