How to Improve Your Nighttime Routine for Better Sleep

 In Health, Lifestyle, Tips

It is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 adults around the United States have difficulty sleeping several nights per week. If you are one of these individuals, it is likely that you feel frustrated and might find that your lack of sleep at night is taking a negative toll on your work and personal life, as well as your physical and mental health. From executives at Haines to stay-at-home moms, getting a good night’s sleep is important for having a productive day. Whether you find yourself tossing and turning at night as a result of stress or anxiety or just can’t seem to get tired at a reasonable hour, there are numerous things you do before bed in the evening to help you unwind and prepare for sleep.

If you are struggling with sleeplessness, here are a few easy adjustments you can make to your nighttime routine that can help.

Make Tomorrow’s To-Do List

If you find yourself unable to sleep at night because you are so worried about what the following day will bring, it can be helpful to make your to-do list for the following day before going to sleep. This will help give you an idea of what needs to be done in the morning and throughout the next day and can help you create a plan for tackling everything you need to so that you can rest at night without worrying. This will also make your morning routine simpler, as you will have a better idea of what the day ahead of you will bring.
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Cut Out Caffeine

While it should be a no-brainer that drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea too close to bedtime can keep you from getting a restful night’s sleep, the cut-off time for consuming any caffeine is actually earlier than many people realize. In order to ensure that your sleep is not disturbed, many experts recommend avoiding any caffeinated beverages – including soda – after about 1 pm in order to ensure that all the caffeine is out of your system before heading to bed.

Get Active

If you are having trouble feeling tired at a reasonable time, it might be a sign that you need to be more active in your daily life in order to release excess energy. If you don’t already have a strong, daily workout routine, developing one could be beneficial; whether you head to the gym after work or take a short run or walk around the block after dinner, exercising can help you sleep better at night. If working out isn’t your thing, try taking up a hobby that will still allow you to stay active throughout the day, such as playing a sport or attending an event or establishment that is within walking distance.

Take a Hot Bath

Incorporating a hot, relaxing bath into your nighttime routine is a great way to allow yourself to unwind before heading to bed. A hot bath with Epsom salts will help to relax your muscles and calm your mind, making it easier for you to drift off to sleep when the time comes. If you don’t want to sacrifice your nighttime shower in favor of a bath, it is okay to do both – just be sure to take your bath last!

Put Devices Down

Using your phone or laptop too close to bedtime can greatly reduce your ability to fall and stay asleep, no matter what you are doing. Scrolling social media can raise stress and anxiety levels, making it difficult to sleep, and engaging in media such as YouTube videos or TikToks can overstimulate you, making it difficult for you to turn your brain off and fall asleep when the time comes to do so. To combat these issues, be sure to limit your screen time close to bedtime; many experts recommend avoiding using your phone beginning about 2 hours before heading to bed. If you find this difficult, try turning your phone off or leaving it to charge in a different room or somewhere away from your bed. This can also act as an extra incentive to get up in the morning if you use your phone as an alarm, as it will require you to get up to turn off your alarm and will not allow you to press the snooze button over and over while you are half asleep.

Additionally, try to limit TV time or other media consumption too close to bedtime. This will not only make it difficult for you to fall asleep as it will continue to stimulate your brain, but research shows that watching TV too close to bedtime (or sleeping with a TV on at night) can prevent you from fully entering your REM cycle and will keep you from truly getting a good night’s sleep. Try to turn your TV off about an hour before bedtime, or use a sleep timer if you absolutely need to fall asleep to the sound of a TV.

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