Getting enough sleep is incredibly important to your mental, physical, and emotional health. So, when you have trouble falling asleep, it can eat away at the quantity and quality of the sleep you get.
Often the reason for not getting enough sleep can come down to habits that you’ve developed without putting much thought into how they’re directly affecting your ability to get the sleep you need. The negative effects of poor sleep habits are far-reaching and can affect your decision making and mood throughout your day.
So congratulations for taking the first step towards better sleep!
Your sleep routine is a top priority if you find yourself struggling with falling asleep or feeling tired during the day. Thankfully, your body loves routine and within a couple weeks you’ll start to notice a difference.
Setting up your routine from these activities is a great way to start your night off right so that you can wake up feeling well-rested.
One hour before bed
Set an alarm
It can be helpful to set a recurring alarm an hour before bed to kick off your nightly routine. If you can, give the alarm a title so your phone will say something like: “Time to get ready for bed.”
It might not feel natural at first but soon you’re body and mind will acclimatize to your new routine.
Take your Remrise formula to kick off your routine
The best way to start your wind-down routine is through an action. Taking your Remrise formula an hour before bed not only gives your body time to metabolize its active ingredients, but it also acts as a signal to your body that you are making an effort to start the process of getting ready to sleep.
Stop eating and drinking
Many sleepers find that their nightly sleep is interrupted because they need to go to the bathroom. They can also find it difficult falling asleep on a full stomach.
Drinking right before bed can cause you to get up in the middle of the night. You can keep a glass of water by your bed, but it's better if you can do without it. The best thing you can do for your sleep is cut out any food or drinks three to four hours before you go to bed.
Turn the thermostat down in your room
Your body cools down when it begins the process of sleeping. Studies have shown that a cooler room will help you go to sleep faster. In situations where you are waking up throughout the night, the thermostat could be the culprit.
You should keep your room between 60 and 67 degrees. Knocking the temperature down in your house an hour before bed, ensures that your bedroom will be cool and ready for restful sleep.
This might sound cold but try it out. You’re likely to be surprised.
Turn down the lights
Your body understands that it is time to go to sleep when the sun is down. This is because your circadian rhythm — the inner clock your body uses to know when it’s time to sleep — is guided by hormones that let your body know when it’s time to sleep. These hormones are only released into your body when the sun goes down and they will stay elevated in your blood for 12 hours, which helps you sleep throughout the night.
This is all part of your circadian rhythm. It’s important that lights are low before you go to bed, so your body can begin to feel that it’s night.
You reset your body by turning on bright lights first thing in the morning. Your body depends on this routine to get proper sleep.
30 Minutes before bed
The following are a range of activities that can help you fall asleep. Pick a few that speak most to you to integrate into your routine. Once you’ve picked them, try to stick with the ones you’ve chosen; changing your activities too frequently can throw off the routine-ness of it.
It’s recommended that you don’t do these activities in bed.
Meditation is a proven method to center yourself and calm your mind. Before you head to bed, try to calm your thoughts. You can do this sitting or lying on a mat on the floor.
If you struggle with meditation, just focus on your breathing and the tension in your body. Flex and release isolated groups of muscles until you have stretched your entire body.
For example, start by flexing your toes. Then move to your calves, thighs, and so on. Once you reach your upper body, complete the cycle and head back down to your feet. You can also listen to guided meditations if that is easier for you.
Stretch or do yoga
You shouldn’t exercise before bed, but you can do relaxing activities like stretching or yoga. When doing yoga, you can release all of the tension of your day.
Focus on your breathing and calm your thoughts. Don’t do any strenuous poses, you’re just getting relaxed before you head to bed.
Read a book
Make sure you have enough light to read without straining your eyes but not too much light.
You’re not aiming for finishing the book, this is more of a personal bedtime story. Try not to lose track of time.
Practice guided imagery
This is a type of meditation that focuses on certain thoughts and memories. You need to think of a happy time, and then dissect the memory.
So, say your memory is one of being at the beach. You would start by thinking about how the ocean smelled, the sun felt on your skin, the sensation of digging your toes in the sand, and other specific memories.
Digging deep into a memory calms your mind and leaves you with pleasant thoughts before you go to bed.
Keep a sleep journal
Sleepers that journal about their sleep routine, find this process useful in fixing their sleep issues. Before you go to sleep, write down what you did in your sleep routine before bed. Then the next morning document the quality of your sleep.
You can look back over the weeks and see when you had poor sleep and what was different with your routine.
Listen to some relaxing music
There’s a considerable body of research showing that listening to music can help you fall asleep. Make sure to choose music that is relaxing and not too dynamic. Soundscapes are a great option and can have the additional benefit of providing white or pink noise to block out potentially distracting sounds.
Five minutes before bed (time to get into bed)
You’re five minutes from falling asleep now. You’re wrapping up your routine. Now, it’s just a matter of leaving your screens, making sure your room is sleep ready, breathing and drifting off to sleep. So...
Leave your screens in another room
While your phone is useful during the day, it can be detrimental to your sleep schedule if you are using it in bed. Your brain sees the light from screens and can be tricked into thinking that it is daytime.
This blue light that is emitted from tablets, smartphones, and computer screens has also been shown to mess with your circadian rhythm.
If you want to read before bed make sure that you’re using a paper version of your book instead of staring at a screen.
If you are using your phone as an alarm clock in the morning consider dusting off your old alarm clock — you know, the one you had before you got a smart phone. You can pick up an alarm clock these days for under $15.
Perform breathing exercises
Once you are ready to sleep, you can try breathing exercises to relax. There are many different techniques that you can try.
One of the easiest is lying in bed with your eyes closed. Breathing in for five seconds, holding your breath, and then releasing for five seconds. You can alter the amount of time, but it’s meant to make your mind focus on your body.
Instead of thinking about everything that happened throughout the day, or worrying about tomorrow, you just focus on your breathing and how it affects your body.
Make sure your room is dark and cool
Remember, your body sleeps better when it is cool in your room. You should also remove any devices that cause unnecessary light, even your smartphone.
Relax and take a few deep breaths
Finally, you’re ready to sleep. The last step before peaceful slumber is a few deep breaths and to find a comfortable position.
Make sure to give your sleep routine a chance; it can take several days for your body to recognize your new routine for what it is. So stick with it; you’ve got this!