If you still can’t sleep after counting sheep, it’s time to establish a better night routine. This is especially important because Dr. Kannan Ramar of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) reports that sleep deprivation is becoming more prevalent. In fact, a survey conducted by the AASM revealed that 85% of American adults are getting less than the recommended amount of sleep. And this affects one’s overall health, learning capabilities, and mood.
To get better sleep, the AASM recommends establishing a calming night routine. Dr. Ramar states that both morning and bedtime rituals are paramount in achieving adequate sleep. So if you want to get enough rest, here are some activities that you can add to your night routine.
Switch Off the Gadgets
If you’re preparing yourself for bedtime, the first thing you have to do is to switch off your gadgets. Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky states that the number one rule for good sleep is to stop using computers, cellphones, and personal digital assistants one hour before bedtime. The LED spectrum light from these gadgets suppresses your melatonin levels, which are essential for quality sleep. So instead of scrolling through your social media in bed, you can try to substitute it for healthier activities that can help you sleep, like meditation. You can also avoid the temptation of reaching for your gadgets by leaving them in a place that’s far from your bed. You can even opt for an old-fashioned alarm clock instead of your cellphone alarm so you can wake up on time.
Practice Relaxing Hygiene Practices
While maintaining basic hygiene can seem mundane, these activities are important in keeping your body healthy and clean. Incorporate calming hygiene practices in your routine, so that you can care for your body while preparing yourself for bedtime. But take note that while there are plenty of practices to choose from, make sure to opt for the things that calm your mind and relax your body as you approach your sleeping time (so, no nose hair plucking!) For example, having a warm bath or shower an hour before bedtime can help your body relax before bedtime. Then, follow it up with a skincare routine for sensitive skin, which can calm dry and itchy skin. A nurturing skincare routine will not only improve your skin, it’ll also soothe any irritation so that you can be more comfortable as you sleep.
Stress is one of the biggest factors that can inhibit your sleep. Anxious thoughts can consume a lot of your time, so it’s best to find a healthy outlet for these worries. Writing these thoughts in a journal can help you unpack any heavy emotions before going to bed. For instance, you can write down potential solutions to your worries or even express gratitude for the good things that happened during your day. It may take a lot of work to be positive about your day, but this can help you see your life from a different perspective. So if you want to improve your mood as you head off to sleep, make space for all these emotions in your journal.
Play Some Music
There’s a good reason behind why lullabies exist. The Sleep Foundation highlights that music helps 62% of people get ready for bedtime. But it’s important to note that your sleepy time tunes aren’t limited to traditional lullabies. You can listen to any genre as long as it sounds relaxing to you! But if you want an extra boost, the Sleep Foundation states that ambient sounds and white/pink noise are conducive for sleep. Pink noise like rain or waves is effective in improving sleep quality. On the other hand, white noise helps in masking other sounds so you can fall asleep faster.
Sleep is a crucial part of daily life. So if you struggle with sleeping, a nighttime routine that can increase your chances of you sleeping soundly at night should be at the top of your list of things to do, as it will improve your overall wellbeing