According to the CDC, around one-third of Americans report having trouble sleeping. Since good sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, these numbers are pretty troubling.
A night routine can do wonders for improving sleep. After all, we humans are creatures of habit, and when we perform nighttime routines for long enough, our nervous system knows what to expect and can prepare our bodies for sleep.
If you struggle to fall asleep or deal with insomnia, start by implementing a night routine. Here are our top tips to help you get started.
Qualities of an Ideal Night Routine
As with any type of routine, consistency is key. When it comes to bedtime, you’ll want to start by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every night and every day.
By doing so, you’re helping to reset your body’s internal clock. Soon enough, you’ll fall asleep and wake up at the same time regularly without even trying.
Unique to You
Another important aspect of a night routine is that it’s unique to you. Do things that help you relax and skip the things you don’t enjoy. Try not to get caught up in what other people do and stick to something you know that help you relax and sleep.
Night routines should also be flexible. Especially if you have kids, if you travel a lot, or if your work schedule is irregular, create a routine that’s flexible and can be adjusted accordingly.
Ideas for an Effective Night Routine
Now it’s time to create a night routine of your own. Here are a few ideas that you can start implementing before bed.
Yin yoga is a slow, low-to-the-ground style of yoga involving deep stretching and mindful breathing. This style of yoga can help to calm your nervous system and prepare your body for sleep.
Diffuse some essential oils like lavender before bed. This relaxing aroma offers a cue that it’s time to unwind and fall asleep.
The warmth of an herbal tea after dinner can also be incredibly relaxing. Be sure that the tea you drink is caffeine-free, and go for herbs that help you unwind, like lavender and camomille.
Hot baths and showers are another incredible way to prepare for sleep. Since your body’s temperature goes up while we sleep, it’s important that we prepare our body’s to cool down.
Hot baths and showers do this naturally by cuing our bodies to readjust and cool down after we get out of the heat.
Reading books (real books, not articles or blogs on a screen) is another common part of a solid night routine. For many, it’s the perfect way to drift off into sleep that’s both enjoyable and relaxing.
Write Down To-Dos
Since many of us struggle to sleep because we worry about our to-do lists and unfinished business, try writing down what’s worrying you and prepare a to-do list for the next day.
By physically releasing your thoughts down onto paper, many find it helps them relax and fall asleep.
More Tips for Better Sleep
You can also do things during the day that can help improve your quality of sleep, including:
Strong Routines Build Success
Whether it’s a night routine, a morning routine, or an exercise routine, it’s clear that solid habits lead to success.
When your motivation runs out (as it inevitably will), you’ll need to rely on your routines to stay consistent over time.
So, if there’s an aspect of your life that’s not going quite right, build a healthy routine around that struggle and help turn the tides in your direction. Sleep well!