Bedtime routines are one of those things that get lost in the transition from childhood to adult life. But, there’s a reason parents enforce them on their kids, and that’s the very same reason we should keep doing them as we get older. Bedtime routines help us get better quality sleep and help us function better in our day to day lives. But, not all routines are created equally and not all routines work for all people. That’s why I’ve put together this article with a few things you should be incorporating into your bedtime routine.
Have a Bedtime
One of the most important things you can do when you’re establishing a new bedtime routine for yourself is to have a set bedtime, and stick to it. Make it a realistic time that works with your schedule. Keep in mind that you should be aiming for at least 7-8 hours of sleep, so do the math from the point when you have to get up in the morning and count backwards 8 hours.
Put the Electronics Away
An hour before it is time for you to go to bed put all your electronics away. This means putting your phone away and turning off the tv. The point of this is to avoid the blue light that comes out of screens. While yes, you can buy glasses that will reduce the blue light, if you’re having trouble sleeping then forgoing screens completely is for the best.
Dim the Lights
When you put the electronics away it’s also time to dim the lights. If your lights don’t come with dimmers try turning the majority of them off. If it’s a case of them being all on or all off, opt for all off and instead invest in some Christmas lights or fairy lights. These lights are much less severe and will help get your brain ready for bed.
Crack Open the Windows
After the lights are turned down open up the windows. The fresh air and cooler temperatures will help prepare your bedroom and your body for sleep. Most people actually like to fall asleep in a slightly cool room. It makes snuggling up under the blanket all the more appealing. Just make sure you don’t open the windows until after you’ve dimmed the lights so you don’t get every bug in the neighborhood inside.
Sleeping should be treated the same as a workout. Do a light stretch before and after. This will help you relax faster and more deeply at night. Stretching in the morning will help you work out any sore spots you may have developed while sleeping. Light yoga is a fantastic option for getting your stretches in but it certainly isn’t necessary.
Meditating right before bed will help your clear your mind and help your body start to relax from the stresses of the day. It’s a wonderful quiet time to unwind. Light a candle if you need something to focus on while you’re just getting started. Meditation should be the very last thing you do before you climb into bed to sleep, so make sure you’ve already washed your face, brushed your teeth, and been to the bathroom.
If meditation isn’t your style, or you find that it just isn’t working out for you then maybe journaling is a better way to go. This is a fantastic option for people who lay in bed dwelling on all the things they have to get done the next day. Get that dwelling done before you climb into bed by writing it all down in your journal. Not only will it help clear your mind for sleep it will also give you a checklist the next day.
If you’re looking for help on fixing your child’s bedtime routine I’ve also done an article on that.